Certified Nurses Day: Why Become Certified?

By Sarah Schroyer, MSN, RN, CHPN, NE-BC, CNE
Faculty, College of Nursing

Nurses sitting together on a bench

Every March 19, nurses worldwide who earn and maintain the highest credentials in their chosen specialty are honored. Certified Nurses’ Day was created in 2008 by a collaboration between the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Nurses Association (ANA). Nursing, as health care in general, has become increasingly complex. Certified Nurses play an important role in assuring high standards of care for patients and many health care facilities encourage their nurses toward certification. The certification process is voluntary and requires extensive education and knowledge in the specialty area. Becoming certified also requires a personal commitment on the part of the nurse.

How does a nurse obtain a certification? The ANCC is one of the largest credentialing centers for nurses. They offer certification in specialties such as nursing informatics, medical-surgical, pain management, nurse executive and national healthcare disaster. Certifications may also be related to specific nursing organizations. For example, a nurse can obtain a Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse designation through the Hospice and Palliative Nursing Association (HPNA) and Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center (HPCC). The HPCC’s Why Certification? site provides excellent reasons adaptable to all specialties on why nurses should consider certification:

  • A comprehensive review of the current body of knowledge for which the hospice and palliative professional is accountable
  • Participation with and learning from other colleagues in review courses or study groups
  • Sharpening of skills and knowledge in areas not utilized daily
  • Recommitment to excellence and expertise in the area of practice
  • Increased competence and confidence in practice
  • Recognition by peers and others in the field through credentialing and ongoing use of the title
  • Future employment possibilities as certification become the expectation of employers of hospice and palliative care professionals

As a nurse who is currently certified in three specialty areas, I do not look forward to Certified Nurses’ Day each year in hopes of praise over what I have accomplished. Instead, I see March 19 as a day to promote the importance of becoming certified to my fellow nurses. We need to support and encourage each other through this often daunting process. If you are certified, reach out to your peers and offer to help them prepare for the test. If you are not certified, check with your organization. Some organizations will help with the cost of certification. To promote Certified Nurses’ Day, the ANA is offering 25 percent off certification exams purchased through March 31 (of course there are additional requirements) (ANA, 2019).

If you’re ready to advance your career and develop in-demand skills, then consider completing the RN to BSN online program from Grand Canyon University. You can discover more about this degree by clicking the Request More Information button on this page or visiting the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions website.


American Nurses Association (ANA). (2019). Home page. Retrieved from https://www.nursingworld.org/ana/

Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center. (nd). Why Certification? Retrieved from https://advancingexpertcare.org/why-certification

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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