Specialty certification is important for all leaders and valuable to St. Luke’s Health System (SLHS). In a survey deployed to leaders across the Treasure Valley, 40% of respondents did not hold any type of professional certification. Many leaders (50%) reported the desire to obtain certification but identified concerns and barriers such as cost, lack of resources, lack of support and uncertainty about which exam to take. Of all survey respondents, 80% indicated a leadership certification would be most beneficial.
Dr. Teresa Stanfill, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, RNC-OB, Director of Professional Nursing Practice, Center for Nursing Excellence, identified which barriers could be mitigated (lack of resources, cost, uncertainty which exam is best, etc.) to assist leaders in earning certification. Working with the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), Dr. Stanfill coordinated a system-wide, two-day review course in March 2016 for the Nurse Executive/Nurse Executive Advanced certification exam. The review course was attended by 48 nursing leaders with all sites represented.
With the support of Dr. Diana Meyer, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, CCRN-K, FAEN, Senior Director, Center for Nursing Excellence, and System CNO/VP of Patient Care Services, Cy Gearhard, MN, RN, NEA-BC, a contract was established with ANCC to pilot the Success Pays program. This innovative program allowed leaders to take the certification exam at a reduced rate and offered an opportunity to retest (if needed) at no additional cost. In addition, a partnership with Human Resources provided leaders assistance with accessing St. Luke’s certification prepayment program to ensure no out-of-pocket costs. The program was well utilized and has demonstrated great returns. As of December 2016, 30 of 44 leaders still involved with the program have successfully completed their leadership certification exam, and others are in various stages of application, awaiting confirmation or awaiting a test date.
Congratulations to our leadership team for role-modeling importance of professional certification!