Two Montreal health care organizations received recognition from the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) for their outstanding support of registered nurses in obtaining national certification in nursing specialties.
"CNA's nursing specialty certification examination is a rigorous and challenging process," said CNA President Rob Calnan. "Employers who champion specialty certification are to be commended for their efforts. I would like to congratulate the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and the Maimonides Geriatric Centre for supporting their nurses in pursuing professional continuing competence opportunities that enhance patient care and safety."
MUHC, which has five sites (Montreal General Hospital, Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal Children's Hospital, Montreal Neurological Hospital and Montreal Chest Institute) won CNA Certification Program's 2003 Employer Recognition Award for its ongoing support of certification for its nurses. The Royal Victoria Hospital Foundation provides bursaries to cover the certification examination fees, two paid days for study leave, as well as a $500 cash bonus to successful candidates. In addition, MUHC nurse educators provide learning materials, organize review sessions to help nurses prepare for the exam and recognize the achievements of successful candidates.
"The funds provided by the foundation and the support of MUHC have made it easier for nurses to pursue certification," said Ann Lynch, MUHC director of Nursing. "This investment has had a positive impact on the retention and satisfaction of our nurses and has enhanced the quality of patient care."
The Maimonides Geriatric Centre received an honourable mention for its encouragement and support of nurses wanting to receive Gerontology Certification. Over the past two years, 18 members of the centre's nursing staff have written the Gerontology Certification Exam, thanks in part to bursaries offered through its foundation. Books containing suggested readings in preparation of the exam have been purchased for its library; a two-day exam preparation workshop is offered, and certification candidates receive a full day of pay on the examination day. CNA offers voluntary certification in English and French in 14 nursing specialties including occupational health, neuroscience, psychiatry/mental health, critical care and emergency. Specialty certification allows nurses to build on the solid foundation of their education and experience and to illustrate currency in their chosen specialty area. Certification is an objective quantitative tool for nurses to show their professional commitment. Continuing competence is required by provincial and territorial regulatory bodies for the purposes on ensuring public protection. Close to 12,000 Canadian nurses are certified in an increasing number of specialties.
CNA is the professional voice of nursing in Canada. It is a federation of 11 provincial and territorial professional nursing associations.