513. Discussion: Professional Development and Certification Consider the following scenario: 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 individuals 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 (Document Attached), 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 organizations 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? Post a description of one or more of your professional goals. Explain a certification provided by a professional organization that would be of interest to you. Explain how and why this additional certification would be useful to you and/or enhance your professional development. Evaluate your readiness to obtain this certification, noting any reservations you may have. Read a selection of your colleagues responses. Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days, using one or more of the following approaches: Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information, evidence, or research. Share an insight from having read your colleagues postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives. Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research. Required Readings (Please use all references mentioned below) Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus. Reminder: Review resources from previous courses as necessary. Matthews, J. H. (2012). Role of professional organizations in advocating for the nursing profession. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 17(1), 1. Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases. The author addresses the importance of involvement in professional organizations for nursing professionals. Shekleton, M. E., Preston, J. C., & Good, L. E. (2010). Growing leaders in a professional membership organization. Journal of Nursing Management, 18(6), 662668. Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases. In order to grow leaders an organization must make a commitment to develop and maintain an infrastructure that supports leadership development activities (Shekleton, Preston, & Good, 2010, p. 667). The authors discuss findings from a leadership development program. American Association of Critical Care Nurses. (n.d.). Certification for nurse managers and leaders. Retrieved May 20, 2013, from http://www.aacn.org/wd/certifications/content/cnmlhome.pcms?menu=certification The American Association of Critical Care Nurses Certification Corporation, in collaboration with the AONE credentialing center, offers certification for the nurse leader-manager. American Medical Informatics Association. (2011). Clinical informatics becomes a board-certified medical subspecialty following ABMS vote. Retrieved from http://www.amia.org/news-and-publications/press-release/ci-is-subspecialty This article addresses the movement to recognize clinical informatics as a subspecialty. American Nurses Association. (2013). Leadership. Retrieved from http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ThePracticeofProfessionalNursing/Leadership The ANA offers a leadership institute for professional development. American Nurses Credentialing Center. (2013). ANCC certification center. Retrieved from http://www.nursecredentialing.org/certification.aspx The ANCC is the largest and most prestigious credentialing organization. View the certifications available by specialty area. American Organization of Nurse Executives. (2012). AONE credentialing center. Retrieved from http://www.aone.org/resources/certification/about_certifications.shtml The AONE credentialing center, in collaboration with American Association of Critical Care Nurses Certification Corporation, offers certification for the nurse leader-manager. Healthcare Information and Management Systems. (2013). Health IT certifications. Retrieved from http://www.himss.org/health-it-certification?navItemNumber=13588 The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has specified certification criteria for electronic health records. NMA. (2012). Welcome to NMA! Retrieved from http://www.nma1.org/ This organization promotes the development of leadership competencies and interpersonal skills. Project Management Institute. (2013). What are PMI certifications? Retrieved from http://www.pmi.org/Certification/What-are-PMI-Certifications.aspx PMI recognizes that many professionals of varying skill and education levels are or will be involved with projects. The organization offers certification for professionals involved in project management.