Want to get into the medical field? You have just realized that nursing would be the career that might entice you a promising career and that you can help patients and people and get a wide range of job opportunities. But before you enter the field, you must know the degree requirements, programs, and nursing credentialing prerequisites to enter the nursing field.
Undoubtedly, the nursing profession refers to the field of dynamic and evolving expertise, which needs a high level of competence to remain on the move. In addition, nurse credentialing is vital in ensuring that nurses applying via application have the necessary skills and qualifications to render effective and safe patient care.
Whether you aim to remain in the nurse position or want to ace in your medical career to achieve a higher level of positions in the medical industry, many career opportunities in this healthcare domain are there that you can count on. But for every other position, you need to have strong background knowledge of the field, and of course, you must be credentialed. However, the career you want to pursue in the medical field, either nursing or any other, will depend solely on your experience level and your degrees.
In addition, some specialist courses are there that healthcare organizations require to satisfy the job title and level of nursing that you should consider.
This article explores the concept of nurse credentials, their significance in the healthcare industry, and the various types of credentials available to nurses.
What are the Types of Nurses?
Since healthcare deliverance is impossible without nursing, the field falls into three subcategories such as;
- Degree [includes undergraduate, Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN), or Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN)]
- Non-Degree [include certified (CAN) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs)]
- Advanced [include Graduate Degree like a Master in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)]
Fastest-Growing Nursing Specialties
Several nursing specialties can be chosen according to your experience and degrees. But deciding what type of nursing would be an excellent fit for you would be a complex decision. From an oncology nurse to an experienced nurse practitioner, a range of nursing specialties can attract your interest. Here’re the types of nursing fields that you can choose according to your interest.
Registered Nurse (RN);
- Expected job growth – 15% increase
- Education requirement – Bachelor of Science Degree or Associate Degree
- Relevant certification – State-provided nursing license
- Employment locations – residential care facilities, hospitals, etc.
- Expected salary – Median annual $87,340 (2023)
Registered nurses are hired to educate patients about their health complications and current health conditions and coordinate with patient care to support and advise patients and concerned family members. Mainly, registered nurses work with a team of providers in a healthcare setting under various specialists of care. As a registered nurse, you should consider the type of nursing degree that would be better for you i.e., an RN or BSN. You can opt for an RN if you are seeking a position where you work under a team and that can begin after 2-4 years of nursing school education.
- Expected job growth – 16% increase
- Education requirement – Bachelor’s of Science Degree or Associate Degree or Registered Nursing License
- Relevant certification – State-provided nursing license
- Employment locations – residential care facilities, hospitals, Rehab centers.
- Expected salary – Median annual $106,980 (2023)
Heart disease is one of the leading death issues in the United States. Considering the opportunities in the cardiac sector, the demand for cardiac nurses continues to grow as the number of cardiac patients increases every year. Within the cardiac facilities, nurses perform surgical procedures, angioplasty, bypass, and surgeries involving applying pacemakers.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
- Expected job growth – 16% increase
- Education requirement – Masters Degree (MSN), One year in an acute care setting, Registered nurse license
- Relevant certification – CRNA certification
- Employment locations – surgical centers, hospitals, specialty doctor’s offices, etc.
- Expected salary – Median annual $208,829 (2023)
Certified registered nurses are a crucial part of procedures and surgeries. They don the responsibility to cope with the requirements of providing accurate anesthesia to the patients. Certified registered nurses are the ones who make the highest pay among all the nurses’ categories and types. Anesthetist is a highly demanded field of work; the ideal degree for becoming a certified registered nurse is a Doctor of Nursing Practice. If you are interested in helping patients numb their pain before, during, and after the surgeries and procedures, the field is right for you. Plus, the profession pays you well too.
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
- Expected job growth – 15% increase (relatively faster than average nursing domains)
- Education requirement – Some organizations may ask for a Doctoral degree, but having a Masters’s Degree (MSN) is a must.
- Relevant certification – N/A
- Employment locations – in-house healthcare centers, hospitals, specialty doctor’s offices, etc.
- Expected salary – Median annual $115,923 (2023).
Clinical nurses are also referred to as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Their day-to-day service includes working with patients and other nursing staff to manage and provide instant and regular care. They also are eligible to provide advice and training to other junior nurses and nursing staff in various care units. If you crave to have leadership roles in the future while helping patients with their pain and suffering, being a clinical nurse would suffice your craving.
- Expected job growth – 31% increase
- Education requirement – Doctor of nursing practice (DNP) or Master’s Degree (MSN)
- Relevant certification – Certification (depending on the specialty of care)
- Employment locations – hospitals, specialty doctor’s offices, etc.
- Expected salary – Median annual 99,398 (2023)
NPs or nurse practitioners serve as specialty or primary care providers and are subject to providing advanced and special nursing care to patients and advice to families of patients. They also can prescribe medicines, advise clinical scans and tests, and perform physical and procedural examinations. If you wish to perform duties like a doctor and do in-depth procedures while providing patient care, nursing practitioner service is right for you.
So many nursing practitioner types and categories are there; which one you pick to practice or study for totally depends on the interest and the level of education you wish to pursue.
