The Importance of CPR Certification for Nurses: A Comprehensive Guide

The Importance of CPR Certification for Nurses: A Comprehensive Guide

Heart-stopping moments don’t just happen in the OR. As a nurse, you may be called upon in emergencies without access to an AED (automatic external defibrillator) or other equipment. Ensuring CPR certification means you are on hand with the knowledge to help save a life in or out of the hospital.the-importance-of-cpr-certification-for-nurses-a-comprehensive-guide

Debunking 5 Big Myths About CPR

Although most people know CPR and how it can save lives, wrong information often hinders effective aid. Do you think these, even to yourself?

Someone Around Me Will Know CPR

Most Americans know CPR increases survival rates for myocardial infarctions, but only 2 out of 5 would be willing to perform it. Why won’t people help with a procedure they know can be the difference between life and death?

The one reason cited for not rendering aid is a lack of confidence in proper CPR procedures. CPR certification addresses this issue and provides a way to save a life when others won’t step in.

The EMTs Will Render Aid When They Arrive

EMT arrival highly depends on traffic, weather, and location, with 1 in 10 people waiting more than 30 minutes for an ambulance. Even response times of fewer than 10 minutes may be too late when someone has suffered a heart attack.

Survival rates decrease 7-10% every minute CPR is delayed. Bystander help can double or triple survival, but you must act quickly. The rule of thumb is that you are the help until help arrives.

No One Dies From Heart Attacks Now

While increased efforts in prevention are laudable, they can promote the idea that heart attacks are not fatal in this modern age. But cardiac disease, including myocardial infarction, kills the most Americans every year compared to every other disease. Performing CPR is still the best way to respond and save a life.

Everyone Receives Equal Care and Help 

Studies show that low-income and minority communities have much higher rates of death from heart attacks. This survival gap can be up to 19%, proving that CPR training is helpful and vital in disadvantaged areas. If you live or work in one of these areas, being confident in CPR and willing to assist is imperative.

Hospitals Have the Latest Equipment–We Don’t Need CPR

According to The Joint Commission, crash carts with missing or expired items make up the top three list of hospital problems. You cannot count on equipment to take the place of CPR training. When the AED fails, or the crash cart battery is dead, it is up to you to begin compressions immediately.

Why Certification is Crucial

You Forget What You Learned

You probably received CPR training in nursing school, but did you know that retraining and revisiting procedures are vital to rendering optimal aid? Your knowledge of methods and skills in administering CPR deteriorate as time passes since your initial training.

Procedures Are Updated Regularly

Also, remember that guidelines for CPR are updated as new research emerges, and you need to know what the latest findings advise to give the best help.

For example, in 2020, the American Heart Association released new guidelines on CPR for both in-hospital and out-of-hospital cases. Included are changes to the Adult CPR Algorithm and

Chains of Survival. If your training was before 2020, you must include these essential revisions.

But I’m not a cardiac nurse, you might say. According to specialist Diana-Lyn Baptiste, “every nurse is a cardiac nurse” because, quite simply, every patient has a heart susceptible to disease and infarctions. And crises can happen anywhere, in any ward.

Your Patient Outcomes Will be Better

Swiftly providing aid helps patient outcomes in the short run, but the effects don’t stop there. When nurses are certified in CPR, their patients exhibit improved outcomes from the time of the event to discharge.

Training also helps you stay calm when emergencies happen, and your attitude transfers to your patients, reassuring them amid what can be a terrifying episode.

Certification is Easier Than Ever

You used to have to spend hours at in-person training sessions or pay for expensive certifications. But now, you can get CPR certification online and even study on your mobile phone at home or when you have spare moments during the day.

There are no textbooks or manuals to buy, no taking time off to attend classes, and your workplace might even pay for your training. The convenience of online certification makes it a no-sweat, no-hassle way to level up your skills and resume.

What better way to contribute to the well-being of yourself, your patients, and your workplace?

Having CPR certification lets you act with speed and confidence in a crisis. Think about it this way: if you or a loved one were having a cardiac event, what kind of person would you want to help?

Advancing Your Nursing Career Through Certifications

Advancing Your Nursing Career Through Certifications

When you earn a nursing degree — an ADN, BSN, MSN, or beyond — you signal to the world that youre a professional who values education and advancing your career. Consistently reaching for increased expertise is a goal for individuals working in almost any discipline, and nurses are no exception.advancing-your-nursing-career-through-certifications

Beyond your formal education, you have other opportunities to expand your knowledge, and certifications are one such avenue for demonstrating dedication to having the most up-to-date, evidence-based information possible in your area of nursing practice.

Why Get Certified?

If you havent yet pursued nursing certifications, now may be the time to consider the possibility. Certification can serve many purposes, each of which holds value for you and your career.

