Medical College of Wisconsin
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The impact of certification on certified perioperative nurses: a qualitative descriptive survey. ORNAC J 2012 Sep;30(3):34-8, 40-1, 44-6



Pubmed ID


Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84868229074   2 Citations


As the practice of healthcare becomes more technologically advanced, specialized and complex, there is an increasing demand for accountability. Certification demonstrates that an individual practitioner has maintained an acceptable, or perhaps more advanced level of qualifications, knowledge, and skills in a specialty practice area. Although certification for nurses has been available for decades a detailed evaluation of its meaning and implications for practice seems to be unavailable. The purpose of this qualitative study, conducted in Chicago, Illinois and also online, was to describe the perceptions of perioperative nurses as related to the impact that certification has had on both their professional practice and on a personal level. A qualitative survey design was used for this study. A purposive sample (N = 149) was obtained from board certified perioperative specialty nurses. Thematic analysis was used to explain the nurses' perceptions. Thematic analysis involves searching through data, in this case the narrative responses to the survey, to identify any recurrent patterns. A theme is a cluster of linked categories conveying similar meanings and usually emerges through the inductive analytic process. Themes that emerged from the data were categorized into two groups--impact on professional practice and personal impact. The primary theme that emerged related to respondents' personal perspectives was pride in accomplishment or achievement and increased confidence. The theme that described professional impact was credibility. Some themes, such as knowledge, confidence, and opportunity, overlapped both groups. The nurses' perceptions, as shared in this study, revealed positive aspects related to their achievement of certification in perioperative practice. The findings of this research expand knowledge about how certification impacts on the nurses' personal and professional experiences.

Author List

Schroeter K, Byrne MM, Klink KA, Beier M, McAndrew NS


Natalie McAndrew PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, CCRN Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing department at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Attitude of Health Personnel
Career Mobility
Clinical Competence
Health Care Surveys
Middle Aged
Perioperative Nursing
Personal Satisfaction
Quality of Health Care
United States
jenkins-FCD Prod-388 89e904233d719332173309c68ab82b0b2a78a3a7