1. Rigoni, Deborah Dolan MA, BS, RNC

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I was saddened to see that the ANCC will cease to offer home health nurse certification at the generalist and specialist level, and I agree that this was one mechanism that could have kept home care nurses on a peer level with other specialties. One of the issues is the number of seasoned home care nurses who do not possess a bachelor's degree in nursing and who are therefore ineligible to sit for this exam. I have constantly been frustrated that nurses who pursue advanced education in areas other than nursing and that degree supplements their nursing education are ineligible to sit for these exams. I am an example.


I have been an RN for 30 years and certified as a generalist in gerontological nursing, since I could take the exam without a BSN. I would have preferred to sit for the Home Care Nursing certification exam. I was originally educated in a hospital-based diploma program and have since earned a BS in Health Arts and an MA in Gerontology. I have worked in the field of home healthcare for almost 15 years.


I received an education in programs offering a broader view of issues important to healthcare and to older adults than a nursing-based program offered. I know more about community-based care and what is reimbursable, how global aging is impacting our healthcare system, and what programs and services are available than in a nursing program. I am also more aware of older adults who are aging well and issues important to them than I would be working primarily with those who are ill and accessing the healthcare system.


As nursing professionals, we must become more open to bringing nurses to the table who possess nontraditional degrees and allow them to be credentialed. Opening this door might increase the interest nurses have in achieving certification and might also enable us to replace some of the educators we are losing.


I think it would be wonderful to see home care agencies, the HHNA, and/or universities offer a series of certification courses. If eligibility criteria were flexible and courses college-accredited, this might inspire nurses to continue on and complete degrees. I would be very interested in more formal education on the topic of home healthcare and in achieving certification.


Deborah Dolan Rigoni, MA, BS, RNC


Chicago, Illinois