Validated commitment to mastery: Your potential capacity to grasp the subtleties of your chosen nursing specialty is limitless. Theres no end to how much you can learn by digging deeper and deeper into the nuances of a particular branch of nursing and the clinical judgment that comes with it. Many certification processes are no walk in the park, and if you want validation of being the best you can be, certification can accomplish that goal.

Enrich your marketability and earning potential: In the job market, you need every advantage to stand out from the crowd. Certification shows a potential employer that you’re serious about your career and have gone above and beyond. Being certified could be the thing that gets your resume noticed. You may also enjoy increased earning potential.

Augment your sense of pride and empowerment: Some nurses rest on their laurels, others keep learning, and your accomplishments say a lot about your ambition to be the best you can be. As you gain knowledge, skill, and expertise, you can be proud of who youve become, and having those extra letters after your name is something you earned by going the extra mile.

Other benefits of certification include the respect of your colleagues and the benefits experienced by patients in the care they receive.

Popular Certifications

Theres an enormous and growing list of certifications available to nurses. Remember that to sit for certification exams, youll need to have logged a certain amount of clinical experience in that specialty, so research is essential.

Here are a few popular certifications for your consideration:

Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) can be attained through the American Heart Association, the Red Cross, and several other organizations.

Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) is available through the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN). Two years of emergency experience is recommended but not required.

Critical Care (CCRN) from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) is geared towards those working as intensive care and critical care nurses. There are specific clinical hour requirements in direct critical patient care before sitting for the exam: 1,750 hours during the previous two years, with 875 of those hours in the most recent year, or 2,000 hours in the last five years, with 144 of those hours in the most recent year.

Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN) requires a minimum of 2,000 hours of adult oncology nursing practice (clinical, administration, education, research, or consultation) in the previous four years, two years of experience as an RN, and 10 hours of continuing education in oncology in the last three years.

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Certification (PMH-BC) offers specialized expertise and knowledge. Applicants must be an RN with at least two years of experience, 2,000 hours of psychiatric-mental health experience in the last three years, and 30 hours of specialized continuing education in the previous three years.

Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES) is a specialization that gives the successful applicant the tools to work with patients facing the challenges of life with diabetes. Applicants must have two years of RN experience, at least 1,000 hours providing diabetes care and education in the previous five years, with 20% of those hours in the most recent year.

At this point, its important to note that all areas of advanced nursing practice (family nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, adult-gerontological nurse practitioner) are considered specialty certifications, and NPs trained in one area of practice can take an exam and receive post-graduate certification in another advanced practice discipline at their discretion.

Its also prudent for nurses to note that newer nursing certifications are periodically introduced. Board Certified Nurse Coach: NC-BC and Board Certified Holistic Nurse: HN-BC are relatively recent additions.

The Certification Train

Since many certifications require significant experience in the designated specialty to sit for the exam, some employers will support and pay their nurses to become certified once they have sufficient experience. Certain employers may even make pursuing certification within a set period a part of your contract.

Of course, paying for your certification and recertification is a significant benefit, although paying for the process yourself wouldnt be the end of the world. Nothing stops you from getting the certification if you want to demonstrate your commitment and sharpen your expertise. Train yourself in the interest of your professional development and career.

The nursing certifications list is long, and you can decide what makes sense for you. The validation of your expertise that certification confers is real, as is the increased marketability. Certification is a powerful avenue to accomplishing that goal if you take pride in your nursing specialty and want to take your knowledge and skill as far as you can.

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Nursing Certification: Achieving Excellence and Professionalism

Nursing Certification: Achieving Excellence and Professionalism

In the world of nursing, certifications and their corresponding designations carry with them the concepts of excellence, professionalism, and focused dedication to career growth. Not all nurses pursue certification during their years of service in healthcare, but many hear the call and take inspired action to achieve such a goal.nursing-certification-achieving-excellence-and-professionalism

Making an effort to become certified in your nursing specialty is like doubling down on your skills and knowledge. Doing this takes discipline and forward-thinking, demonstrating that you care enough to show the world that nursing excellence and professional mastery matter.

Every year on March 19th, we celebrate National Certified Nurses Day to honor the nurses who take their careers to the next level by becoming certified. This celebration encourages us to take a moment to acknowledge the role that certification plays in strengthening the nursing profession while improving care and patient outcomes. Being certified is meaningful, and we make meaning by pausing for the cause of reflection and recognition of the nurses who choose this path.

Nursing Certification 101

According to the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN), the first nursing certification was issued in 1945 to recognize nurse anesthetists. Certification boards began to be created in the 1960s, and the number of available nursing certifications continues to grow to this day.

