The Public’s Perspective – April 2015

A quarterly column written by ABPANC’s Public Board Member about the opportunities to educate the public on the value of nursing certification.

Be Proud of Your Certification! | April 2015

The dedication and commitment you have made personally and professionally is commendable. Your patients and their families should know this when they meet you. Introduce yourself as being CPAN® and/or CAPA® certified. Besides letting them know you are experienced and committed to life-long learning, it can also make them feel more at ease knowing that you have validated the knowledge needed to provide them quality nursing care through a rigorous certification process.

How should you introduce yourself as a CPAN and/or CAPA? How about this – “I’m board-certified in the type of nursing you require today.” Many people understand the phrase “board-certified” since it also applies to professionals such as Certified Public Accountants, physicians and dentists. ABPANC has identified many strategies for conveying your certification to patients and families – visit the ABPANC website at

In the HR field, we have certification options available to us just as you do with CPAN® and CAPA®. These also require financial investments and personal and professional commitments to study, take (and pass) the initial certification exam, and then continue to meet recertification requirements to recertify every three years.

A year ago, I decided it was time for me to get my Society of Human Resources (SHRM) Senior Professional in Human Resource (SPHR) certification. This was the most intensive, time consuming, and stressful professional and personal investment I have ever experienced. On the day of the exam, and I assume like many of you, I was nervous and anxious. When I started the exam, the moment of truth was upon me to pass the exam and receive my certification. I was fortunate to have passed the exam and the sense of pride and accomplishment was absolutely phenomenal. Since then, I have realized a heightened respect from my peers with my certification, and due to the awareness I brought back to my work environment, more members of the HR team have gotten or are getting their professional HR certifications. I did think about what if I didn’t pass and told myself that would be okay. I’ve still learned a lot in the study process and I would try it again!

As CPAN and CAPA certified nurses, you are helping to raise the bar in healthcare and the nursing profession. Be proud of what you have accomplished and don’t pass up the opportunity to let your fellow peers, doctors, and more importantly, your patients and their families know you have your certification. To me, your choice to become certified shows that you care about your careers, your profession, and your patients. From a patient and family member perspective, this is quite comforting.

From the ABPANC Public Member perspective, I want to commend you, congratulate you, and extend my sincere appreciation for a job well done in achieving and maintaining your certification. This demonstrates that you have made a commitment to your profession and also in making a difference every day, at every interaction, and with every patient and peer. It does make a difference! So be proud of what you have accomplished, and let your colleagues, patients and their families know of your certification and what this means to you and to them.

CPAN® and CAPA® Certification: Nursing Passion in Action!®

Stuart Smith, BS, SPHR

See the Public Awareness Campaign, “Certified Nurses are Everywhere,” sponsored by ABPANC and other professional nursing organizations.

Previous Public Perspective Columns