As the practice of healthcare becomes more technologically advanced, specialized and complex, there is an increasing demand for accountability. Certification demonstrates that an individual practitioner has maintained an acceptable, or perhaps more advanced level of qualifications, knowledge, and skills in a specialty practice area. The nurses' perceptions, as shared in this study, revealed positive aspects related to their achievement of certification in perioperative practice. Although certification for nurses has been available for decades a detailed evaluation of its meaning and implications for practice seems to be unavailable. The purpose of this qualitative study, conducted in Chicago, Illinois and also online, was to describe the perceptions of perioperative nurses as related to the impact that certification has had on both their professional practice and on a personal level. A qualitative survey design was used for this study. A purposive sample (N = 149) was obtained from board certified perioperative specialty nurses. Thematic analysis was used to explain the nurses' perceptions. Thematic analysis involves searching through data, in this case the narrative responses to the survey, to identify any recurrent patterns. A theme is a cluster of linked categories conveying similar meanings and usually emerges through the inductive analytic process. Themes that emerged from the data were categorized into two groups -- impact on professional practice and personal impact. The primary theme that emerged related to respondents' personal perspectives was pride in accomplishment or achievement and increased confidence. The theme that described professional impact was credibility. Some themes, such as knowledge, confidence, and opportunity, overlapped both groups. The nurses' perceptions, as shared in this study, revealed positive aspects related to their achievement of certification in perioperative practice., The findings of this research expand knowledge about how certification impacts on the nurses' personal and professional experiences.
Schroeter, Kathryn; Byrne, Michelle; Klink, Katharine; Beier, Matthew; and McAndrew, Natalie S., "The Impact of Certification on Certified Perioperative Nurses: A Qualitative Descriptive Survey" (2012). College of Nursing Faculty Research and Publications. 781.
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