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Strategies to Increase Certification in the Ambulatory Care Setting

‐ Jun 26, 2023 11:00am

Credits: None available.

Ambulatory care nursing is a unique and dynamic domain of specialty nursing practice that focuses on wellness, health promotion, and disease prevention (AAACN, 2010). Ambulatory care is advancing in a fast pace. Nurses have to keep up with the knowledge and clinical skills to ensure that the care delivered to the patients meet the highest standards. As such, an option to meet this requirement is the attainment of ambulatory care nursing specialty certification. The purpose of this performance improvement project was to identify the most common barrier in obtaining specialty certification and identify strategies to support the ambulatory nurses as they meet this professional goal. In September 2020, a survey was disseminated to the ambulatory nurses via email. The purpose of the survey was to gauge interest in obtaining certification in the ambulatory nursing specialty. More than 40 nurses were interested in obtaining ambulatory care certification but had expressed the lack of review course to prepare for the ambulatory care certification. The repository of specialty review courses (Nurse Builders) available for nurses in the organization was evaluated. There was a limited availability of preparatory course for ambulatory care certification. A plan was proposed to our nursing leadership to support about 20 ambulatory care nurses to receive a prepaid preparatory course for ambulatory care nursing certification. A set of criteria was developed to select the 20 nurses. Partnership with the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN) was developed and an online review course through ANCC was offered to the nurses. Provision of sample review questions were developed. The nurses were encouraged to answer and discuss the questions among their peers. An electronic chat box was created so the nurses can ask and answer questions about topics in the preparatory course. A monthly check-in with the nurses was performed to clarify issues and determine the progress of the certification preparatory process. As a result, about 60% of the nurses obtained certification in ambulatory care nursing. About 10% of the nurses failed the exam but were planning to retake through the Success Pays. 30% continue to prepare for the exam. In conclusion, a preparatory course is a great tool to cover the topics in the certification exam faster. It helps shorten study time and make the achievement of the specialty certification more realistic and attractive to a busy nurse.



Credits: None available.

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