Nursing Certification

Enhance Your Career with Professional Nurse Certifications.

NurseZone reveals the many options for registered nurse certification that can enrich your career. Achieving nursing certification provides nurses with the ability to increase their professional growth, career satisfaction, salary potential, credibility and competency.

Start here to find out more about credentialing organizations and the variety of specialty nursing certificates:

Nursing Credentialing Organizations
Emergency Cardiovascular Care Credentialing 

Nursing Credentialing Organizations

Click on one of the major credentialing entities listed below to learn more about their respective certificate programs for nursing professionals.

American Nurses Association
American Association of Critical Care Nurses
Professional nursing associations in specialty practice areas

American Nurses Association/American Nurses Credentialing Center

The American Nurses Association (ANA) defines certification as "a means of measuring competency, and the identification of competent nurses that will promote the public welfare for quality in health care." The ANA's credentialing arm, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), is the largest nurse credentialing organization in the United States. More than a quarter million nurses have been certified by ANCC since 1991.

ANCC's Certification Program validates nurses' skills, knowledge and abilities, and are recognized and accepted by all state boards of nursing and by the U.S. military. ANCC board certification empowers nurses within their professional sphere of activity and contributes to better patient outcomes.

The ANCC offers certification for nurses, nurse practitioners and advanced practice nurses in more than 25 specialties. For the details on ANA/ANCC certifications, visit their Web site.

American Association of Critical Care Nurses

The American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) offers its own credentialing program specifically for critical care nurses. Like the ANA/ANCC, an AACN credential requires a qualifying examination and has its own set of requirements which RNs must meet in order to take the credentialing examination. Critical care nurses without baccalaureate degrees in nursing are eligible to earn the certification for adult, neonatal, and pediatric critical care nurses (CCRN). The AACN also offers a clinical specialist credential (CCNS) for master's prepared RNs and national acute care nurse practitioners (ACNPs). AACN credentials are valid for three years and are renewable. For more details on AACN credentialing, visit either the AACN or AACN's Certification Corporation.

Other professional nursing associations in specialty practice areas

Several professional nursing associations representing specialty areas have their own credentialing programs. Some compete with the credentials offered by the ANA/ANCC. Others provide credentials for nurses in specialties for which the ANA/ANCC does not have an equivalent.

A few examples of certification programs offered by specialty organizations include:

Diabetes Educators
Gastroenterology Nursing
HIV/AIDS Nursing
Infectious Disease Nursing
Infusion Nursing
OB/GYN, Maternal, Neonatal Nursing
Oncology Nursing
Pain Management
Perioperative Nursing
Plastic Surgical Nursing
Peri- & Post-Anesthesia Nursing
School Nursing

Emergency Cardiovascular Care Credentialing

The following courses are offered by the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, the Emergency Nurses Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Cardiovascular Care/Life Support Courses for Health Professionals
Cardiovascular Care/Life Support Courses for the Public
CPR & First Aid Courses
Emergency /Trauma Nursing Courses 

Cardiovascular Care/Life Support Courses for Health Professionals

The following courses are offered by the American Heart Association. For more information, call (800) AHA-USA1 or visit the AHA Web site.

Basic Life Support Healthcare Provider Course (BLS)
This half-day course (approximately 4-1/2 hours) is designed to give health care professionals the ability to recognize several life-threatening emergencies, provide CPR, use an AED, and relieve choking in a safe, timely and effective manner. This basic course is intended for certified or noncertified, licensed or nonlicensed healthcare professionals, and is widely recommended for nurses in all specialties. More information 

Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Course (ACLS)
The extended ACLS course is designed for ICU, CCU and ED nurses and other health care providers who either direct or participate in the resuscitation of a patient, whether in or out of hospital. The ACLS course requires approximately 13-½ hours, and allows providers to enhance their skills in the treatment of the adult victim of a cardiac arrest or other cardiopulmonary emergencies, using simulated clinical scenarios. More information 

Pediatric Advanced Life Support Course (PALS)
The 14-hour PALS course provides pediatric nurses and other health care providers with information needed to recognize, prevent and resuscitate/stabilize infants and children at risk for or experiencing cardiopulmonary arrest. More information 

Cardiovascular Care/Life Support Courses for the Public

The American Heart Association offers lifesaving courses for nonmedical personnel. You may find these helpful in referring your patients, friends or family members.

Courses offered include CPR for Friends and Family, Heartsaver First Aid, CPR and the Heartsaver AED courses. These courses teach the basic techniques of adult CPR and how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Contact the American Heart Association at (800) AHA-USA1 or visit online to find the courses near you.

CPR & First Aid Courses

Community Programs
For almost a century, the American Red Cross has trained tens of millions of people in first aid and CPR. Their community programs now include teaching people to use AED-automated external defibrillators.

Courses for Professional Rescuers
The professional rescuer courses are designed for people who have a job-related duty to respond in an emergency. This includes law enforcement and EMS personnel, firefighters, business and industry response teams, lifeguards, flight attendants, and others who must take action in emergency situations.

Courses for Your Workplace
The American Red Cross Workplace Training Program provides the latest in lifesaving and safety instruction. Build the program that works for your business using their modular curriculum.

Emergency /Trauma Nursing Courses

Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC)
This 16- or 20-hour course is a project of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) designed to provide the learner with cognitive knowledge and psychomotor skills. Nurses with limited emergency nursing clinical experience, who work in a hospital with limited access to trauma patients or who need greater time at the psychomotor skill stations are encouraged to attend the longer 20-hour format.
 More information

Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course (ENPC)
This 16-hour course is a project of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) designed to provide nurses who work in emergency departments with the core-level pediatric knowledge and psychomotor skills needed to care for pediatric patients. The course presents a systematic assessment model, integrates the associated anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology, and identifies appropriate interventions. Triage categorization and prevention strategies are included in the course content.
More information

Learn more about nursing certification programs that can enhance your career on NurseZone. Get the information to increase your marketability with registered nurse certification.