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certification, continuous education, credentialing, critical care, empowerment, nurses



  1. Beaudoin, Genevieve MSN, RN, CNCC(C)
  2. St-Louis, Lyne MSN, RN, CNCC(C)
  3. Alderson, Marie PhD, RN


Purpose: Nurses working in critical care settings face multiple sources of stress, such as complex clinical situations and the use of new advanced technologies, which can affect their psychological health. Literature suggests that the promotion of educational activities, such as a certification process within a specialty, can contribute to nurses' empowerment, professional growth, and personal satisfaction. However, it is of utmost importance that the institutional organizations support nurses undergoing the certification process to optimize positive impacts of this educational activity on the nurses, on the patients, and within the institutions.


Description of the Project: In the course of a graduate studies stage, an educational program aiming at supporting and creating an empowering environment for nurses undergoing a critical care certification process was developed and implemented, in a Canadian intensive care unit, over a 7-month period. The Humanist model was used as a theoretical framework and was complemented by the problem-based learning pedagogical approach.


Outcomes: A postintervention qualitative questionnaire revealed that the program was tailored to nurses' learning needs and that participants felt supported by their institution throughout the process.


Conclusion: This program could help institutions support nurses in achieving higher professional and personal development levels through specialty certification.