I am writing in response to Barbara Stevens Barnum’s observations about certification in her article Licensure, Certification, and Accreditation. Barnum identifies certification as beneficial in that is has become a powerful card in the competition for jobs. In describing the plethora of certification programs available today, she implies that certification is offered to any and all, suggesting concern that nursing offers so many certification programs today.
I’m not bothered by the fact that certification is offered so broadly. Enhancing our knowledge and continuing to learn has many benefits. It promotes consistent, high quality care for our patients and their families, and conveys to our patients that we are making the effort to be the best we can be. Furthermore, I think the "love affair with certification," as Ms. Barnum phrases it, may have another, perhaps unexpected, positive outcome. For me, certification in Medical- Surgical nursing added a valuable dimension to my practice and motivated me to continue my education. Other nurses, too, may find nursing specialty certification to be a catalyst to pursue baccalaureate and master’s level education.
I encourage nurses everywhere to step forward and seek recognition for their professional expertise.
Deborah Osborne, RN
BSN Student, Curry College