Newswise — Harris Health System’s Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital has been named CNOR Strong by the Competency and Credentialing Institute because of its high number of certified nurses in the operating rooms (CNOR) staff—becoming only the fourth hospital in Houston and 12th in the state to receive the distinction.

To achieve the recognition, hospitals must have more than 50 percent of operating room nurses certified, a rigorous process that involves nurses mastering high standards of perioperative practices. LBJ Hospital has achieved CNOR Strong for the second year in a row.

“We encourage a culture of excellence in LBJ’s perioperative services,” says Renee Russell, director, Nursing Perioperative Services, LBJ Hospital. “Literature supports the positive correlation between increased operating room nurse certifications and improved surgical outcomes.”

According to a recent published study in the journal of the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses, hospitals with high rates of specialty nursing certifications see significant lower rates of central-line associated bloodstream infections among surgery patients. The study found that a 10 percent increase of CNORs and other support certified nurses resulted in an 8-16 percent reduction in surgical infections.

“Obtaining certification is not easy,” Russell adds. “Our hospital being designated as CNOR Strong is proof that our operating room nurses are committed to achieving excellence in their area of practice, and providing outstanding care to our patients.”

Derek L. Curtis, chief nurse officer, LBJ Hospital, considers the CNOR Strong designation a step closer toward the hospital’s goal of achieving Magnet Recognition Program®, one of the highest nursing recognitions for hospitals in the U.S.

"This well-deserved recognition is very evidence-based, operationally relevant and in line with LBJ's pursuit of Magnet designation,” he says. “We are very proud of our dedicated, interdisciplinary focused team."

Earning the CNOR credential is a mark of distinction and highly sought as a personal, as well as, professional accomplishment. The intense credentialing program enhances and validates its profession’s specialized knowledge and skills. Physicians also appreciate the highly-trained and experienced operating room nursing team.

“We are proud of our nursing colleagues earning this outstanding recognition,” says Dr. Peter Doyle, chief, Anesthesia and medical director, Perioperative Services, LBJ Hospital and associate professor and vice-chair, Anesthesiology, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. “We have an excellent team of perioperative nurses committed to high-quality efficient care. They are active partners with the physicians as we focus on patient safety and quality initiatives in the future.”

The Competency and Credentialing Institute is a leader in credentialing, nursing competency assessment and education for the perioperative nursing community since 1979. The institute has developed and maintained the credentials for certified nurse operating room (CNOR), certified surgical services manager (CSSM), certified registered nurse first assistant (CRNFA) and certified nurse specialist-perioperative (CNS-CP) for more than 35 years. More than 34,250 perioperative nurses nationwide currently hold a CNOR credential.