Certification is defined in the nursing literature in several ways; no one consistent definition of certification exists. Nursing specialty certification programs are intended for consumer protection. Certification protects the public by enabling consumers to identify competent people more readily. However, benefits for stakeholders other than patients and families are also described in the literature. This article describes the value of specialty certification from the perspective of the patient and family, nurse, and employer.
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©2011 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses