All Nursing Programs

Nursing Certification

If you are already a working nurse with some type of nursing license (may it be a Licensed Practical Nurse, a Registered Nurse, or a Nurse Practitioner) and are specializing in a certain nursing area, you may want to get a certification for your specialty. The certification will assert you have the knowledge and experience to work in this more specialized area of nursing, and can help you find other positions in this specialization or better salary.

You may also be a license nurse fresh from school without so much experience who knows exactly what she wants to do as a nurse and would like to finish her studies before going on to work, or maybe a working nurse who would like to switch to some other type of nursing job.

There are many areas of nursing in which you can get a certification. Some examples are Ambulatory Care Nursing, Home Health Nursing, Pediatric Nursing, and Community Health Nursing.

For all nursing certification program, you should first complete some nursing program. If you had always dreamed about being a pediatric nurse or an emergency care nurse, you cannot immediately jump to the corresponding certification program. You should first complete your education and pass the licensing exam to be at least a practical nurse. Some certification courses will require you to first be a registered nurse RN or a nurse practitioner NP). Many others will demand some experience in working as a general nurse. Only then you can apply to your specialized training course as a certified nurse.

There are 2 main organizations in the US who offer certification: The ANCC (American Nurses Credentials Center) which is the certification part of ANA (American Nurses Association), and the AACN (American Association of Critical Care Nurses) which, as it name presents, gives certification for critical care specialties. There are also many professional nursing associations who give certification in their own specialty, e.g. the American Academy of Pain Management will give certification for pain management nursing. The American Board of Certification for Gastroenterology Nurses will give certification for Gastroenterology Nursing, etc.

Once you have decided which nursing certification you would like to have, check the different organizations and their courses to decide which program will give you the best training and help you find the job you want with the salary level you aspire to. If you are already associated with some hospital or health facility you may enquire there what type of certification they would like you to have. You should of course also enquire whether you are eligible for the course you would like to follow: Do you have already the level of education required for this program or the experience expected. You may have to first apply to work in your specialty of interest in order to have the experience needed for the certification. This experience will also help you decide if this specialty is really appropriate for you.

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