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Nursing Excellence

The Online Newsletter for Children's Nurses
e-Edition, Issue 4 

Magnet LogoCarole Cooper
The Benefits of Certification

By Carole Cooper, MHA, BSN, RN, CPN, NE-BC
Program Manager, Nursing Professional Practice

National certification validates
your specialized knowledge, skills and abilities. A nurse achieves specialty certification credentials through the completion of specialty education, experience in nursing practice and completion of a qualifying examination. Certification helps to elevate professional practice standards with current research demonstrating that organizations with a significant percentage of certified nurses have improved patient outcomes (1, 2). There are multiple opportunities to become certified in your area of specialty. The Certified Pediatric Nurse Exam (CPN) is offered on-site at Children’s Hospital Central California twice each year, during the spring and fall. The on-site exams for 2010 are scheduled on April 17 and Oct. 9. Computer based exams are also available. The CPN exam consists of 175 multiple choice questions related to pediatric nursing content in the following areas:

  • Family Centered Care
  • Growth and Development
  • Physiology/Pathophysiology
  • Psychosocial/Behavioral Health
  • Health Promotion/Maintenance

Reference materials are available in the Medical Library and through the Pediatric Nurse Certification Board.

Nurses throughout Children’s Hospital are demonstrating their professional commitment by becoming certified. There were 28 nurses in 2008 and 23 nurses in 2009 who became a Certified Pediatric Nurse. Many departments have established an annual goal to increase the number of certified nurses by 10 percent.  Do you know how many nurses are certified in your department?       


1.Coleman, E.A., Coon, S.K., Lockhart, K., Kennedy, R.L., Montgomery, R.,  Copeland, N., et al. (April 2009). Effect of certification in oncology nursing  on nursing-sensitive outcomes. Clinical Journal Oncology Nursing. 13(2),  115-121.

2.Kendall-Galleger, D & Blegan, M.A. (2009). Competence and certification  of registered nurses and safety of patients in intensive care units.  (March  2009). American Journal Critical Care.  18(2), 106-113. 

In This Issue

A Decade of Difference

National Certifications

The Benefits of Certification

A Journey to National Certification

A Vision for Advanced Respiratory Therapist Credentialing

The PICU's National Certification Journey

Working for a Living

Success - A Team Effort