Many nurses choose to pursue certification of their own volition, while some employers may encourage or even require nurses in specific specialty areas to become certified. Having your employer pay for and support your certification goals can be a desirable benefit, especially if your certification process has a financial cost you’d rather not bear yourself.

The American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers various certification pathways, as do the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC), the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB), and numerous other nursing organizations and associations.

A 2021 Journal of Nursing Administration study states, “Nurse specialty certification is ’a mechanism for validation or formal recognition by documenting individual nurses’ knowledge, skills, and abilities specific to their specialty’. It is a form of individual credentialing above and beyond entry-level education and licensing. By pursuing specialty certification, nurses exhibit a commitment to professional growth and lifelong learning while establishing competency in a specialized area of care such as oncology or medical-surgical nursing. The intended outcome of certification in nursing is to improve safety, quality of care, and health outcomes for those using healthcare services.”

Popular certifications include:

No matter what certification you choose to pursue, rest assured that being certified is something to be proud of and to clearly and proudly document on your resume as a mark of nursing distinction and professional mastery.

Why Should You Consider Becoming a Certified Nurse

As mentioned above, certification is a demonstration of dedication to your area of specialty nursing practice. Being certified can serve many purposes and brings with it a variety of benefits, including:

  • Marketability: Being certified can make you a stronger candidate in the job market, especially if it sets you apart from non-certified applicants for the same positions.
  • Career mobility: Some employers may value nursing certifications very highly, with certified nurses more likely to advance on the organization’s clinical ladder or into positions of greater responsibility, including nursing leadership.
  • Respect and recognition: Certification can elicit in others a sense of respect for and recognition of your professionalism, expert knowledge, and skill.
  • Personal/professional pride: Certification may elicit pride in your expertise, mastery, and accomplishments as a dedicated nurse.

Certification is a feather in your nurse’s cap. It marks you as a nurse focused on career growth and expert skill and knowledge. By being certified, you benefit not only your career but also inspire others to follow in your footsteps and contribute to the improved quality of patient care, not to mention strengthen your employer’s organizational profile.

Certification Speaks Volumes

Having one or more nursing certifications speaks volumes about your professionalism and desire to develop yourself as a nurse of integrity and mastery. Being certified says a great deal about you, and your certifications can enhance your ability to advance your career in any direction you’d like to go.

Some nurses may sit on their laurels and do the bare minimum, while others may seize the day and take every opportunity to develop themselves professionally. Only you can decide if the path to certification is right for you based on your perception of the benefits of certification and the value of that process to your career.

In recognition of Certified Nurses Day, let’s acknowledge those nurses who’ve stepped up to the plate and taken on certification as a prospect worthy of their attention and hard work. And if you’re already certified, give yourself a pat on the back for going the extra mile and showing the world that you’re a nurse who wants to be the best you can be.

Improving Student Outcomes With Integrated Certification and Licensing Tools

Improving Student Outcomes With Integrated Certification and Licensing Tools

Higher education is evolving. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, distance education in master’s nursing programs has been steadily rising since 2015, offering improved access, flexibility, and student advancement. In fact, a recent survey reports that a primary target demographic for online programs is adults returning to school.

Distance education opens opportunities for non-traditional students to advance their careers under different circumstances. A recent report by Deloitte showed that 26% of higher education students hold full-time jobs while attending school, and 44% are 24 or older. A virtual learning experience is a good fit for professionals juggling work and home responsibilities along with their post-graduate education.

A roundup of data on higher learning noted that, among graduate students in the United States, 52% felt their online courses were a “better learning experience” than their onsite classes. The flexibility of online learning accommodates the schedules of busy professionals, while the constant technological evolution of distance learning provides a more customizable experience than traditional classroom learning.


Early distance education was similar to the one-dimensional lecture style of in-person learning. From the original mail-based correspondence courses and televised classes to the first fully online degree programs in 1989, the concept largely remained the same—you read, watched, or listened to an educator lecture.

This model may be familiar, but it’s an inflexible learning environment that is only optimal for some students, while others struggle to adapt their learning needs to fit. In recent years, this approach has begun to evolve, leveraging more innovations in technology.

The Harvard Business Review reports that colleges allocate only 5% of their budget to IT, but that is expected to quickly change. Global impact intelligence platform HolonIQ predicts that EdTech venture capital will nearly triple over the next decade.

As distance education shifts from simple remote learning to next-generation technologies and as non-traditional students become the new normal, it’s time to set aside the old one-dimensional learning tools and engage your graduate students in a learning experience that empowers them to reach their next-level goals.

Digital Test Prep Is the Next Step

The growing momentum in the digital learning environment has created new ways to reach different types of learners. Online learning has gone from static to interactive, using innovations such as virtual simulations, virtual and augmented reality, mobile devices, and cloud technology.


