5 Nursing Certifications to Consider Once You Graduate

NursingNovember 01, 2021

Once you’ve graduated from St. Paul’s School of Nursing and start your career at a New York-area healthcare facility, your education doesn’t have to stop. Depending on your career goals, there are several paths you can choose from to continue your education and advance your skills. Taking the time to up-level your education will demonstrate your dedication to your field and can result in an even more rewarding career.   

Nursing certifications validate that a nurse has specialized knowledge and experience and also offers personal and professional rewards to nurses. An overwhelming majority of nurses surveyed said that certification validates specialty knowledge, enhances professional credibility, and contributes to feelings of personal accomplishment.   

While there are many certifications to choose from, these five are among the most popular, according to

Acute/Critical Care Nursing (CCRN)

Nurses who want to provide care to critically or acutely ill adult patients in intensive care units, cardiac care units, trauma centers, and critical care transport can earn a CCRN certification. This certification program is offered by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.  Applicants must hold an RN or APRN license and have completed at least 1,750 hours in direct critical or acute care within the last two years. 

AIDS Certified Registered Nurse (ACRN)

Nurses who work with patients suffering from HIV/AIDS can earn a certification that demonstrates they’re trained on all elements of this disease, including the psychosocial and physical issues it can cause. Once they receive the certification, nurses often work in specialty clinics or infectious disease units in hospitals. Offered by the HIV/AIDS Nursing Certification Board, applicants will need to have two years of HIV/AIDS work experience to qualify. 

Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN)

Do you love working with children? Many nurses want to specialize in pediatric care. Nurses who work with children can obtain a certified pediatric nurse credential through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board which demonstrates specialty knowledge and skills in the area. You’re eligible after earning an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in nursing and completing at least 1,800 pediatric clinical hours. 

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

In order to administer anesthesia during surgery, nurses will need to earn a certified registered nurse anesthetist credential (CRNA). While requirements vary by state, nurses will need to hold at least a master’s degree from a nurse anesthesia program, a valid RN license, and have one year of experience working in critical care. CRNAs provide anesthetics to patients in every practice setting, and for virtually every type of surgery or procedure. They are the often the sole anesthesia providers in many rural hospitals, and the main provider of anesthesia to the men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. 

Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN)

Nurses who work with cancer patients can apply for an oncology certified nurse certification to validate their level of skill and knowledge in the field of oncology. Applicants will need two years of work experience, 2,000 hours of specialty practice, and 10 contact hours of continuing nursing education in oncology. 

Are you ready to get started on your path to become a nurse? St. Paul’s School of Nursing can help with a strong education. Click here for more information or call us today at (855) 822-3018 and speak to one of our career counselors.