Why become certified in your specialty? NICU nurse Laura Brague, RN, shares her story.
It’s no surprise that nursing is one of the most respected professions in the nation — I believe it’s because of our commitment, courage and confidence. Thus, it was never a question of IF I would obtain my specialty certification, but WHEN. It’s just another example of my commitment and passion for my job, courage to continue and persevere, and confidence that I could take this next important step in my career.
The main reason that I decided to pursue my certification in Neonatal Intensive Care a few months ago is not only because of my absolute passion for caring for the tiniest patients, but also my awareness of the ever-evolving world of neonatology. By being certified, I am showing that I serve as a change agent and advocate for best practice within my specialty. Because the National Certification Corporation (NCC) is a nationally recognized organization, it provides a standardization of knowledge across the country and assures that nurses are staying current with changes through evidence-based practice.
Continuity of care is crucial to the success of quality outcomes and it has been shown that hospitals recognized for nursing excellence have much better outcomes for very low birth infants. AAMC supports those wishing to pursue their certification in the form of test reimbursement and annual bonuses for both initial certification and maintenance. My preparation for the exam was fairly minimal and after taking the exam, I would say that 80% of what I knew for the exam was based on experience and about 20% came from studying and attending the Maryland Neonatal Education Consortium (MNEC).
Nursing is both a critical and dominant role in the future of healthcare delivery. Becoming certified has given me extra confidence and validates my specialty knowledge and expertise. Nurses are on the forefront of the healthcare industry, which is why I made it both a personal and professional goal to take this next logical step in my career towards enhanced professional credibility – Laura Brague, BSN, RNC-NIC