Certificate in Nursing

Nursing is an extremely rewarding and diverse branch of healthcare which focuses on providing medical care to patients, assisting doctors and performing a variety of managerial and administrative duties in hospitals and clinics. While nurses are mainly charged with looking after patients and ensuring their comfort, they also carry out various diagnostic tests, perform physiotherapy and take care of administrative tasks such as record keeping and medical billing. Due to their interaction with the public, they are also responsible for educating people on basic healthcare and hygiene principles.

Featured Programs

About the Degree

Numerous nursing degrees and certifications are offered on-campus and online by a number of colleges and special training institutes around the country. The basic requirement to enroll in such programs varies. A high school diploma or GED is usually enough to enroll in a certificate or undergraduate level nursing degree program.

The most common type of certification is the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) certification which can be completed in as little as a year. It includes basic courses in anatomy, physiology and various biological and behavioral sciences. A more advanced program would be Associate Degree in Nursing or Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which can help graduates become Registered Nurses (RNs). These programs may require completing an internship at a healthcare organization in order to help students develop a working knowledge of their field.

Nurse Certification

In a nurse certification program, a nongovernmental agency validates a nurse’s qualifications for practice, based on pre-determined standards. Typically nursing programs are affiliated with professional associations and trade organizations that are interested in raising standards and quality of the healthcare sector. Certifications are earned after a specified assessment process and are meant to be renewed regularly.

Registered nurses are not legally required to be certified. State licensure is sufficient to practice professional nursing, while certifications are deemed to be a voluntary concern which can be obtained through specific organizations. These organizations are created for the purpose of validating the presence of certain skills, knowledge, abilities and experience in subjects beyond the scope of a registered nurse license.

Eligibility Requirements

To apply for a certificate in nursing, you will need to meet certain eligibility criteria. This would vary from institute to institute, but on the whole it would require the following:

  • A master’s degree in nursing
  • Minimum GPA requirement (most likely around 3.0)
  • State nurse license
  • You should be able to show the ability to successfully complete the relevant academic clinical concerns of an advanced nursing program
  • You should have at least one year of full time nursing experience as a registered nurse, before applying for the program

Other requirements might include prior work experience with adults and older adults in critical care, etc. For details on application and admission requirements, check with the admissions office at the institute and get all the relevant information beforehand.

Difference between Acute Care and Critical Care Nursing

To completely understand the eligibility requirements and nature of past work experience, it is integral that you know what an acute care nurse is and what constitutes critical care nursing.

Patients who are considered critically ill at the highest level of complexity and instability are handled by critical care nurses. These are serious cases that cannot be treated without taking proper invasive therapeutic measures. These nurses are expected to be highly skilled and vigilant in their work, mainly due to the sensitive conditions of their patients.

On the other hand, acutely ill patients are those that are at a lesser risk and are in a relatively less complex situation. These patients are more stable, but they do have the potential to become unstable if proper care is not provided to them in a timely manner. Acute care nurses make detailed observations of their patients and intervene whenever required. A great deal of patience and vigilance is also required of these nurses.

Nursing Certificate Programs

Depending on specialty, preference and eligibility, nurses can apply to different programs within a nursing certification. Each of these would have their own relevant admission criteria and program specifications. Here are a few examples:

  • Certified Nurse Manager and Leader Certification: This certification allows the administrative staff in a medical setting to certify their knowledge in keeping with the demanding and complex leadership responsibilities.
  • Acute/Critical Care Cardiac Medicine Subspecialty Certification: This program is designed for nurses who already have a nationally accredited clinical nursing specialty certification. Clinical settings for these nurses may include CCU, Combined ICU, Medical ICU, Interventional Cardiology, and Cardiac Catheterization and so on.
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification: This is an entry level advanced practice certification designed to meet the specialized requirements of adult-gerontology patients. This includes young adults, older adults and frail old patients with complex or chronic health concerns.
  • Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist Certification: This is also an entry-level advanced practice certification designed for nurses who provide healthcare facilities to neonatal patients.
  • Acute/Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist Certification: As the name suggests, this certification is designed for nurses serving critically ill patients. Examinations and assessments may be different for nurses who care for pediatric, adult or neonatal patients.
  • Advanced Practice Nursing: Adult Acute Care: These nurses are equipped with medical knowledge required to care for adult patients.For this program, experience relevant to adult nursing would be required and critical care professionals might be given preference.
  • Advanced Practice Nursing: Pediatrics: As the name suggests, for this program, applicants should ideally have worked with kids in a medical facility for a certain amount of time (typically at least one year). They should have sufficient knowledge regarding the common and contemporary medical concerns experienced by children.

