Nurses are raising the bar

Jolene Kittle is one of Upstate’s most-certified nurses. She is the trauma program manager and holds six certifications: as a flight registered nurse, adult gerontology clinical nurse specialist, trauma registered nurse, adult critical care nurse, emergency nurse and nurse executive. (photo by Robert Mescavage)

Jolene Kittle is one of Upstate’s most-certified nurses. She is the trauma program manager and holds six certifications: as a flight registered nurse, adult gerontology clinical nurse specialist, trauma registered nurse, adult critical care nurse, emergency nurse and nurse executive. (photo by Robert Mescavage)

More than 570 of the nurses working at Upstate University Hospital hold specialty certifications, awarded for acquiring additional skills, knowledge and expertise in a special area. Many hold multiple certifications.

Experts say certified nurses raise the standard of practice in the profession and ultimately improve patient safety and care.

“Nursing is a very dynamic profession with new information and techniques being disseminated every day. Certification is a way to validate specialty knowledge and remain current while constantly enhancing skills and knowledge base,” says Upstate chief nursing officer Nancy Page, who holds the advanced nurse executive specialty certification.

To earn a certification, nurses must meet various eligibility requirements that include experience in the specialty, a specific number of continuing education hours in the specialty and participation in a rigorous program of study before taking an exam required for each specialty.

Upstate nurses, by the numbers

Of 95 nursing specialties, these 10 certifications are held by the highest number of Upstate nurses:

90 — CMSRN, certified medical-surgical register nurse

89 — CCRN, acute- or critical-care registered nurse, including adult and pediatric

53 — CPN, certified pediatric nurse

40 — SCRN, stroke-certified registered nurse

34 — OCN, oncology-certified nurse

26 — NP-C, certified family nurse practitioner (by American Academy of Nurse Practitioners)

21 — FNP-BC, board certified family nurse practitioner (by American Nurses Credentialing Center)

20 — CNOR, certified nurse, operating room

18 — CEN, certified emergency nurse

15 — ONC, orthopedic nurse certified

Upstate Health magazine summer 2019 issue coverThis article appears in the summer 2019 issue of Upstate Health magazine.

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