On March 19, Certified Nurses Day, we recognize and honor certified nurses, crucial members of healthcare teams everywhere. This day celebrates the educational and professional accomplishments of nurses who have earned certifications in their specialties. These dedicated nurses contribute to patient care and wellness in many ways, and their certification shows their advanced knowledge and skills.
Certified nurses are recognized on March 19, the birthday of the Margretta “Gretta” Madden Styles. Styles is a nurse leader and education who developed and implemented standards for nursing credentials and helped to create the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). In many ways she is responsible for the high standards in the nursing profession today.
Florence Nightingale once said, “Let us consider that we are never done as nurses…we must be learning all of our lives.” Ms. Nightingale would have celebrated certified nurses, who keep learning and demonstrate their knowledge through the certification process. She was a leader who demonstrated a passion for nursing with a commitment to speak out, educate and change health care. Certified nurses share this same passion.
Certified nurses, among many others in the medial field, have been challenged during the pandemic over the last year. 2020 and into 2021 was a true representation when Nightingale spoke about learning all our lives. Certified nurses had to come through and come through strong and there is no doubt that they exemplified the passion of Nightingale. Nurses interact with patients in multiple ways, and often they are the first healthcare practitioner a patient sees. They take care of our wounds, administer our meds, assist in surgeries and educate us about medical conditions in hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices. Their impact on patient outcomes increases when nurses are certified in specialties ranging from pediatrics to gerontology, along with a multitude of medical conditions.
The demand for nurses is increasing in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections 2019-2029, Registered Nursing (RN) is listed among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2029. The RN workforce is expected to grow from 3 million in 2019 to 3.3 million in 2029, an increase of 221,900 or 7%.
This current need for certified nurses is greater now than previously and it will keep growing. The Labor 2030 report from Bain & Company projects that the demand for healthcare in the US in 2025 will be approximately double the demand in 2015. Estimates of the problem vary dramatically, from a projected shortage of 510,394 registered nurses nationwide by 2030, based on a formula used by scholars at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and elsewhere, to a predicted shortfall in some states by then but a surplus in others, according to federal forecasts.
Nurses who earn certification in their field are those who will lead the profession and be key to filling the demand for healthcare. The ANCC says that among the benefits of ANCC certification is validation of nursing knowledge and enhanced credibility. ANCC-certified nurses meet strong professional development requirements. Their certification indicates clinical competence and is linked to fewer medical errors, increased job satisfaction and confidence.
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