1. Alexander, Mary MA, RN, CRNI(R), CAE, FAAN
  2. INS Chief Executive Officer Editor, Journal of Infusion Nursing

Article Content

Since administering the first CRNI(R) exam in 1985, INCC's continued focus has been to ensure that a psychometrically sound, legally defensible program is in place that aligns with current infusion nursing practice. Job analyses, also known as role delineation studies, are conducted on a routine basis to identify the knowledge and skills needed for competent infusion nursing practice. The survey data provides valuable information used to construct an evidence-based exam, with the most recent one resulting in a revised content outline covering 3 core areas: Principles of Practice, Access Devices, and Infusion Therapies.

Mary Alexander, MA, ... - Click to enlarge in new windowMary Alexander, MA, RN, CRNI(R), CAE, FAAN INS Chief Executive Officer Editor,

An overarching goal of certification is to provide public protection by promoting optimal health outcomes. Intuitively, we believe that better patient outcomes are achieved when care is delivered by a certified nurse. Evidence demonstrating the effect of specialty certification on patient outcomes is mixed, with some studies showing benefit and others that are inconclusive.1-5 Yet, recently published studies found significant associations between higher unit-level rates of specialty certification and lower rates of hospital-acquired infections,2 and central line-associated bloodstream infections.3 Other studies support the principles that obtaining specialty certification promotes quality patient care, validates nurses' knowledge and expertise, builds confidence and credibility in professional ability, and demonstrates dedication to nursing as a profession.4,5


One study noted the positive association between nurses' perception of overall workplace empowerment and certification.6 Those nurses who have achieved their specialty certification have perceived intrinsic value, professional autonomy, and heightened collaboration with their health care team.5-8


INCC has seen marked interest in the CRNI(R) exam by nurses who reside outside the United States. We're learning of strategies our international colleagues are implementing to promote the value of nursing certification to their workforce and to senior leadership. Communities of practice are convening study groups, giving mock exams, and providing peer support as they prepare for the exam - approaches similarly used in the US. INCC recently conducted a virtual town hall to explain the path to certification, describe eligibility criteria, list important deadlines, and provide a real-time opportunity to respond to attendees' questions. Potential exam candidates from the United States and around the globe actively participated. Now available on-demand at, we hope our town hall will be a helpful tool in your quest for CRNI(R) certification.


While INS and INCC think about certification year-round, we look forward to celebrating Certified Nurses Day every March 19. Inspired by Margretta 'Gretta' Madden Styles, EdD, RN, FAAN, a pioneer in nursing certification, Certified Nurses Day is the perfect opportunity for nurses to advance in their chosen specialty by choosing certification. Those who hold the prestigious CRNI(R) credential demonstrate a dedication to lifelong learning and a passion for patient care. I encourage those who have not yet sat for the CRNI(R) exam to explore certification. It makes perfect sense!


Mary Alexander




1. Chappell K, Newhouse R, Lundmark V, et al Methods of nursing certification in North America-a scoping review. Nurs Outlook. 2020;68(4):484-493. doi:10.1016/j.outlook.2020.04.003 [Context Link]


2. Covell CL, Sidani S. Nursing intellectual capital theory: testing selected propositions. J Adv Nurs. 2013;69(11):2432-2445. [Context Link]


3. Boev C, Xue Y, Ingersoll GL. Nursing job satisfaction, certification and healthcare-associated infections in critical care. Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2015;31(5):276-284. [Context Link]


4. Schroeter K. The value of certification. J Trauma Nurs. 2015;22(2):53-54. [Context Link]


5. Kitto S, Grant R, Chappell K, Lundmark V. The relationship between specialty certification of individual nurses and outcomes: developing a standardized taxonomy for research. J Nurs Adm. 2017;47(5):245-247. doi:10.1097/NNA.0000000000000473 [Context Link]


6. Wilkerson BL. Specialty nurse certification affects patient outcomes. Plast Surg Nurs. 2011;31(2):57-59. [Context Link]


7. Boyle DK, Cramer E, Potter C, Staggs VS. Longitudinal association of registered nurse national nursing specialty certification and patient falls in acute care hospitals. Nurs Res. 2015;64(4):291-299. [Context Link]


8. Van Wicklin SA, Leveling ME, Stobinski JX. What is the perceived value of certification among registered nurses? A systematic review. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2020;52(5):536-543. doi:10.1111/jnu.12579 [Context Link]