Today’s critically ill patients require heightened vigilance and extraordinarily intricate care. As skilled and responsible health professionals, the 403 000 critical care nurses in the United States must acquire the specialized knowledge and skills needed to provide this care and demonstrate their competence to the public, their employers, and their profession. Recognizing that nurses can validate specialty competence through certification, this white paper from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and the AACN Certification Corporation puts forth a call to action for all who can influence and will benefit from certified nurses’ contribution to patient care.

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