Nurse Certification Linked to Job/Career Satisfaction, Reveals New National Survey

Article ID: 563943

Released: 28-Apr-2010 12:00 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)

Newswise — Nurses certified in critical care indicate greater satisfaction with their jobs and careers and report higher perceptions of empowerment than their non-certified peers, reports the first national study to examine these issues in tandem.

“Certification, Empowerment, and Intent to Leave Current Position and the Profession Among Critical Care Nurses” — by Joyce Fitzpatrick, RN, MBA, PhD, FAAN, Elizabeth Brooks Ford professor of nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, and colleagues — appears in the May issue of American Journal of Critical Care (AJCC).

The study, based on a national online survey of more than 6,500 members of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), reports these key findings:• Certified nurses express the highest sense of empowerment: “Significant differences were found in total empowerment scores between AACN-certified nurses and nurses not certified by AACN,” it states.• Critical care nurses intend to stay in their profession: A high percentage of critical care nurses (93 percent) do not intend to leave their profession. Never previously studied in a national sample of critical care nurses, this variable supports recent research indicating a high level of career satisfaction among critical care nurses.• Retention remains an issue: The study found survey participants with AACN specialty certification are less likely to leave their position than their counterparts not certified by AACN. More than 41 percent of participants indicate intent to leave their current position. More than 18 percent plan to leave their position within the next year.• Perception of empowerment affects intent to leave: In all instances, nurses who do not intend to leave their position or profession expressed higher empowerment scores. Conclusions of the study affirm that specialty certified nurses are more empowered and less likely to leave their current position. “Employers will want to invest in recruiting and retaining certified nurses. Not only does attrition represent a significant unnecessary expense, certified nurses bring the knowledge, experience and confidence that are essential for high-quality patient care and smooth functioning of organizations,” says Karen Harvey, RN, MSN, AACN certification programs specialist.

Fitzpatrick and colleagues asked 44,143 AACN members via e-mail to participate in the Web-based survey funded by the AACN Certification Corporation. The total respondent sample included 6,589 nurses, a 15 percent response rate. Additional analysis of survey results is under way and will be reported separately.

Access the study abstract and full-text PDF by visiting the AJCC Web site at

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 230 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. To learn more about AACN, visit

About the AACN Certification Corporation: The AACN Certification Corporation, the credentialing arm of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, maintains professional practice excellence through certification and certification renewal of nurses who care for acutely and critically ill patients and their families. The AACN Certification Corporation develops and administers the CCRN, PCCN, CCNS and ACNPC specialty exams in acute, progressive and critical care; CMC and CSC subspecialty exams in cardiac medicine and surgery; and, in partnership with the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the CNML exam for nurse managers.

About the American Journal of Critical Care: The American Journal of Critical Care (AJCC), a bimonthly scientific journal published by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, provides up-to-date clinical research that focuses on evidence-based practice applications. Established in 1992, it includes clinical and research studies, case reports, editorials and commentaries. AJCC enjoys a circulation of 80,000 and can be accessed at


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