Isabel recently earned certifications offered by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and the American Organization of Nurse Executives for nurse managers and leaders. She was especially proud of this accomplishment and was confident it would serve her well as she continued her career. At a conference last week, she had found herself talking with a colleague about certification. To her surprise, her colleague suggested that she look into certification through the Project Management Institute. It had not occurred to Isabel that she might need or want that type of certification, but upon further reflection she could see how important it was to be able to manage projects effectively. She wondered how pursuing this type of certification might further her professional development and lead to new opportunities down the road. At the very least, she decided it was worth exploring further. As you are aware, numerous nursing organizations offer opportunities for professional development, community service, and information gathering. There are also many certifications you can obtain through professional societies or organizations. Certifications recognize an individual’s specialty area knowledge and skills and can lead to professional empowerment. By obtaining certifications, you can help improve your quality of practice and increase your earning potential. In this Discussion, you consider development opportunities afforded through professional associations and examine how earning certifications can advance your career. To prepare:
- Reflect on your professional goals. These goals may relate to the practicum professional development objectives you established in Week 1, but you are encouraged to take a broader view of what you would like to accomplish in the immediate future, as well as five or 15 years from now. Identify at least one goal that is especially important to you.
- Think about the benefits of becoming involved in professional organizations and obtaining certifications.
- If you already have a specialty or clinical certification, reflect on how this has impacted the achievement of your professional goals thus far.
- Review information about two or more of the professional organizations listed in the Learning Resources. Consider the following questions:
- As you explore each organization’s website, review the mission, vision, and value statements. Also examine the strategic plan, if possible. How do these align with your interests and your professional goals?
- Investigate whether the organization offers networking opportunities with fellow professionals. Is there a local or regional chapter you could join?
- What are the potential benefits of obtaining a certification through each organization? Examine the criteria for certification.
- Evaluate your readiness and desire to become certified through each organization. What hesitations, if any, do you have?
- How and why might this certification be useful to you and/or enhance your professional development?
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