Nursing is a vital and under-represented field that needs men and women who are qualified and willing to complete the certification necessary to further their credentials. A registered nurse (RN) has often completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing and is licensed to perform advanced patient support measures such as administering medication and inserting an IV. Some may serve in a supervisory position or decide to specialize in a particular area of the hospital, for example obstetrics, emergency room or oncology.
After almost four years of nursing education, a comprehensive clinical and passing the NCLEX-RN, a student becomes a registered nurse. This can be a grueling process, and to simply survive to earn the title of registered nurse is an accomplishment. However, many registered nurses decide to continue their education with a master’s degree or certification.
Certification is not mandatory for most nurses. The exception is for a registered nurse who wishes to specialize in particularly high-responsibility nursing fields. Certification is necessary for those who choose to become a nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, or nurse-midwife, to name a few.
The certification process involves first choosing a nursing specialization, whether functional or clinical. A registered nurse might choose to work only with infectious patients, or in the maternity ward or only in the operating room. Upon deciding a specialization, a candidate for certification would contact any number of professional nursing associations, one of which is the American Nurses Association, for information on their testing schedule. Certification involves passing a targeted assessment that proves competence in the particular area of interest.
For a registered nurse, certification opens up another avenue of employment opportunities. Through the process a nurse picks up knowledge and skills that will help to secure better pay and adds specialized procedural information that they can carry for the rest of their career. Employment outlook in nursing is especially favorable for registered nurses with certification, especially those looking for work in nursing homes, medical clinics and hospitals.