Every day the delivery of health-care becomes more complex as new treatments are discovered and new technologies for diagnosing and treating disease are developed. Adding to this challenge, today’s patients often have multiple physical and psychosocial problems. In practically every setting, patients are older and sicker than before.11 These factors blend to create an ever-increasing demand for knowledgeable and skillful care providers. The depth and breadth of knowledge required are only partially satisfied by the entry-level nursing education provided by most, if not all, nursing schools. The sheer volume of information to be learned is staggering.

To better meet the needs of today’s patients, nurses and other health professionals often seek additional education and validation of their clinical expertise. This acquisition of knowledge can take several forms. Additional formal academic preparation often includes master’s degrees, post-master’s training,...

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