1. Section Editor(s): Alexander, Mary MA, RN, CRNI(R)

Article Content

When you signed up to be a nurse, you agreed to give your patients the best care possible throughout your career. If you aren't continuously improving your skills and knowledge base, then you aren't living up to that pledge. Sometimes it's just easier to keep doing things the way you've always done them. Easier to skip reading journals or taking classes. And easier to avoid studying for certification.

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

But nursing isn't supposed to be easy. It's a challenging profession in a rapidly changing environment, with new technologies, treatments, and delivery models constantly being developed for improved patient care. To keep up with health care advances, nurses-the most trusted professionals in the United States1-must never stop improving. For infusion nurses, that means lifelong professional learning and becoming certified and maintaining the CRNI(R) credential for the benefit of your patients.


There is great value in becoming certified. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) states that certification "validates a nurse's knowledge, skills, and abilities in a defined role and clinical area of practice, based on predetermined standards. Nurses achieve certification credentials through specialized education, experience in a specialty area, and a qualifying exam."2 Certification is also a major component of ANCC's Magnet hospital designation because it demonstrates that the hospital is staffed by nurses with high levels of expertise, which attracts other professionals who care about quality patient care, as well as patients who are seeking the best care.3


Most nursing certification programs are voluntary; therefore, nurses aren't required to become certified. But those who go the extra mile to do so deserve thanks from employers, patients, and colleagues for improving the knowledge base in their organizations.


If you are already a CRNI(R), you know the value of your credential. Show your pride and persuade your colleagues to become certified. The Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation (INCC) will help you with that. At the INCC Web site,, you can sign up to be a CRNI(R) Champion. INCC will send you materials to help you make the case for certification. Promote the benefits of certification and refer CRNI(R) exam takers, and INCC could reward you with reduced fees for your own recertification, or even waive its entire cost. So be a CRNI(R) Champion and help your colleagues, your facility, your patients, and yourself!


Finally, if you haven't read this issue's Guest Editorial by Maria Shirey, president of the American Board of Nursing Specialties, please do. She offers five ways to encourage us to "leave our comfort zone" and achieve great things. Each component provides inspiration and assistance in your journey through professional development, as well as through life.


As nurses, we always have our patients' needs in the forefront of our minds, recognizing the need to improve what we do to ensure we're giving them the best care. However, let's not forget we owe it to ourselves to fulfill our personal needs too. Improving never stops!


Mary Alexander




1. The American Nurse. Nurses retain top spot as most ethical. Published March 3, 2014. Accessed July 29, 2014. [Context Link]


2. Medscape. Why certify? The benefits of nursing certification. Published March 5, 2010. Accessed July 28, 2014. [Context Link]


3. Miller PA, Boyle DK. Nursing specialty certification: a measure of expertise. Nurse Manage. 2008;39(10):10-16. [Context Link]