The next oar of the article will cover information about nursing credentialing. Nursing credentialing is a time-consuming process. To get started with the practice, nurse practitioners and nurses of every category need to undergo a credentialing process to be paid for their services.
What is nurse credentialing and what involves in nurse credentialing is discussed below.
Nurse Credentialing – Why is it important?
Nurse credentialing refers to the process of verifying and validating a nurse’s qualifications, skills, and knowledge to practice within a specific scope of practice or specialty area. It is a means of assessing and ensuring that nurses meet the established standards of competency, ethics, and professionalism.
Nurse credentialing serves multiple purposes, including protecting the public, promoting quality care, and recognizing individual achievements in nursing. Nursing credentialing serves as an important aspect concerning the delivery of proper healthcare. Several reasons satisfy the question of why nurse credentialing is essential. But first, let us start with understanding the importance of nurse credentialing before jumping into reasons.
Importance of Nurse Credentialing
Nurse credentialing plays a pivotal role in maintaining and elevating the standards of nursing practice. It helps to establish public trust in the nursing profession by ensuring that only qualified individuals care for patients. Credentialing also enhances patient safety by reducing the risk of incompetent or unqualified nurses delivering healthcare services. By requiring ongoing education and professional development, credentialing fosters continuous learning and keeps nurses updated with the latest evidence-based practices.
Moreover, nurse credentialing encourages nurses to specialize in specific areas of practice, such as pediatrics, critical care, or gerontology. This specialization allows nurses to develop advanced knowledge and skills, leading to improved patient outcomes and increased job satisfaction. Additionally, credentialing enables nurses to expand their career opportunities, gain professional recognition, and pursue leadership roles within healthcare organizations.
Types of Nurse Credentials
There are various types of nurse credentials available, reflecting different levels of education, experience, and specialization. Some common nurse credentials include the following:
a) Registered Nurse (RN): This is the entry-level credential obtained after completing a nursing program and passing the national licensing examination. RNs can practice in various settings and may pursue advanced practice roles.
b) Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN): APRNs have completed graduate-level education and possess specialized knowledge and skills in areas such as nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse-midwife, and certified registered nurse anesthetist. APRNs have expanded scopes of practice and may prescribe medications and diagnose illnesses.
c) Specialty Certifications: Specialty certifications are voluntary credentials demonstrating expertise in specific nursing practice areas. Examples include critical care nursing, oncology nursing, and pediatric nursing. These certifications are typically obtained through additional education, experience, and passing a certification exam.
d) Executive Nurse Certifications: Nurse executives, who hold leadership positions within healthcare organizations, can obtain certifications such as the Nurse Executive-Board Certified (NE-BC) or Nurse Executive-Advanced (NEA-BC). These credentials validate their knowledge and skills in healthcare management and leadership.
e) Continuing Education Units (CEUs): CEUs are a way for nurses to maintain and renew their credentials by participating in ongoing educational activities. These activities can include workshops, conferences, online courses, and professional development programs.
Reasons for Nurse Credentialing
Here are some common reasons why nurse credentialing is important;
- Credentialing for Nurses helps to Advance their Careers
Nurse credentialing is essential to give nurses a boost in their careers and help them move up their career ladder. With new education and new responsibilities, credentialing offers nurses the to delve into their careers and grow professionally. Supervisory nursing is one of the examples of nurse credentialing.
Once a nurse gets credentialed, it helps demonstrate their responsibility towards healthcare and accountability, which acts as a tool for achieving promotions in their career way soon when deserved.
- Reduces Administrative Burden
The daily routine of a healthcare setup involves a range of administrative tasks, including paperwork, patient follow-up, insurance applications, employee licensure, etc.
The time spent fluffing these responsibilities and verifying the documents can be well improved by the hospitals hiring credentialed employees.
- Highlights the Dedication to the Career
When a nurse goes through a credentialing process, this shows their dedication to their field and validates that they take steps to improve and achieve higher in their field.
Credentialed nurses give a sense of trust that they have the necessary skills and the required knowledge about the type of care they provide. This ultimately reduces the risk of care, which enhances patient experience.
Challenges and future trends in Nurse Credentialing
While nurse credentialing offers numerous benefits, there are challenges to consider. One challenge is the complexity and diversity of the credentialing process, which can vary among states and specialty organizations. Ensuring consistent standards and recognition across different jurisdictions remains an ongoing challenge.
Additionally, nurse credentialing can be time-consuming and expensive, requiring nurses to invest in additional education, exam fees, and recertification requirements. Balancing these requirements with work-life commitments can be demanding for some nurses.
Looking ahead, technology is likely to play an increasingly significant role in nurse credentialing. Digital platforms and electronic portfolios can streamline the credentialing process, making it more accessible and efficient. Furthermore, emerging trends such as telehealth and global healthcare collaborations may require new credentialing approaches to ensure nurses’ competence in these evolving practice settings.
Nurse credentialing is a vital aspect of nursing practice that upholds professional standards and promotes patient safety. By validating the qualifications, skills, and ongoing professional development of nurses, credentialing ensures the delivery of high-quality care. Nurses with specialized certifications and advanced practice credentials contribute to improved patient outcomes and professional growth. While challenges exist, advancements in technology and ongoing efforts to standardize credentialing processes are paving the way for a more streamlined and accessible future in nurse credentialing.