Newswise — The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) joins hospitals and healthcare organizations in recognizing certified nurses for their professionalism, leadership and commitment to excellence in the care of patients and families as part of Certified Nurses Day, Sunday, March 19.

As healthcare becomes increasingly complex and challenging, nursing certification has become an important mark of excellence. Specialty certification reaffirms nurses’ commitment to using the best evidence to provide care for patients and families. Achieving certification demonstrates to patients, employers and the healthcare team that a nurse’s knowledge reflects national standards and a strong personal commitment to patient safety. 

In honor of the national celebration of certified nurses, AACN asked progressive care, critical care and advanced practice nurses why they chose to get certified. Here are a few of their responses:

  • “I wanted to deliver holistic care to the best of my ability knowing that I was current in [evidence-based practice], invested in ongoing change, while developing the confidence to do so. I wanted to be a leader in my unit and inspire others to invest the time to excel.” – Lauren Rodriguez, MSN, RN, CCRN-K
  • “I got my certification because I wanted to set myself apart from the other new nurses. I wanted to show the more experienced nurses that I could do the job. I also wanted the doctors to be confident that I could take care of their patients.” – Mary Bloom, BA, BS, RN, CCRN 
  • “I decided to become certified to show my expertise in my chosen nursing specialty. Critical care is a challenging, yet rewarding, [specialty] of nursing and I was proud to be a part of it. I wanted to highlight and recognize that commitment to excellence through certification.” – Erika Ohlendorf, MSN, MBA, RN, CCRN-K
  • “I got my PCCN certification in 2013 to elevate my practice to a higher level. I look at my practice differently. I wanted to focus more on patient safety and quality … After I obtained my PCCN, I developed more in-depth critical thinking [and] incorporated synergy and advocacy in my delivery of care. Learning something new always makes us better, and it is critical for any nurse to keep learning to better care for our patients.” – Bonnette Villalba Webb, BSN, RN, PCCN-K
  • “I pursued my PCCN-K to show my dedication to nursing excellence. Attaining and maintaining certification requires continuous learning and growth in your certification area. Every nurse should get and maintain national certification to show our dedication to professional growth, which can lead to excellence of nursing care and patient safety.” – Nomar Bayaua, MSN, RN, PCCN-K

In 2020, the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS) conducted a national survey that found 75% of adults thought it was important for all nurses to have a specialty board certification in a relevant field.

According to ABNS, more than a million nurses and advanced practice nurses in the United States and Canada hold one or more specialty nursing credentials. These certifications were granted by 56 U.S.-based credentialing organizations and represent 148 different credentials.

Currently, more than 133,000 progressive care, critical care and advanced practice nurses hold AACN Certification Corporation credentials: CCRN, CCRN-K, CCRN-E, PCCN, PCCN-K, ACNPC, ACNPC-AG, CCNS, ACCNS-AG, ACCNS-P, ACCNS-N, CMC and CSC.

Certified Nurses Day, an annual worldwide event, is dedicated to celebrating certification as a means to help ensure high standards of patient care and to promote continuing excellence in the nursing profession. Initially proposed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the day honors the birthday of the late Margretta “Gretta” Madden Styles, an international pioneer in nursing certification and longtime friend of AACN and AACN Certification Corporation. Styles designed the first comprehensive study of nurse credentialing. 

For more information about Certified Nurses Day, visit

About AACN Certification Corporation: AACN Certification Corporation, the credentialing arm of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, drives patient health and safety through comprehensive credentialing of acute and critical care nurses, ensuring practice consistent with standards of excellence. Since 1976, AACN Certification Corporation has collectively granted approximately 450,000 nursing certifications, with over 130,000 active certifications held.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: For more than 50 years, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has been dedicated to acute and critical care nursing excellence. 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. AACN is the world’s largest specialty nursing organization, with about 134,000 members and over 200 chapters in the United States.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 27071 Aliso Creek Road, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656; 949-362-2000;;;