Benefits of a Certificate in Nursing

Nurses are able to validate their skills and knowledge through certifications. There are various benefits of going through this process. Patients, families, employers and nurses all benefit from the fact that the nurses are certified in their respective specialties.

  • Benefits for Patients and Families: A certification would provide patients’ families  with assurance that the person caring for them or their loved ones is knowledgeable and skilled. Being able to reassure patients and their families is an integral part of the healthcare industry.
  • Benefits for Employers: Continuous improvement and maintenance of skills creates an environment of professionalism and gives the medical facility a good retention rate. Certified medical staff is also a way for hospitals to differentiate themselves from competitors in the market and show the patients that the hospital has top of the line staff available for them.
  • Benefits for Nurses: By getting certified, nurses are able to add credibility and authentication to their skill set and can position themselves for due recognition.

Career Prospects

A nursing certificate opens up a number of opportunities in the areas of nursing education, hospital management and other fields of medicine. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates over two million new nursing careers will be created by 2020, giving this field one of the highest growth rates among all professions.

How long does it take to get a certificate in nursing?

After you have completed your degree in nursing, you will need to get certified before you can begin practicing. For this, you will need to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). You will first have to apply for the license through your state board of nursing and meet the eligibility criteria defined by your specific state. The certification process itself does not take long – the amount of time required to get certified will depend on the degree path you take before the certification process. For instance, an associate degree program would take two years, a bachelor’s degree would take four years and a master’s degree would take two years. Nurses may also become certified through professional associations, in areas such as gerontology, pediatrics or ambulatory care.

What are the requirements to get a certificate in nursing?

To get a certificate in nursing, you will first need to complete a degree in nursing. Once you are done with this, you will need to register yourself for the certification exam with your state board of nursing. Every state has its own eligibility criteria, so make sure you are well aware of your state’s individual requirements. Following this, you will need to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

How much can I make with a certificate in nursing?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are two major categories of nurses; “Registered Nurses” and “Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses.”

Registered Nurses

The Registered Nurses in the US will experience a 7% increase in employment opportunities from 2019 to 2029. RNs earned $77,460 as mean annual salary in the year 2019, with their annual median salaries being $73,300.

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses are expected to experience even better job growth than Registered Nurses between 2019 and 2029. LPNs and LVNs are projected to experience a 9% increase in job opportunities. Their annual mean salary across the US in 2019 was $48,500 and their yearly median income stood at $47,480.

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:Do I need to get a bachelors degree after the Certificate in Nursing?

A:Even though you may get assistant jobs upon completion of the Certificate in Nursing degree program, it is always better to have an undergraduate and then graduate degree to ensure maximum career progression.

Q:Name a few credentialing organizations that offer certifications for nurses?

A:Nursing certifications enhance a nursing career and increase the credibility of nursing degrees already obtained. Nursing certifications help boost a career and increase better job opportunities in the professional field of nursing. The top three credentialing organizations that are known for offering nursing certificates are: American Nurses Association, American Association of critical Care Nurses, and Professional Nursing Associations in Specialty Practice Areas.

Q:What areas do students study in critical care certification for nurses program?

A:Students enrolled in a certificate program for critical care nursing undergo a thorough study of various related topics. These include subjects such as: coronary care, neuroscience nursing, patient assessment, respiratory nursing, hemodynamic monitoring, critical care nursing, and nephrology nursing. After attaining a certificate in this area, students can avail nursing job opportunities in the critical care section of hospitals and clinics.

Q:What is the Certification Review for Perianesthesia Nursing?

A:The Certificate Review for Perianesthesia Nursing is a book by Jacqueline Ross, Barbara Putrycus, and the American Society of Perianesthesia Nursing (ASPAN). The book has three editions and is easily available online at various websites. It is one of the highly recommended books for nursing students.

Q:What topics are studied in programs for conscious sedation certification for nurses?

A:Conscious sedation certification for nurses is offered by a number of certification organizations. The curriculum of this program covers areas such as: culture of safety, standards, ASA classification, patient assessment, airway management, monitoring, pharmacology, adverse events, risk management, discharge and follow up, and process improvement. The certification program equips nurses with all the essential knowledge needed in this area of nursing.

Q:What diabetes certification for nurses is used in the United States?

