Who You’ll Hear
Kati Kleber, MSN RN – Nurse educator, former cardiac med-surg/stepdown and neurocritical care nurse, author, and speaker.
Melissa Stafford, BSN RN CCRN SCRN – highly experienced and currently practicing nationally certified neurocritical care nurse.
Elizabeth Mills, BSN RN CCRN – highly experienced neurocritical care nurse, current Stroke Navigator for a Primary Stroke Center.
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Karen Kesten, DNP APRN CCRN-K CCNS CNE, chair of the certification board of directors for the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).
What You’ll Learn
- Exam vs NCLEX
- Maintaining Nursing Certifications
Nursing Certifications: The What, Why, and When
In this episode, we talk about nursing certifications and why they are important to our profession, plus how to become certified.
- A way to meet national standards in a specialty area
- OB, mental health, med-surg, critical care, progressive care, dialysis, cardiac, etc. are just some examples
- Essentially, you demonstrate that you meet this standard by practicing for a certain amount of hours (typically around 2 years full time at the bedside) and passing a rigorous exam
- Long-term goal
- Example: CCRN (certified critical care nurse)
- The Why? The Benefits of Nursing Certification
- It feels amazing to pass the exam
- All three FreshRN Podcast hosts are certified, nurses
- Whenever you pass, you get to add letters behind your name
- Kati Kleber, BSN RN CCRN
- Melissa Stafford, BSN RN CCRN SCRN
- Elizabeth Mills, BSN RN CCRN
- Take a prep course
Certification exam vs. NCLEX®
- It’s not computer adaptive (which means giving you a harder question based off of the answer to your previous question)
- Experience really helps you answer the questions, while NCLEX® is very textbook
- You typically find out if you pass immediately, versus going
- You don’t have to go through your State Board of Nursing / Pearson Vue to take it, rather through the accrediting body (like AACN or ACCN)
- Focuses a lot on the synergy model
- See if your hospital/facility offers a review course or resources
- See if your hospital/facility reimburses for the exam or will increase your pay for having a certification
- Before you start to study…
- Take a pre-test – tells you where to focus your time
- Look at the blueprint for the exam so you know what’s on the exam
- Question banks + a review course are really helpful
Maintaining your nursing certification
- Every organization handles this differently, be aware of what’s expected of you before it’s time to renew
- Typically, you must have a minimum amount of hours and many CEU’s OR you can take the test over again
- Make sure you’re taking the CEU’s you need in the correct categories to maintain appropriately
- Keep track of your paper trail of CEU’s