Congratulations! You’ve worked hard to earn your CPAN® or CAPA® credentials. You’ve proven to yourself that you have what it takes to excel, to go beyond the expected. Now it’s time to communicate your expertise, commitment, and accomplishment to others, including colleagues, managers, physicians, and, most importantly, to your patients and their families.
Here are several easy-to-implement strategies for educating the wider community about the meaning and value of your certification — to you and to them:
- Have your credentials printed on your name badge.
- Wear your certification pin.
- Use your credentials when charting.
- Display your CPAN or CAPA wall certificate in a prominent place.
- Encourage your unit to purchase a wall plaque from ABPANC that can be hung in the patient waiting room and inscribed with the names of all certified nurses.
- Print business cards with your credentials – and use them.
- Introduce yourself to patients and their families as both a Registered Nurse and as a nurse certified in the specialty of perianesthesia nursing.
- You can say, “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.
- If the management at your facility is not familiar with CPAN and CAPA certification, contact ABPANC to request a letter detailing the rigorous requirements for certification as well as its equivalency with other national certification programs for nursing specialties. Share this letter with management for information or to support your request for a salary differential.
- Write a short article for your hospital newsletter announcing that you have earned certification.
- Write a press release about your accomplishment and send it to your local newspaper. Sample news releases with appropriate language describing CPAN and CAPA certification are available from ABPANC.
- Give an inservice in your unit to raise awareness of the knowledge and experience needed to provide the highest quality care.
- Make a special presentation about certification during PeriAnesthesia Nurse Awareness Week (PANAW).
- Offer to help your colleagues study for the CPAN and CAPA certification examinations
Suggested Sound Bites
How often has a patient or colleague asked, “What does certification mean?” And how often have you wished you had just the right phrase to respond?
- “Professional recognition of expertise in my specialty.”
- “Recognition of my commitment to lifelong learning and quality care.”
- “I’ve met nationally recognized standards for providing excellence in care.”
- “I’ve taken an extra step to demonstrate my commitment to providing the best possible care.”
- “I’ve met the highest national standards for perianesthesia care.”
- “Thanks for asking. It means I’ve invested extra time and effort to demonstrate my expertise in my field.”
- “CPAN and CAPA are nationally accredited and recognized credentials that validate my specialized knowledge as a Perianesthesia nurse.”
If you have any strategies for gaining recognition that you have found particularly effective, or have any favorite answers for this question, please e-mail them to us so we can share them with your certified peers across the country. Thank you!
Click here to access the ABNS position statement regarding the Value of Specialty Nursing Certification. Download a copy of this excellent statement and share it with your employers, managers and colleagues.
Click here to download free posters:
— Certified Nurses Day