A:Although there are some Diabetes Certification For Nurses in the United States, the most sought after qualification in this field is the Certificate in Diabetes Education. Specialized knowledge and education of the diabetes self-management is provided in this certification. Upon completion of this program you are designated a Certified Diabetes Educator.

Q:What is the chief dialysis certification for nurses and which body offers the accreditation for this degree?

A:The Certified Dialysis Nurse qualification is the premier Dialysis Certification For Nurses in the United States. This certification requires 2,000 hours of practical nursing work and is accredited by the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC).

Q:What exam is to be passed to achieve the Geriatric Certification for Nurses?

A:The Geriatric Certification For Nurses in United States is awarded upon successful completion of the exam conducted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Licensing, practical experience and educational hours are also mandatory.

Q:What areas are studied in infection control certification for nurses?

A:Infection control certification Programs are designed to provide nurses with comprehensive knowledge in this field. On completion of this program, nurses can practice nursing in this area. Topics studied in the certificate program include: basic microbiology, disease transmission process, infection control program, emerging and re-emerging infections, healthcare associated infections, principles of epidemiology, control principles and practices, basic statistics in infection control, and infection control standards.

Q:Which organizations offer professional IV certification for nurses?

A:Nurses can earn professional IV certificates from various organizations. Following are the names of two organizations: The National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses (NFLPN), The Infusion Nurses Society’s Certification Corporation. These organizations offer IV therapy programs and certificates that are highly credible in the professional field. Students must complete the required coursework and clinical hours which make them eligible for the certification exam. Upon clearing the exam, students can practice IV nursing professionally.

Q:What is national certification for nurses?

A:Students who complete nursing programs such as RN or LPN degree programs are eligible to appear in the NCLEX-RN/LPN examinations. These licensing exams are designed to test the nursing knowledge of the student and assess their competency. On clearing these exams, students can practice nursing professionally. These exams are conducted by the state board of nursing. It is the basic nursing certification that every nurse must acquire to enter the field.

Q:What is the purpose of oncology certification for nurses?

A:Oncology certification for nurses recognizes specialized knowledge in the field of oncology. On completion of an oncology certification program, nurses attain complete knowledge of how to treat patients diagnosed with cancer. They acquire skills and knowledge that is needed in the field of nursing and cancer diagnosis. Nurses become certified to practice nursing in this field. Oncology departments and organizations prefer hiring oncology certified nurses.

Q:What course are included in the curriculum of pain management certification for nurses?

A:Students enrolled in pain management certification programs study a variety of topics relevant to pain management. Following are a few areas studied throughout the program: pain management issues, pathophyisology, assessment of pain, pharmacokinetics, pain management guidelines, pharmacology of pain management, alternative and invasive interventions, policy statements, and pain management standards. Typically a pain management certificate program is around six weeks long and comprises of theoretical study and practical clinical hours. Students must clear the exams at the end of the program to become certified as pain management nurses.

Q:Name a few organizations that offer PICC line certification for nurses?

A:There are many public and private organizations that offer certifications in the field of PICC. Students can become PICC certified by completing the certificate program and gaining advanced knowledge in this field. Following are a few recognized organizations offering this certificate program: Infusion Nurses Society (INS), Association of Vascular Access (AVA), Center for Disease Control (CDC), and The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI).

Q:Stroke certification for nurses should be renewed after how many months/years?

A:At the moment there are no set standards for renewal of stroke certificates. The renewal period varies from hospital to hospital as each institution has their own set guidelines for stroke nurses. They provide stroke training and stroke certification as a part of their own protocol. However, according the National Stroke Association, it is recommended that nurses renew their stroke license every 1 year.

Q:What is the program objective of Telemetry Certification For Nurses?

A:Nurses can specialize in telemetry by completing a telemetry certification courses. The programs objective is to teach nurses and train them on handling monitoring equipment. Nurses are taught how to operate medical equipment that is used to monitor patient’s vital signs. They also become skilled at diagnosing and assessing the patient’s medical condition by analyzing monitoring machines. The services of a telemetry nurses are required mainly in critical care departments in medical institutions.

Q:Which three organizations offer Wound Care Certification For Nurses?

A:Nurses who wish to specialize in wound care must complete a wound care certification course. The organizations that certify wound care nurses are: The Wound, Ostonomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB), The National Alliance of Wound Care (NAWC), and the American Academy of Wound Management (AAWM). Students must acquire proper nursing qualifications before they are eligible for wound care certification.

Q:What is the program objective of AACN Certification?

