When I worked this past weekend, I noticed the increased number of board certified nurses throughout my institution. They displayed their certifications proudly on their name badges and signs congratulating newly certified nurses were displayed on several patient care units. Nurses spoke about how difficult the certification exams were and you could hear in their voices that passing these exams was a real accomplishment for them.
March 19th is officially Certified Nurses Day, "a day of recognition to celebrate the contributions of board certified nurses to the advancement of nursing professionalism and to higher standards and better outcomes in patient health," according to www.certifiednursesday.org. Over 70 nursing associations and organizations are supporting the recognition of this day. I did a little research into how this day came about and I thought I'd share it with you. Certified Nurses Day was the brainchild of a staff member of the ANCC. March 19th was chosen because it is the birthday of one of our great nursing leaders, Margretta "Gretta" Madden Styles. For those of you who don't know her, she is the "Mother of Nurse Credentialing". She has also served as the President of the ANA, the International Council of Nurses, the California Board of Registered Nursing and the American Nurses Credentialling Center. Her contribution to the nursing profession and to improving patient care are quite admirable. I am glad to see the powers that be chose a day that reflected a modern day leader who we can all look up to.
I have been a certified nurse for over 20 years. Not a day goes by that I regret becoming certified. Yes, taking all the CE is time consuming but, I do feel I am delivering more comprehensive, evidence-based care because of it. To all of you certified nurses out there; thank you for taking the time to help support the advancement of the nursing profession and the improvement of patient outcomes.