A Certification Celebration

Casey Green

For nurse Casey Green, reaching a certification milestone is more than just extra letters after her name.

Earlier this month, Johns Hopkins Hospital nurse Casey Green reached an extraordinary professional milestone, becoming the 85th nurse in the U.S. ever to hold all five emergency nursing certifications from the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing. On top of that, Casey also holds a C.C.R.N. (critical care registered nurse certification) from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

Becoming certified is one a way for nurses to grow their skills and expand their expertise throughout their career. Certification provides a national recognition of a nurse’s knowledge and proficiency in their specialty, and is linked to better patient outcomes and improved quality of care. Currently, about 950 Johns Hopkins Hospital nurses have at least one certification.

For Casey, who works in the pediatric cardiology ICU, finding out that she is now member of such an elite group “is still so surreal to me.” In her own words, Casey shares why she is so passionate about certification and provides tips for other nurses interested in pursuing certifications of their own:

"Certification is important to me because it shows my experience, knowledge, excellence and dedication to my patients in the specialties of emergency and critical care nursing. It also requires ongoing learning in nursing, which is vital for improved patient outcomes. Becoming certified is not just about ‘adding more letters after your name’ or ‘just a test anyone can take,’ the knowledge you gain while studying for certification translates directly into improving your nursing practice, which improves the care you provide to every patient you interact with. For me, it really improved my critical thinking at the bedside, especially while I was studying for my exams. I began to notice that I had a much deeper knowledge base and confidence when speaking with the interdisciplinary team and my patients. Although at times it was difficult to stay disciplined and motivated to study, especially while also working bedside, what helped me most was to think of my studies as a way to increase my knowledge as a nurse, not just as something I needed to know to pass an exam. If you have been thinking about it, do it! You got this! Find co-workers, mentors or friends that are supportive of your goals and believe in your skills and abilities, and when you are studying, study to learn the material to improve your nursing practice and not simply just to pass the exam. Certification exams are not like the NCLEX. They are based on the specialty and patient population you work with every day. Certification means the world to me and I hope to inspire more nurses to pursue certification and continue to promote nursing excellence at Johns Hopkins."

Casey Green, B.S.N., R.N., C.C.R.N., C.T.R.N., C.F.R.N., C.E.N., T.C.R.N., C.P.E.N.Pediatric Cardiac ICUJohns Hopkins Children's Center