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Mentor/Fellow Article

Increasing Certification Through Unit-Based Education

Erica Fischer-Cartlidge
Suzanne Mahon
CJON 2014, 18(2), 215-220 DOI: 10.1188/14.CJON.215-220

Certification has been identified by multiple organizations as an important component and means of elevating the level of nursing care provided to patients and demonstrating to the public that the nursing staff has subspecialty knowledge. Certification may lead to improved patient satisfaction and outcomes as well as increased nurse satisfaction and retention. Despite the known potential benefits associated with certification, institutions struggle to improve certification rates. One possible method to overcome system barriers to certification is the implementation of a unit-based study course to prepare nurses for the Certified Breast Care Nurse (CBCN®) examination. Data collected by an author-developed tool as one institution created and executed a unit-based study course suggest that such an approach increased certification rates and improved disease-specific knowledge and confidence among the staff, despite no official data existing on the tool's reliability and validity. Implementation of similar programs may be successful in improving certification at other institutions seeking to raise certification rates.

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