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Certified Nurses Day: March 19 Celebrates Nursing Certification of Registered Nurses

Washington Hospital’s certified nurses never stop learning, whether it’s in their hospital work or when they take demanding new classes. They are always learning more and improving the way they care for their patients.

On March 19, Washington Hospital will join other hospitals across the country to celebrate Certified Nurses Day, a national event to honor and recognize the important achievement of nursing specialty and subspecialty certification.

“Nursing knowledge advances so quickly,” noted Katie Choy, MSN, RN-BC, CNS, NEA-BC, the Hospital’s nursing director for education. “Many of our staff are pursuing specialty certification. They have a lifelong dedication to excellence in patient care.”

In nursing, there are practices and protocols to meet the exact needs and challenges of various medical specialties, such as cardiac care or surgery. The different certifications equip nurses to serve their patients better by following best practices that lead to better outcomes.

“Each certification a nurse earns demonstrates a commitment to their professional practice. These certifications validate knowledge and skills in acute and critical care,” added Choy.

Anu Tharoor, BSN, RN, CCRN, CNRN, an intensive care nurse who has been with Washington Hospital for 11 years, has certifications in Critical Care Nursing and Neuro Nursing.

“It’s about taking care of people when they may be at their worst and helping them recover. Our ultimate goal is to have good outcomes for all our patients,” she continued. “The knowledge I have gained through my certification courses gives me confidence to provide the best possible nursing care.”

Washington Hospital’s nursing units take a team approach, with nurses, doctors, therapists and others working together to offer advanced care.

“We never know what patients and conditions we will have on a specific day. For us, it’s not a job but something we look forward to doing every day,” said Tharoor. ”Sometimes, people come back to thank us, but out greatest reward is knowing we have given our patients the best possible care.”

“Being certified makes me feel better prepared,” noted Susara Martinez, BSN, RNC-OB, a labor and delivery nurse at the Hospital for the past 15 years.

Rules, regulations and protocols change over time. She credited the certification materials and interacting with other nurses helped Martinez and her team learn about and use new and evolving labor and delivery practices.

The continuous pursuit of nursing excellence is especially important at Washington Hospital, which is a designated Magnet hospital. This is the highest level of recognition a hospital can receive for the quality of its nursing care.

“In our unit, my nursing certification is appreciated and I’m able to help teach others,” Martinez continued. “The certification process helped empower me to plan and lead training sessions for our unit. In the last six months, we’ve taught six new nurses about various advanced labor and delivery procedures.”

She added, “As labor and delivery nurses, we’re welcoming a new person into the world. It’s an amazing experience and every delivery is different. With my new detailed knowledge, I can also do a better job of preparing the mother to participate throughout the delivery process.”

Dyna Agbanlog, BSN, RN-BC, a medical-surgical nurse for the last nine years, says, “This is my calling. The patients are often elderly and have multiple medical challenges. It requires us to take more time to interact with and reassure patients as we administer care.”

“I’ve gained a lot of useful information through certification,” she added. “On the unit, we put the patient at the center of our team, as we share and exchange information. Because I have more confidence, I can reassure my patient’s family that their loved one is benefitting from our staff’s experience and receiving the best possible care. I’m proud to be certified.”” she said.

Cindy Rogers, BSN, RN, CCRN, CPAN, a nurse at Washington Hospital for 22 years, is a member of the Post Anesthetic Care Unit (PACU), where patients come immediately after surgery.

About her certifications, Rogers reports, “The classes and bookwork required for certification are rigorous and demand a lot of time and effort,” said Rogers. “The Hospital is very supportive in helping us to be successful.”

Many of Washington Hospital’s dedicated nurses have embraced the opportunity to become certified. They know the path is often challenging, but it is also personally and professionally rewarding.