1. Dierkes, Andrew M. PhD, RN
  2. Schlak, Amelia E. PhD, RN
  3. French, Rachel BSN, RN
  4. McHugh, Matthew D. PhD, RN
  5. Aiken, Linda PhD, RN


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine whether there are modifiable characteristics of nurses and hospitals associated with nurse specialty certification.


BACKGROUND: Hospitals, nurses, and patients benefit from nurse specialty certification, but little actionable evidence guides administrators seeking higher hospital certification rates.


METHODS: This is a cross-sectional, secondary data analysis of 20 454 nurses in 471 hospitals across 4 states.


RESULTS: Rates of certified nurses varied significantly across hospitals. Higher odds of certification were associated with Magnet(R) recognition and better hospital work environments at the facility level, and with BSN education, unit type (most notably, oncology), older age, more years of experience, and full-time employment at the individual nurse level.


CONCLUSION: Two strategies that hold promise for increasing nurse specialty certification are improving hospital work environments and preferentially hiring BSN nurses.