In order to have any specialty in the field of nursing, you should first be a registered nurse and become certified. Being an RN and having a license might be enough, since it already demonstrates competency, but that can only get you so far for a level-entry type of job. Certification, on the other hand, validates your knowledge in a specialization. It signifies to your patients, teammates, employers, and to yourself that you have the abilities, knowledge, and skills to meet a much higher standard, particularly national ones.
If you want to pursue a specialization and want to be certified, find universities such as Regis College, which can help you with everything that you need to know, giving you the best tools to gain the skills and knowledge to become a Certified Nurse.
Is it important to get certified?
Getting a certification in the nursing field demonstrates excellence and is a mark of distinction. A lot of employers are hiring certified nurses or are expecting that registered nurses will pursue a certification in order to build professionalism in the healthcare environment and retain the industry’s culture. It shows lifelong learning, personal improvement, and a deep commitment to your career.
You can position yourself for advancement and appropriate recognition as well. You will be a role model to your team members by being dedicated to patient safety, which is very important in the healthcare sector.
Jobs for Certified Nurses
You can choose from a lot of specialties when you become a registered nurse. Each specialty has its own certification, which shows that you’ve achieved knowledge and expertise needed in the specialty you choose. Lower rates of errors in patient care and higher satisfaction rates for patients will likely be the results if a nurse has a specific certification.
Here are some of the nursing certifications and the jobs that you can gain from them:
1. AIDS Certified Registered Nurse (ACRN)
Education plays an important role when you become an ACRN. Your job as an HIV/AIDS nurse is to manage patients with this condition from the first day they’ve been diagnosed, and to provide long-term care. You must:
- Educate your patients on the process of the disease in their body and how to reduce the risks it may bring.
- Offer counselling sessions if they will agree.
- Evaluate their lifestyle and the high-risk factors related to it, such as the patient having a higher chance of transmitting HIV/AIDS.
- Provide reassurance and motivation to be strong.
- Discuss their options for treatment and medications, and observe their tolerance levels regarding the medications, and if there are any side effects when they take it.
- Monitor patients by doing lab work, since it will be the basis on what care should be given to the patients in the long run.
To apply for an ACRN certification, you should be a Registered Nurse and must have at least 2 years of experience in the clinical setting of HIV /AIDS.
2. Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN)
As an Oncology Certified Nurse, you will supervise and care for critically or chronically ill cancer patients. You will work with other cancer support staff and care providers. You will also:
- Administer chemotherapy sessions
- Provide emotional support not just to patients, but to their families as well
- Implement strategies to manage symptoms
- Observe the patient’s physical conditions
- Manage the side effects of chemotherapy
- Prescribe the medications needed by the cancer patient and monitor if there are no side effects
To apply for an OCN certification, you must have a specialty practice of 2,000 hours and continuing nursing education in oncology of 10 hours. You should also have a 2-year work experience.
3. Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN)
This specialization focuses on children, starting from their birth until they become teens. Here are some of the most important tasks of a pediatric nurse:
- Identify the difference between abnormal and normal findings
- Assess if the child has gone through abuse by looking for some signs and symptoms
- Provide emotional support for families in cases wherein the child is critically ill
- Use age-appropriate guidelines in administering medications to children
- Become a child advocate
- Intervene in emergency situations
- Monitor changes in signs and symptoms
- Maintain confidentiality
- Identify the needs of the child based on their condition
To apply for a CPN certification, you should have 3,000 hours of experience in the pediatric field for 5 years, or 1,800 hours in the pediatric clinical setting within 2 years. You must be a degree holder as well of an associate, master’s or bachelor’s degree.
Other than the certifications and the designated jobs you will get when you become certified in one of those specializations, there are more options in store for you. Make sure to look at some other choices and research more about these nursing certifications. Take a look at the scope and qualifications needed to be accepted for an application. Review for your exams and achieve that title. Good luck!