CCI's TrueNorth Award was created to recognize those organizations that use CNOR certification to guide their perioperative nursing staff to be lifelong learners, models of competent practice, and advocates for excellence and patient safety. Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children exemplifies this, and we are pleased to announce they are the winner of the 2019 TrueNorth Award. Their commitment to perioperative certification has shown through in numerous ways.
Perioperative nurses employed by Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children can expect to work in a supportive environment that is very enthusiastic about professional growth, particularly certification. Relying on the Magnet Recognition Model since 2013, this facility focuses on improving the quality of care for patients by increasing the knowledge of the hospital staff. Directly impacting this effort has been the increase in certification rates amongst hospital staff, including the perioperative nurses. Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children enrolled in CCI's Take 2 Program to encourage nurses to register for the exam while relieving pressure if they did not pass on their first attempt. The facility saw the anxiety of the test takers diminish drastically. Similar to CCI's CNOR Coaches' Program, a mentor initiative was implemented within the facility to assist others through the process of becoming certified. CNOR certified nurses provide helpful study tools and resources to nurses preparing for the CNOR Exam. The APH surgery department achieved the CNOR Strong recognition for having at least 50% of their OR nurses be certified and surpassed the minimum requirements within the first couple of months. The department went from a total of 29% certified nurses to achieving 96% certified nurses and has continued to maintain CNOR Strong for 3 years!
Taking the mentorship program a step further, Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children Hospital utilized the Set the Pace program. This initiative aims to both encourage nurses to obtain certification as well as motivate currently certified nurses to act as mentors. The Set the Pace program aims to establish a relationship and commitment to goals by outlining an agreement between the mentor and mentee. The two work together to schedule times to study, review practice tests, and answer questions regarding topics for the exam. Once the nurse successfully passes the CNOR exam, both the mentor and mentee receive a bonus from the program. There are many other opportunities to receive financial support for certification from Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in addition to the bonus through the Set the Pace program. For instance, individual departments offer to pay or reimburse certification fees for any registered nurse who would like to become certified in an area of specialty. Attaining a specialty certification is one of the key measurements and qualifications when a nurse wants to progress clinically. Once certified, the nurse receives an increase in pay for ascending the Clinical Ladder. Offering continued support, the facility pays for recertification and urges participation in professional meetings such as AORN and Magnet conferences.
In addition to the mentorship program and financial incentives, Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children has worked with learning specialists and managers to provide resources and support for certification. In recent years, leadership worked together to develop a CNOR prep course, based on CCI's study guides, which offered power point presentations, numerous practice exams, and convenient course times to work with attendees' schedules. To encourage use of this resource, the facility agreed to cover the cost of the course as well as provide education hours for completion. In line with efforts to encourage and support certification, the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children surgical department leadership team has set the tone by achieving 100% certification rate. The accessible resources along with the variety of study groups available within the facility allowed for this achievement.
Not only does Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children encourage certification but they also celebrate it. The facility is extremely committed to recognizing nurses that go above and beyond by attaining certification. Once certified, nurses receive recognition in several ways including adding their name to a plaque in the hospital lobby recognizing all certified nurses. The surgical department educator also congratulates new certificants within the department in a weekly newsletter. The surgical department further recognizes the nurse during huddle where there is a poster of the nurse listing their updated credentials. National Nurse Certification Day brings more celebration as Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children hosts a breakfast where all certified nurses are recognized for their achievements. Games are played and small gifts are given out as tokens of appreciation. In addition to the facility's efforts, Orlando Health mails out publications to all staff including mention of recently certified nurses.
Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children sets a great example of how to use certification as a “true north” guide for perioperative staff, encouraging lifelong learning and competent practice. From supplying resources, to offering financial aid, to celebrating the achievement of certification, this facility does it all!