Today, a career in nursing is in more demand than ever before. In response to the world’s ageing population, there is an increase of vacancies in nursing; particularly for skilled nurses with advanced education and training. While physicians spend less time with patients, nurses are required to step up and provide direct and more personalized care to the ever increasing number of patients. Even so, some employers might still feel uncertain when it comes to paying more for specialized nurses. In this article, we share with you the benefits of specialization for a nurse.

Acquiring certificates

The valuable certification that nurses acquire after completing their advanced courses provides a strong validation of their specialty experience, knowledge and skills. Although attending short courses to obtain certification requires sacrifices and extra efforts from a nurse, the ongoing education validates and updates their skill sets. It also allows them to meet new nursing practice requirements.

Highly skilled professional

As healthcare becomes more complex, it has been progressively vital to assure the public that healthcare professionals are competent. Everyone in the healthcare equation be it employers or nurses benefit from getting certified as it is a mark of excellence. A survey in the USA revealed that people preferred hospitals that employ nurses with specialty certification. Given a choice, around 73% said that they are much more likely to select a hospital that employs a high percentage of nurses with specialty certification (AACN, 2016). Certification is also a crucial component in building confidence in patients and in letting them know that the nurse is competent and has the necessary knowledge and skills in caring for them.

Job satisfaction

Attaining a specialty certification also points to a nurse’s commitment to career development and dedication to patient care, particularly in this constantly changing environment. A study found that nurses are able to make decisions with greater confidence when they find that their clinical judgment has been validated through certification. The study also found that certified nurses overwhelmingly report that certification enabled them to experience personal growth and feel more satisfied in their work (Cary, 2001). This also benefits employers in the long run as satisfied employees in a supportive work environment are less likely to change workplaces or departments.

A change in working environment

Newly hired nurses who have just completed their specialized training may face some difficulties in adapting to the new working environment. Even though they might be armed with years of experience under their belt, being in a new field or in a different setting can cause nervousness, a sense of fear and uneasy feelings to set in as they approach uncharted territories. Like any entry level nurse, adapting to a new environment requires time to get used to.  Nursing burnout could also happen when nurses are unable to cope with the new job, work stress and workload. This will lead to less job satisfaction and may cause them to leave the job. Otherwise, they might to leave when higher salaries and benefits are offered by other employers.

Nurses validate their mastery of skills, knowledge and abilities through certification and they meet ongoing learning and practice requirements through recertification. Patients and families, employers and nurses all benefit from certification. All in all, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks for both nurses and their employers. MIMS

AACN. (2016). Retrieved from

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