The Value of Oncology Nursing Certification

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The attainment of oncology nursing certification indicates that a nurse has the knowledge and expertise to competently care for patients with an actual or potential diagnosis of cancer. Research regarding the value nurses associate with certification is lacking; therefore, the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation participated in a national study led by the American Board of Nursing Specialties Research Committee to explore the value of certification in a sample of certified and noncertified nurses and nurse managers. A total of 940 oncology nurses participated and completed a demographic survey and the Perceived Value of Certification Tool. Most were Caucasian women, with a mean age of 54 years; 36% were staff nurses, 19% were nurse managers, and 10% were advanced practice nurses. A high value of certification was reported. Barriers to certification included cost issues and lack of institutional reward and support. Benefits included institutional reimbursement and listing certification credentials on name badges or business cards. Both certified and noncertified nurses value certification. Increasing institutional recognition and financial support could improve nurse certification rates and ultimately may result in improved patient care.

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