Portfolio credentialing is an alternative, and it's just as rigorous. "That's really important to the credibility of the program," Swartwout says.
This will be a renewable credential, Deyo says. Emergency nurse practitioners would have the same type of requirements for continued practice hours and education for maintaining their certification.
Having a larger roster of certified nurse specialists isn't just good news for nurses; it's good for patients, too. I'm reminded of a study published earlier this year which found that critical care units with higher percentages of RNs holding national specialty certifications had lower rates of central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). Specifically, Critical Care Registered Nurse certification was associated with lower rates of CAUTI, and Cardiac Surgical Certification was associated with lower rates of CLABSI.
Swartwout says the new credentialing program is "something that the nursing community has really been asking for to acknowledge the specialization in any area of nursing." She says they hope to expand the program to other specialties.