Specialty nursing certification validates a nurse’s knowledge, skills, and abilities in a defined role and clinical area of practice. Nurses who pursue certification, and the organizations that support and encourage them, demonstrate a commitment to exceptional patient safety and a mastery of current standards in their field of practice.
CCI developed the TrueNorth Award in 2013 to recognize facilities that use certification as a “true north” to guide their perioperative nurses to be models of competent practice, advocates for patient safety excellence, and lifelong learners. To be considered for this high award of merit, facilities must submit an application detailing how their organization recognizes and rewards nurses who earn their certification, and the impact certification has on patients and staff. Applicants must also include letters of endorsement to support the efforts of their facility.
We are excited to announce the winner of the 2021 TrueNorth Award is Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC). We had the pleasure of learning more about NMRTC from Samina Wilson, LCDR, NC, BSN, RN, CNOR, MSPH, who submitted the TrueNorth application on behalf of her facility. Information and quotes are provided courtesy of application materials submitted by LCDR Wilson. Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Erwin Jacob Miciaco
What impact does certification have on the Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC)?
The Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command San Diego (NMRTC) has set the expectation for their perioperative nurses to become certified, as demonstrated by their vast number of certified nurses. “Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) San Diego embodies a wealth of 40 Certified Perioperative Nurses (CNOR), who continue to apply their knowledge and expertise, effectively resulting in positive change for patient outcomes and nursing staff. ”NMRTC emphasizes the importance of certification by employing certified nurses in various roles within their facility, including leadership positions. By having certified nurse leaders, the organization greatly benefits from their commitment to upholding the highest standards in patient safety. “CNOR Nurses greatly impact NMRTC ranging from leadership positions, quality assurance, process improvements, and nursing informatics. Directorate of Nursing (DNS), Captain Jeffrey Bledsoe, a CNOR nurse, positively impacts all nurses throughout the hospital encouraging advanced education and certification.”
Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Erwin Jacob Miciaco
How does NMRTC reward and recognize nurses who earn their certification?
The Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command San Diego encourages their nursing staff to pursue certification by clearing any potential roadblocks. “Nurses are eligible for reimbursement of preparatory courses and certification exam fees if not successfully passing the exam. CNOR Take 2 program is another option. Members are paid administrative time while taking the certification exam.” Once nurses have earned their certification, NMRTC works to reward their newly certified nurses. “NMRTC promotes and supports certification of staff and rewards professional excellence. Awards are both tangible (bonuses, paid time off, gifts) and intangible (recognition and pride).” They also aim to recognize newly certified nurses adequately. “Within the Main Operating Room (MOR), immediately after passing the exam, an email is sent out congratulating the honoree with an honoree message resulting in over joyous congratulations from leaders and peers throughout the Navy. The honoree(s) name is added to the CNOR plaque board along with the rest of his/her CNOR peers, with a pinning ceremony followed. Honorees are also posted in our MOR monthly newsletter/journal, which is then placed in locker rooms, front desk, lounges, and bathroom stalls. Per newsletters, there are three places where CNOR achievements are published: 1) MOR Unit Newsletter, 2) Navy Perioperative (1950) Specialty Newsletter, and 3) Navy Nurse Corps Newsletter. During Perioperative Nurse’s week, Directorate, MOR leadership, surgical technicians provide breakfast, lunch, and celebratory gifts for all perioperative nurses. At the command level, the Chief Nurse Officer serves as the guest speaker and leads the Certified Nurses’ Appreciation Day involving a cake ceremony and traditional events for professional achievements. Senior nursing leadership celebrates and encourages certifications (not only perioperative) for advanced nursing practice and value-based healthcare, which results in quality patient outcomes. Every year, all Navy hospitals continue to carry this tradition. To further endorse certification, educational materials on the obtainment of certifications are provided on career days displayed in the hospital’s courtyard and publicly spoken on during the Perioperative Nurses Presentation slot at the Nursing Leadership Symposium. CNOR nurses labeled with leadership positions are posted throughout the MOR. Other awards for certification include pinnings, pens, badges, and more.”
The Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) San Diego is an excellent example of a facility that uses certification as a “true north” by setting expectations and adequately recognizing and rewarding their certified nurses.
2021 Special Commendations
In addition to our 2021 TrueNorth recipient, we also had several facilities that stood out to the evaluation committee and earned the runner-up and special commendation awards.
- 2021 TrueNorth Runner-Up: North Kansas City Hospital
- 2021 Special Commendation - Dissemination and Narrative Write-Up: UF Health North Tower Operating Room
- 2021 Special Commendation - Dissemination and Narrative Write-Up: University of Rochester
- 2021 Special Commendation – Perioperative Nurse Residency Program: University of Rochester
- 2021 Special Commendation – 100% Certification: Oak Hill Hospital