A:AACN Certification recognizes a nurse’s expertise in an advanced area of knowledge. The certification program equips nurses with the technical knowledge needed to treat critically ill patients. Nurses become equipped with skills and information regarding practices required in critical care units. The exam certifies a nurse as professionally capable and competent to work in the critical care nursing field. This certification is recognized all over the nation and must be renewed on a regular basis.

Q:What is AACN nursing?

A:AACN stands for American Association of Critical Care Nursing. This association provides certifications for people who wish to be trained as critical care nurses. While a large number of schools and universities offer this type of certification, the examination and certification is done by the AACN itself. An AACN Nursing certification is a good way to make a start in the healthcare industry.

Q:What does an ANCC certification entail?

A:A certification from the American Nursing Accreditation Center can get you started towards a career in the healthcare industry. This entry-level certification allows you to learn the basics of nursing and will let you work at entry level jobs with a number of hospitals and private health facilities. You will learn about basic nursing duties such as performing routine medical procedures, drawing blood, dressing wounds and assisting the doctors.

Q:What are the renowned accreditations for the ANCC continuing education programs in the United States?

A:In the United States, all of the renowned ANCC Continuing Education programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

Q:What can I do after becoming a certified pediatric nurse?

A:Once you receive certification from the relevant nursing boards, you can start working straight away as a Certified Pediatric Nurse. This job will have you working closely with children who require medical assistance. You can find work in pediatric wards of hospitals and private health facilities while you can also get a job in schools and day care centers.

Q:Can you please provide the complete nursing certifications list ?

A:The most sought after Nursing Certifications List in the United States include Family NP, Adult NP, Pediatric NP, Geriatric NP, Neonatal NP, Women's Health Care NP, Acute Care NPs, Certified Nurse Midwives, Occupational Health NP and Certified Registered Nurse Anaesthetists courses.

Q:How can I become a certified nurse practitioner?

A:To become a certified nursing practitioner, you will require to pass the licensing examination conducted by your state's nursing board. In order to prepare for this exams, you can attend a number of short courses including certifications and diploma courses. These courses can take as less as six months and will provide you with the requisite knowledge and practical training.

Q:What will I learn during my pediatric nurse certification?

A:A Pediatric Nurse Certification is based on teaching learners about how to medically take care of children. The course covers all aspects of healthcare that need to be learned in order to make sure that a person can care for a child. The course will teach you how to perform routine medical procedures on children as well as giving you an insight into child psychology.

Q:What is the duration of the basic nursing certification programs?

A:Basic Nursing certification programs include the LPN and RN programs. The LPN program requires students to complete the certificate within a year if pursued in the traditional school system and the RN certification involves two steps. It can be gained upon completion of the Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Both qualify students to be 'Registered Nurses'.

Q:What are the contents of the Wellness and Fitness Nutrition course in the Stroke Nursing certifications?

A:The Stroke Nursing certifications in the United States have a dedicated course on Wellness and Fitness Nutrition. This 3 credits worth course offers definition of wellness and makes the students understand what are the basic nutrients of a good health, so that they can assist the patients. Other topics included in the course are dietary recommendations, dispelling of the nutritional myths and recognition of quackery in nutrition.

Q:While searching for stroke nursing certification, I came across National Stroke Certification. Please explain what that is?

A:The National Stroke Certification is a certification issued by the Joint Commission Certification and American Heart Association. Medical facilities are issued this certification once the standards and requirements set by these bodies are met. The main purpose of a National Stroke Certification is to make sure that medical personnel of the facility are trained to deal with a stroke patient to avoid any further damage. Once the facility has met all the requirements of the certification, it is labeled as a stroke center.

Q:Can you name some online Nursing Certificate programs offered by online universities?

A:Some of the Nursing Certificate programs being offered online currently include Graduate Certificate in Nursing Education, Legal Nurse Consulting Certificate, Clinical Nurse Specialist Post Master's Certificate Program and Graduate Certificate in Nursing Administration. Some of the institutes offering these programs are Post University, UMassOnline and Lewis University.

Q:What is taught in the Electronic Medical Record Systems course of the Critical Care Nursing Certificates online?

A:The Critical Care Nursing Certificates online degree programs have dedicated course on Electronic Medical Record Systems (EMR). You will get to study the ways in which paper based charts have been replaced by EMR and also how the computerized method of optical scanning and the systems of storage have replaced the system of microfiche and microfilm.

Q:My search for certificate nurse got me thinking about the employment outlook. What are the job prospects for this profession?

