A recent Post and Courier article highlighted the changes taking place in nursing, and particularly the level of expertise now sought by academic medical centers such as MUSC. In this same vein, we asked three of our advanced practice nurses their thoughts on becoming certified nurses, and how taking that extra step has or will impact their practice at MUSC.
“Becoming certified gave me a boost in confidence with my job as a pediatric nurse. Between the studying and taking the test, I not only reviewed information that I may not have seen for years but also learned a few things I had never come across. It was definitely worth the effort.” -Tressa Heinen, RN, CPEN
“I am seeking certification in dialysis. I am a new hire here at MUSC, although I have several years of dialysis experience in an outpatient setting. I have never worked in a hospital before and I am aware of my weaknesses in the acute setting. I rely heavily upon the help of my co-workers, all of whom are such great people. They really pull together as a team; I would like to be a better contributor to that team. MUSC is striving to become a Magnet hospital and needs more certified nurses. One way I figure I can help my unit is by becoming certified. They are all performing roles I am not yet ready for, such as charge nurse, or night nurse, or involvement in different committees. I can, however, study and attempt to become certified. It will help the unit, it will help MUSC and I am sure it will benefit me professionally as well.” -Chris Fair, ADN, BS, MA
“I became motivated to achieve certification due to the Magnet journey. MUSC gives a very generous certification bonus which enabled me to attend a certification course to prepare and can be awarded before you take the test so you can avoid up front costs. I was able to use online resources to study independently. I found online practice tests to be very helpful. Mostly importantly, I found using my critical thinking skills and relying on knowledge gained from experience allowed me to pass the test on my first try. Certification did not change my job performance but instead, validated the knowledge I have already obtained as a leader. It also helped me realize the areas where I can work on improving my knowledge base. A lot of people think that certification involves learning new things; this is not correct. Certification is achieved based on knowledge learned through experience. As long as you are expert in the area which you are pursing certification, the test itself is not difficult. To be successful you need to brush up on some facts which may have been forgotten over time.” -Sally Potts RN, MS, PNP, NEA-BC