CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System, CHRISTUS St. Michael Rehabilitation Hospital, and CHRISTUS St. Michael Hospital-Atlanta recognized the unique contributions of 236 board-certified nurses in observance of Certified Nurses Day.
Certified Nurses Day is an annual worldwide event dedicated to celebrating certification to ensure high standards of patient care and to promote continuing excellence in the nursing profession.
Initially proposed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the day honors the birthday of the late Dr. Margretta “Gretta” Madden Styles, RN, EdD, national pioneer of nursing certification who designed the first comprehensive study of nurse credentialing.
All active nurses are licensed through their states, and a state license is required to practice, according to the American Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC).
“Certification is a voluntary next step and involves extensive study, 2,000 hours of working in a specialty area prior to testing, and investment and successful completion of an exhaustive national test,” explained Louise Thornell, PhD, RN, NE-BC, VP/Chief Nursing Officer, CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System.
Dr. Thornell encourages national board certification for all nursing staff and has led by example. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing with specialization in Public Health Policy and contends the practice of quality nursing is enhanced through ongoing education.
A nurse for more than 30 years, Cheryl Scales, BSN, RNC-OB, earned certification in inpatient obstetric nursing and other areas.
“I really encourage nurses to seek certification in their specialty areas,” Scales said. “At CHRISTUS, we are always striving for excellence and to the best we can be. By continuing our education and our skill set, we really continue to push towards that goal.”
Nursing certification specialties include but aren’t limited to areas such as critical care, neonatal intensive care, stroke, trauma, emergency nursing, medical-surgical, pediatric, cardiac/vascular, oncology, hospice, case management, obstetrics, diabetes, infection control, rehabilitation, wound care, and more.
Many nursing certification bodies exist to serve the full range of specialized nursing care offered in the contemporary health care system and should be nationally accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC) or the National Organization for Competence Assurance (NOCA).