Certification is a recognized method of assessing competency, knowledge, and skills. Specialty certification in nursing has been linked to patient satisfaction, nurse staffing, and retention rates. This study examines the connection between certification and patient safety. Using data from a previous study, a secondary data analysis of 48 intensive care units (ICUs) from 29 hospitals examined the relationship between certification rates and rates of medication administration errors, falls, skin breakdown, central line infection rates, urinary tract infection, and bloodstream infection rates. The results revealed that the unit proportion of certified registered nurses was inversely related to falls—that means the higher the proportion of certified registered nurses, the lower the fall rate on a unit. The hours of nursing care were associated with more medication administration errors, and having more years of nursing experience was associated with lower urinary tract infection rates.

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