Newswise — The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) joins hospitals and other 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, Tuesday, 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/families, employers and the healthcare team that a nurse’s knowledge reflects national standards and a strong commitment to patient safety.

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

  • “I became certified to demonstrate my commitment to my specialty and professional growth. I was inspired by the certified nurses who mentored me, and I hope to similarly inspire others to pursue certification.” -- Salomé Maria Loera, DNP, ACCNS-AG, PCCN, CCRN-CMC, SCRN
  • “I decided to get certified to continue my learning and become a more well-rounded and knowledgeable nurse in the critical care setting. This helped me become a leader to my peers, a stronger preceptor, and take better care of my patients.” -- Alaa Allan, BSN, RN, CCRN
  • “I wanted to raise my bar as a critical care nurse educator and inspire my frontline staff to do the same as well. If you’re going to walk the walk, you need to talk the talk.” -- Arika Duchene, DNP, RN, NPD-BC, GERO-BC, CCRN
  • “I became certified so I could take more specialized care of my cardiac patients and also inspire other nurses to elevate their practice.” -- Diana Walls, MSN, APRN, ACCNS-AG, CV-RN
  • “Critical care nursing is my passion, with other critical care nurses being my second family. Certification helps me show the world how much I believe in what we do every day!” -- Rebekah LaDuke, APRN, ACCNS-AG, CCRN
  • “I decided to get certified because many of my peers were certified. Going the distance and obtaining certification helps me show my commitment to my patients and critical care, and positions me to be a resource for new nurses.” -- Jodi Coltes Warfield, BSN, RN, CCRN-CSC

2024 marks 50 years since nurses were required to pass an examination to become certified in a specialty, and the number of certified nurses quickly grew as examination offerings increased across additional practice areas, including critical care. Today, more than a million nurses and advanced practice nurses in the United States and Canada hold one or more specialty nursing credentials, according to the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS). These certifications were granted by 56 U.S.-based credentialing organizations and represent 148 different credentials.

Currently, more than 138,000 critical care, progressive care and advanced practice nurses hold AACN Certification Corporation credentials: CCRN, PCCN, 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 promote high standards of patient care and 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 138,000 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 families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. AACN is the world’s largest specialty nursing organization, with about 130,000 members and nearly 200 chapters in the United States.

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