As education evolves with technology, educators are finding modern ways to adapt the one-size-fits-all lecture style to accommodate different learning needs.

Interactive exam preparation is the natural next step for today’s nursing and social work graduate students. One tool has everything you need to connect your faculty and students for a powerful learning experience. Using technology and analytics, ExamPrepConnect University Solutions creates a personalized interactive learning experience to prepare your students for the culmination of their post-graduate education—their certification and licensure exams.

Supercharge Your Recruitment

When you give faculty a customizable tool that improves student engagement, outcomes, and exam pass rates, you create a compelling recruitment narrative for prospective students. Your graduates’ successes say more to prospective students than a brochure ever could.

Empower Your Faculty

While other exam prep tools leave students to prepare on their own, ExamPrepConnect University Solutions brings your faculty into the process to provide students with support to achieve passing scores. Increase engagement and identify the unique needs of your students’ by assigning curricula backed by a powerful metric dashboard to prepare them to pass their certification or licensure exam.

ExamPrepConnect for Faculty:

  • Assess test performance.
  • Assign and tracking curricula.
  • Identify strengths/weaknesses.
  • Intervene based on data.
  • Tailor teaching to student needs.

Engage Your Students

Interactive content is designed to boost student performance through customizable study plans, optimized to support personal learning styles. Students can review content any time, on any device, that accommodates their preferred learning styles.

Whether they learn best through visual, auditory, reading/writing, or hands-on means, ExamPrepConnect University Solutions has the tools to support their learning process and ensure they’re certification or licensure ready.

ExamPrepConnect for students:

  • Interactive content review.
  • Q&A with rationales.
  • Simulated exams.
  • Discussion boards.
  • Flashcards.
  • Games.

Seeing Is Believing

Meet with an ExamPrepConnect expert for a demonstration of how ExamPrepConnect University Solutions prepares your students for high stakes exams, such as FNP, PMHNP, and AGNP certifications in nursing and ASWB, master’s, and bachelor’s licensure in social work. The demonstration is customized to your needs, just as ExamPrepConnect University Solutions is customized to your faculty and student needs. Click Request Demo to send a message to our demo team.

Learn more!


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Certification Advances Nursing Skills

Certification Advances Nursing Skills

Nurses looking to advance in their careers and in the quality of patient care they deliver can look to certification to provide both.

March 19 recognizes National Certified Nurses Day, and many nurses find certification provides an opportunity to gain focused, crucial knowledge and skills that make them better nurses.

Which nurses should attain certification? Any nurse who wants to gain additional training in a specialty should reach for becoming certified. Certification is available in dozens of specialties from cardiac to pediatric, and nurses aren’t restricted to only one certification. You can obtain certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner, a Certified Pediatric Nurse, a Certified Urologic Registered Nurse, a Cardiac Vascular nurse, and many others.

Why is there a day devoted to nurses who take this step? Certified nurses have shown a personal and professional commitment to their career and the nursing profession in general. They have chosen to achieve, and exceed, the highest non-degree level of expectation toward a specific area.

Should you become certified? If you’ve been in your role for a while and are ready to take on additional responsibilities, certification offers that opportunity. What if you’ve been thinking of taking a new path in nursing and switching into another area? Certification can help you by giving you opportunities to learn and gain expertise.

Certification generally requires a couple of years of nursing experience in the designated area before you can be qualified to take a certification exam. Nursing students can keep the goal in sight while they are gaining practical experience. That experience allows you to develop a solid foundation of clinical nursing practice, especially in the area of certification you want to earn.

When you’ve decided that becoming a nurse with certification is a good step for your career and for the level of care you provide to your patients, you’ll need to map out a preparation plan. You can begin by asking your colleagues who are certified what they did to prepare and any tips they might have to share. They can also be a steady source of encouragement through the process. Talk with your supervisor about your plans to take the certification exam, too.

Nurses who want to earn certification credentials generally start preparing for the exam months in advance. There are study guides available to help. And, despite the anxiety that taking a test like this can sometimes trigger, preparation will be a big help in your final score.

If you’ve already achieved advanced credentials in a specialty or a subspecialty, you’ve shown a dedication to your profession that is public, recognized, and respected. Generally, certification can help nurses who want to assume greater responsibility, greater leadership, and, often, a salary boost.

National Certified Nurses Day honors nurses who have met this additional, and rigorous, challenge. It also inspires nurses who haven’t achieved certification yet to take that next step—whether it is deciding to take the leap, applying for a certification exam, or beginning to study for the test.

To all certified nurses—your work is appreciated by patients and colleagues around the globe.