In honor of Certified Nurses Day on March 19, we asked Brigham nurses how certification has enriched their practice and enhanced the care they provide to patients and their loved ones. Here are their responses.
Oluwabusayo Akinade, MSN, RN, CNL
Medical Intensive Care Unit
“Obtaining my Clinical Nurse Leader certification has helped me grow professionally and enrich my practice because it increased my knowledge of evidence-based practices and competence level as a clinician and a leader. It also increased my confidence in effectively communicating and collaborating with other health care providers while caring for patients.
As nurses, we should embrace opportunities to improve our practice through learning and engaging in professional development to maximize our contributions to the larger health care system. Obtaining certification is beneficial to nurses and, most importantly, the patients we care for.”
Beth Baldwin, MSN, MHA, RN-BC
Program Director, Nursing Informatics
“Being the best nurse I can be is very important to me. Getting my certification demonstrates my dedication to my practice and my commitment to lifelong learning. On our journey to our first Magnet designation, I learned so much about the value certification brings to professional nursing practice. I made the decision to get certified and am so glad I did. In February of 2021, I became certified in Informatics Nursing.
When I reached out to the Department of Nursing Credentialing team in the Center for Nursing Excellence, they helped by providing all the information I needed to register for my exam. I was able to get a voucher for the exam, which was great. They were genuinely excited for me to sit for the exam. They provided encouragement and support throughout the process. It made it such a great experience.”
Thomas Borland, MSN, RN, ACCNS-AG-BC, CCRN
Clinical Nurse Educator, Critical Care
“Being a certified nurse has had a profound effect on myself and my nursing practice. It has opened the door to many learning opportunities and growth in my professional nursing career. Certification legitimizes what we as nurses do at an advanced level. It provides nurses with the confidence, skill sets and desire to learn the latest in evidence-based practice and then apply that knowledge proficiently to our area of expertise, ultimately affecting patient outcomes in a positive manner.
I obtained my CCRN and board certification as a Clinical Nurse Specialist for three reasons: the patient, the system and the nurse. My primary goal as a nurse is to see improvement in patient care and patient outcomes. In becoming certified, I feel I have developed the confidence and experience to influence change at the bedside by continually improving my practice through education and being a lifelong learner. With this as a guide, viewing the system through this new lens provides the opportunities to participate in systemic changes that positively influence patient care. Nursing education is a passion of mine. As a board-certified CNS, I feel I have earned the respect of my colleagues, allowing me to participate in ‘at the elbow’ educational support of staff nurses on a daily basis.”
Maureen Conley-Rogazzo, BSN, BA, OCN
Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant, Braunwald Tower 7A
“Acquiring my certification in Oncology Nursing has always been a personal and professional goal of mine. Oncology nursing is always evolving, and obtaining this certification has helped to enhance my clinical practice. I have gained a better understanding of the current treatment modalities. I have also been able to reinforce knowledge and skills from this certification to experiences in my practice.
I pride myself on my commitment to patient care. Nursing is ever-changing, and obtaining your certification shows your commitment to best practices, professional development and ongoing learning.”
Deb Furlong MS, RN-BC
Nursing Program Director, Informatics
“The ANCC Nursing Informatics (NI) Certification validates my 40 years of experience in the field of Informatics. Although I began my career in this field before there was a nursing informatics specialty and very few electronic health records for documentation, my focus was always on nursing and advocating for the nurse at the bedside. The NI certification validates my extensive experience in the field and confers the appropriate credential to identify my commitment to the nursing profession.
The Department of Nursing pre-paid for the certification exam and provided financial support for continuing education to maintain certification.”
Courtney Gilmore, BSN, RN, OCN
Medical Oncology, Connors Center 7
“I care about the quality of care I deliver to my patients and, since I haven’t been an oncology nurse for my whole career, I wanted to take this opportunity to further my knowledge within oncology specifically. I feel more confident and know that the care I am delivering daily is based on the latest evidence and practice, which means that I deliver the highest quality of care to my patients and their families.
The Department of Nursing was helpful by providing me with the information and steps I needed to take in order to apply to take the exam. I received information on the books I needed in order to succeed. The department paid for the exam up front and will now give me an annual $500 bonus, which will help me to maintain certification. The department also provided conferences and classes to help me obtain the necessary CEUs.”
Rosemary McKitrick, BA, RN, Med, IBCLC, HNBC
Lactation Support Services
“To me, being a certified nurse means I am able to provide the highest quality of care to my patients since I am practicing with a standard of evidenced-based care. I became certified in lactation as well as holistic nursing because I feel passionate about both areas. I wanted to attain all the knowledge I could to become a qualified practitioner.
The Brigham supported me by providing the conference time to obtain and maintain certification and a yearly bonus for certification.”
Learn more about how the Center for Nursing Excellence can support you in obtaining a specialty certification. (This internal link is available to Brigham employees only.)