A:A certified nurse has a favorable future in this industry. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) predicts this industry to grow by more than 20% over the next decade. Nurses in this field can expect to find themselves employed in hospitals, private care facilities, trauma centers and care homes. Students interested in acquiring an education in this field are advised to search our website for a list of institutions offering this certification.

Q:My search for infection certificate and nursing mentioned CBIC. What is the purpose of this organization?

A:CBIC would be mentioned when searching for infection certificate and nursing. CBIC stands for the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology. This board is responsible for administering certification process for both infection control and applied epidemiology professionals. CBIC is independent and is not associated with any organization or certification board. It is accredited by the National Commission on Certifying Agencies.

Q:What are the contents of the course on Medical Record Analysis in the stroke certification nurse degree programs?

A:The stroke certification Nurse degree programs in United States have dedicated course on Medical Record Analysis. This course is worth 3 credits in total. It is structured to provide students with ample understanding of the methods of compiling consultation reports and the summaries of discharge. Students are also highlighted on the ancillary and nursing services records.

Q:While I went through the nurse certification list, there was mention of the course on Health Insurance Carriers. What are the contents of this course?

A:It is common to get to see the mention of the course on Health Insurance Carriers while going through the Nurse Certification list. This course is worth 3 credits in total. It is designed to provide students with ample understanding of the major programs of medical insurance. Students are also highlighted on the ways in which claims are to be taken care of.

Q:Is there sponsorship for students who are to study certificate in nursing not diploma/degree in Uganda?

A:Excite education website specifically caters to students in the United States. It can be used as an informative portal for educational institutions, courses and college financial solutions. As far as information on sponsorship for students who are to study certificate in nursing not diploma/degree in Uganda is concerned, we will not be able to advise you on that. For more information about international sponsorship, students can visit the Department of Education website.

Q:My search for is there any scholarship for certificate in enrolled comprehensive nursing for Ugandan students mentioned a course in measurement and evaluation in nursing education. What is included in this course?

A:Course on measurement and evaluation in nursing education would be mentioned when searching for if there any scholarship for certificate in enrolled comprehensive nursing for Ugandan students. This course is worth 3 credit hours and deals with learning aspects and systematic test construction. Students with the help of this course also learn about test statistics and basic testing formats. With the health care industry expanding all over the United States, students interested in this course have a bright future ahead of them.

Q:What are the contents of the course on Introduction to the Psychology in the top nurse certificate degree programs?

A:The Top Nurse Certificate Degree programs have dedicated course on Introduction to Psychology. This course is usually worth 2 credits in total. It is designed to provide students with ample understanding of the surveys of the different fields of psychology. Students are further on also provided with ample understanding of the course with the help of hands on experience.

Q:When searching for information on Nursing Certificate, I came across Nursing Administration Certificates-what is that about?

A:Nursing administration is a specialized field of nursing where regular nurses learn skills necessary for managing and leading the medical staff under them. This field of professionals are vital for the smooth and successful running of any health facility. Any nursing professional looking for advancement in their careers should opt for a certificate in nursing administration.

Q:Is a Certification In Nursing a great way to enhance my career prospects?

A:A certificate in nursing is a great way to improve your job prospects. Many employers are now hiring individuals who have earned extra credentials and training. Not only will you boost your career with certificate programs, but will also enhance your knowledge and skill set. This can be very beneficial for your job.

Q:What kind of nursing certification programs are available?

A:There are different types of nursing certification programs available starting from basic level certifications to advanced ones. The duration of these certifications vary depending on the course. You can seek LPN certification and RN certification from nursing colleges and institutes that are accredited. Some nursing certifications come along with practical experience in the field.

Q:An online graduate certificate in nursing will cover what kind of topics?

A:An online certificate program in nursing is a short course that is aimed at equipping students with in-depth information about the field. The program curriculum entails a number of subjects such as physiology, anatomy, biosciences, and more. Students can also pursue various nursing specialties such as neonatal nursing, geriatrics, and gerontology.

Q:Can you tell me about the graduate certificate in nursing education online?

A:The graduate certificate in nursing education is designed to address the shortage of nursing faculty and also to enhance the skills of practicing nurses so that they can be instructors or facilitators of staff development. Graduates from these programs are trained to become educational leaders in academic and practice settings.

Q:How to get nursing certificates in a short time period?

A:Nursing certificates are short courses that are being offered by many renowned nursing schools. These are short courses that certify a student in a particular field or occupation. Some certificate programs can be completed in 6 months, while other may take 8. The duration will vary slightly from institute to institute.

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