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Why Are Certifications So Important?

November 8, 2022
November 8, 2022

This blog is taken from a recent HealthStream webinar entitled “Why Are Certifications So Important? Expand CE with CertPrep.” The webinar was moderated by HealthStream’s Jill Terry, Product Marketing Manager, Clinical Staff Development and featured:

  • Jeff Randall, Senior Solution Executive, Clinical Staff Development, HealthStream
  • Christina Cato, Success Manager, Clinical Staff Development, HealthStream
  • Kimberly White, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Senior Product Manager, Clinical Staff Development, HealthStream

The webinar addressed continuing education (CE) and its importance as more than just mandatory training. Healthcare organizations can empower nurses by creating a culture and environment where lifelong learning is supported with the very best tools and resources. Healthcare leaders must be able to address a wide array of learning needs. This webinar answers the question: “Why are certifications so important?”


Why Are Certifications Important?

White began by sharing that every nurse’s journey is unique – the journey to certification and the choice of certification will be different for every nurse. “Certification is nationally-recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a measure of a nurse’s ability to provide competent care and demonstrates specialty expertise in a clinical area,” said White.

White went on to share that during her time as a nurse on a pediatric oncology bone marrow transplant unit, the expectation was that every nurse on the unit would achieve certification within 2 years. It contributed to a strong sense of pride in their patient care which was apparent throughout the unit as evidenced by high patient satisfaction scores, lower employee turnover and high employee morale despite the real difficulties of working on a challenging unit with high levels of patient acuity.


Is Your CE Program a Retention Tool?

Continuing education can simply be a tool for ensuring that your organization’s mandatory training requirements are met, or it can become a tool in your ongoing efforts to attract and retain top industry talent. Randall described how healthcare organizations can transform every milestone in a clinical career path into an opportunity to engage and retain that employee. Beginning with Basic Life Support (BLS) training all the way through to Preceptor and Nurse Manager training, employers can create, not just an opportunity to meet requirements and build skills but demonstrate to employees that the organization is committed to their professional development. “If you can engage your employees at each one of these milestones, you may be able to retain them longer,” said Randall.


Is Your CE Program as Efficient as it is Effective?

HealthStream's CE Unlimited with Jane® is both efficient and effective. In addition to having a comprehensive library with thousands of multi-disciplinary titles, it is able to reward learners for prior knowledge and allows them to test out of certain topics based on their expertise thereby reducing their time to completion. They are able to move more efficiently along their timeline to validate their skills without relying on the cumbersome and difficult-to-manage paper checklist process. With CE Unlimited with Jane®, those paper checklists can be digitized, making them mobile-friendly with automatic reminders of expiry dates.

CE Unlimited with Jane® helps you differentiate your organization from others by offering unlimited access to a large (more than 2,000 titles) library of high-quality CE courses. Staff can self-enroll in an unlimited amount of courses which puts them in control of their career path. In addition, there are more than 40 certification preparation programs to support career advancement. Managers may also assign courses at the user, department, discipline or facility level. There are courses for RNs, CNAs, and LPNs as well as courses on leadership and soft skills.


Is Your CE Program Smart?

HealthStream’s CE Unlimited with Jane® leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and delivers competency insights that will help tailor training to each student’s specific needs. Staff take an annual assessment with questions based on their job and specialty. Based on their performance, Jane will then assign up to two courses for each question answered incorrectly by the student. “This creates a completely customized education plan for every member of your staff and removes any guesswork on your end,” said Randall.


Is Your Certification Preparation Program Mobile?

HealthStream introduced CertPrep, a mobile app, in February of this year. The mobile app puts practice tests and study cards at the users’ fingertips making it easy to study during breaks or on the go. The material can be used on its own or in conjunction with textbooks or other material. The app works with both Apple and Android mobile devices.

Recently, HealthStream partnered with Advocate Aurora to pilot the CertPrep mobile application. Users reported finding the app easy to use and great for on the go studying. They also reported feeling more confident in their knowledge going into their exams.