How can hospitals keep bedside nurses excited and motivated about the nurses’ daily jobs of caring for critically ill patients? How can hospitals retain those seasoned, experienced critical care nurses who are leaving bedside nursing? What methods can hospitals use to validate critical care nurses’ knowledge base? What strategies can hospitals use to eliminate perceived or actual organizational constraints to facilitate professional growth of nurses? These are some of the most daunting questions that hospital nursing leaders face today. On the basis of a review of the classic novice-to-expert literature11,22 and on the basis of anecdotal observation, our organization determined the need to facilitate opportunities for professional growth, increase knowledge acquisition related to critical care, and reward and recognize distinctive professional nursing practice. To achieve those goals, we started a hospital certification drive based on...

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