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Nurses share why they chose certification

Reasons for obtaining certification are as varied as the patient populations nurses serve. Here’s what certification means to six nurses across the nation who chose to pursue it.

Nancy L. Feldenkris, RN

Certification has enabled her to help new breast-feeding mothers. “To see a new mom start off in their attempts to breast-feed in tears and frustration and end up feeling confident in their abilities is very rewarding.”

— Nancy L. Feldenkris, BSN, RN, IBCLC, outpatient lactation consultant, Cleveland Clinic’s Hillcrest Hospital, Ohio

Laura Leahy, RN

“Certification has allowed me to specialize and demonstrate my knowledge as a credible clinician who maintains the highest level of professional standards in my chosen field of nursing.”

— Laura Leahy, DrNPc, APN, PMH-CNS/FNP-BC, family psychiatric advanced practice nurse at APN Solutions, Washington Township, N.J.

Jane Prater, RN

“Early in my career, certification as a CCRN provided me with the knowledge and confidence to care for the most complicated patients. Fast forward several years and certification as an NP has enabled me to advocate for wellness of all patients.”

— Jane Prater, DNP, ARNP, NP-C, faculty practice director, College of Nursing, University of Iowa, Iowa City

Kathe Conlon, RN

“As roles continue to change, nurses increasingly find themselves practicing in a wider variety of situations. The value of a certification in another area such as emergency management or information technology benefits the practice of nursing by expanding our patient care.”

— Kathe Conlon, BSN, RN, CEM, MSHS, director of burn community outreach programs, Barnabas Health, West Orange, N.J.

Pat DeFlorio, RN

“Obtaining my certification in nephrology nursing inspired me to return to school for my master’s degree, which is something I never thought I would do. I now work as an NP in kidney transplant which I find very rewarding, and have also become certified as an adult NP and as a transplant coordinator.”

— Pat DeFlorio, MSN, RN, ANP-C, CNN, transplant coordinator, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, New York

Leslie Welch Hopkins, RN

“It’s important to me to maintain certification because it signifies to my patients, colleagues and students that I am a competent, up-to-date practitioner. I have a passion for the elderly population and certification legitimizes me as a provider of primary care to adults of all ages.”

— Leslie Welch Hopkins, DNP, APRN-BC, FNP-BC, ANP-C, adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner program director and assistant professor of nursing, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.

For more on certification, visit

By | 2020-04-15T09:28:23-04:00 February 1st, 2015|Categories: National|0 Comments

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