8600 Old Georgetown Road | Bethesda, MD 20814
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New Directions

Issue: Summer

Suburban Celebrates Its Certified Nurses

Members of the Professional Development Council pose next to the photo wall exhibit, one of the many tactics they developed to promote nursing certification at Suburban Hospital.
Suburban Hospital recently unveiled a photo wall exhibit that pays tribute to its 160 certified nurses. Suburban’s percentage of nationally certified bedside nurses is 22 percent and growing. Comparatively, the state of Maryland’s national nurse certification rate is 18 percent.

To become certified, nurses must spend a designated number of clinical hours in the specialty for which they are seeking certification, as defined by national nursing organizations, and then pass an initial exam. Many nurses at Suburban Hospital achieve certification while on the job through the hospital’s tuition reimbursement program.

Suburban Hospital recently received honorable mention from the American Board of Nursing Specialties in the category of Nursing Certification Advocacy. “Nurses worldwide contribute to better patient outcomes through national certification in their specialty,” says Chief Nursing Officer Barbara Jacobs, MSN, RN-BC, CCRN, CENP. “Since 2009, the number of certified nurses at Suburban Hospital has grown every year.”

Certification is not a one-time accomplishment. Every certified nurse must complete many hours of continuing education to maintain certification. According to Jacobs, certification affirms advanced knowledge, skill and practice to meet the challenges of modern nursing. “Certification enables nurses to demonstrate their specialty expertise and validate their knowledge to employers and, most importantly, to patients.”

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