Stand out! Get Certified!

By: Linda Lindsay, BS, MSN, NP-C, Clinical Editorial Director for PearlsReview
Linda Lindsay, RN

Linda Lindsay, RN

Do you know Certified Nurses Day is on March 19?

Many still ask, “What are the differences between licensure and certification?” Some use the terms interchangeably, but they both are quite different. Licensure is mandatory and signifies that the licensee has met the minimum standards to practice nursing in a particular state.  In contrast, certification is voluntary. By taking and passing a specialty examination offered by a nongovernmental professional nursing or other interprofessional agency, the nurse or other healthcare professional has now validated his knowledge, skills and abilities in a defined role and clinical area of practice, based on predetermined standards.

According to an article published by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Certification is a ”profession’s official recognition of achievement, expertise and clinical judgment. It is a mark of excellence that requires continued learning and skill development to maintain.”

So I guess you must be asking yourself, “How does certification benefit me?” Benefits include: professional recognition and achievement, credibility, career advancement and higher pay, just to name a few. Certification also benefits patients and hospitals as a quality indicator that attracts patients to a certain facility. Certification also has shown to have positive effects on patient care and safety by attesting to a nurse’s knowledge, techniques and judgment.

Now that the benefits are clear, how does one get started?  First you need to find out which credentialing body you must apply to and understand the eligibility requirements. Then you have to apply, pay and prepare. offers one method of preparation. PearlsReview, our online certification review, features more than 60 specialty certification reviews for nurses. PearlsReview gives you unlimited access to all of the certification reviews for an annual fee. These review courses are written and reviewed by nurses certified in the particular specialty areas and are written with the test content outline as a guide to help you pinpoint the areas on which to focus your study. You can earn as many as 42 CE hours for one certification review. I would like to call your attention to some of the most recently updated additions to our certification library: critical care/progressive care, neuroscience nurse, medical surgical nursing, nursing professional development, informatics and oncology.partyhat_blogimg

Lastly, as we celebrate Certified Nurses Day on March 19, I would like to congratulate all certified nurses on their achievements and contribution to nursing and patient care. Continue to strive for excellence; I am honored to be among you!

If you would like to learn more about nursing certification, check out this free white paper by Nicholas Lorenzo, MD:

Nursing Certification: Impact and Benefits on Nurses, Healthcare Employers, and the Patients they Serve

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8 Responses to Stand out! Get Certified!

  1. Chance says:

    I had no idea today was Certified Nurses Day. I remember the huge relief I had when I passed the NCLEX. However, I had a different feeling when I passed the CNOR exam. It wasn’t relief, it was a feeling of PRIDE! Honestly, I have noticed that your peers treat you with a different level of respect when you are certified. I could not encourage people more to get certified! It truly is a honor to be part of this club.

  2. I would like your contact phone no. I am lvn myself. Diane Mautone.

  3. Karen Kirby says:

    Thank you for a timely post on nursing certification. I am a strong supporter of nursing certifications and encourage all nurses to commit to become credentialed in their specialty. Happy Certified Nurses Day.

  4. Janet Comby says:

    Linda, I by no means want to be a wet blanket, but as an RN with 20 years experience , and as a Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse, I want to speak up for the first time in my career, to tell you that , with the exception of personal satisfaction and a much better knowledge base, I nor many of my peers, have never recieved any of those benefits listed in your article. Career advancement, recognition, nor higher. When I inquired , my employer simply stated, “Well, this isn’t isn’t something we require you to do, this is something you’d do on your own, so no, we don’t really have anything in place for that.” That was about 10 yrs ago, and I have worked several different places since, and have repeatedly heard the same story. And yet, I still choose to get my certification, and all these years later, feel it was well worth it! Besides the personal/professional accomplishment, you do gain a wider lnowledge base, helps open doors to new employment opportunities, recognition among your peers, and to meet collegues nationwide in your field, just to mame a few. I do encourage every nurse to go for certification. It is a win/win situation. I’m now working in home health, and would happily go for certification, but unfortunately, I cannot find where certification exist.

    • Janet Comby says:

      Typo: nor high pay. So sorry, I’m typing on an impossibly small keyboard!

      • Linda says:

        Janet, I do recognize the points you make about having only felt “personal” recognition years ago rather than “professional” recognition and the lack of compensation. I think if you were to see how the “patient” is now seen as more as a “customer”, facilities are now trying to certify themselves to be given the Golden Seal of approval to attract the consumer. The only way they can obtain this elite status is to have units staffed with a certain percentage of specialty certified nurses. Facilities now recognize the importance of certified nurses and are beginning to encourage and compensate their staff in attaining the additional credentials. So, I believe your experience was because it was so new, the tides have changed. Would you agree this could be a possibility? Did you renew your rehabilitation certification?

  5. Nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) are amongst the highly trained nurses you could ever find.
    Also, a non-typical environment can include the pharmaceutical industry.
    The Neighborhood Project, open to classes IX and XI, contributes to the

  6. Pingback: Stand out! Get Certified! | INTERNATIONAL NURSES ASSOCIATION

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