January 9, 2020

Study supports value of nurses with specialty certifications

Editor's Note

In this study, specialty certification was associated with greater professional identity in ICU nurses and higher perceptions of knowledge of and value in evidence-based practices, whereas education level was not.

Of 268 respondents from six hospitals and 12 adult ICUs in an integrated health system, 71% had a bachelor of science degree or higher, and 26% had critical care certification.

Compared with noncertified nurses, certified nurses reported:

  • greater knowledge of spontaneous breathing trials (4.6 vs 4.4 on a 5-point scale) and long-protective ventilation (4.2 vs 3.9)
  • significantly higher self-efficacy (4.5 vs 4.3) and role clarity (4.4 vs 4.2)
  • greater perceived value in specific practices (daily interruption of sedation [odds ratio 2.5] and lung-protective ventilation [odds ratio 1.9]).

Education level was not linked with greater knowledge of or perceived value in evidence-based practices.

Supporting specialty certification in nurses is a good way to help with the adoption of evidence-based practices as a means to improve quality of care and should be evaluated further, the researchers say.

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