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Celebrating National Certified Nurses Day

Celebrating National Certified Nurses Day

National Certified Nurses Day is celebrated every March 19 to publicly acknowledge and honor nurses who earn and maintain the highest credentials in their specialty field. These dedicated nurses specialize in a clinical area by passing certification exams and keeping current on the newest protocols and technologies within their area of focus. Washington Hospital Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer Terri Hunter, DNP, MPA, RN, NEA-BC, CENP, weighed in on the important role of certified nurses on the Washington Hospital health care team.

“Certification is a testimony of a nurse’s expertise, dedication and excellence in patient care in a particular specialty. At Washington Hospital, we encourage and support nurses to pursue specialty certifications so they can confidently provide the highest quality of care, which leads to better clinical outcomes for our patients.”

There are nearly 200 nursing certifications across the many clinical areas including emergency medicine, oncology, critical care, diabetes, medical-surgical, maternal child health, stroke, pediatrics, and neuroscience, to name a few. When a nurse becomes certified, they earn a credential added to their title, such as CWS for Certified Wound Specialist, TCRN for Trauma Certified Registered Nurse, and CV-BC for Cardiac Vascular Nursing Certification.

As of December 2023, 21.62% of Washington Hospital Healthcare System (WHHS) nurses who provide care directly to patients hold at least one specialty certification, and some maintain several certifications. This percentage greatly exceeds the benchmark set by other national hospitals.

Washington Hospital has maintained Magnet designation since 2011. Achieving Magnet status is the highest level of honor awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and is recognized internationally as the gold standard of nursing excellence. As part of its Magnet status, WHHS champions its nurses to achieve higher levels of education and specialty certifications. This is implemented through exam reimbursement, on-site study sessions, and flexible scheduling for continuing education. Wall plaques hang throughout the Hospital recognizing nurses who have achieved the highest standard of patient care in their specialty area through professional certification.

Because of its accomplished nurses who uphold a culture of safety, WHHS is highly effective in preventing hospital-acquired infections related to devices such as urinary and central line catheters. Every year, the Hospital reports excellent results on its percentage of central line-associated bloodstream infections and catheter-associated urinary tract infections. Outcomes generally exceed those of national benchmarks set by other hospitals around the country.

“As a Magnet Hospital with a highly educated, specialty- and board-certified team of nurses, we are able to provide an extremely high level of quality nursing care across the entire Healthcare System,” said Hunter. “In addition to striving to the highest standards within their area of expertise, our diverse and professional nursing force is also known for delivering care with compassion and understanding to our patients and their family members. Today, and every day, we thank them for their outstanding commitment to their profession and to serving this community.”

To read more about innovative efforts and detailed clinical results achieved by the nurses of Washington Hospital Healthcare System, see the Nursing section of the latest HealthSigns: Annual Report Edition available online at, starting Monday, March 25.