Certified Nurses Day celebrates nurses who have achieved national board certification in their specialty. While the registered nurse (RN) license allows nurses to practice, a specialty certification affirms advanced knowledge and skill to meet the challenges of modern nursing.
Every year on March 19, shortly before National Nurses Week (May 6–May 12), employers, certification boards, education facilities and healthcare providers celebrate and publicly acknowledge nurses who have earned and maintain the highest credentials in their specialty. It’s the perfect opportunity to invite all nurses to advance their careers by choosing certification.
Certified Nurses Day invites participation from nursing stakeholders around the globe. Coalition members include organizations such as certification boards, accreditation bodies, licensing agencies, nursing associations, education facilities and healthcare providers such as hospitals, medical centers and primary care providers, among others.
By signing the proclamation and sponsoring annual events, more than 70 healthcare organizations participate, including:
Certified Nurses Day is inspired by Dr. Margretta "Gretta" Madden Styles, RN, EdD, FAAN (1930-2005), a pioneer in nursing certification. Dr. Styles recognized the critical importance of credentialing long before there was a broad awareness of its value, and her work created global impact on the nursing profession.
Dr. Styles architected the first comprehensive study of nurse credentialing in the 1970s. She then pioneered the development and implementation of nursing credentials and standards.
In the 1980s, she spearheaded the definitive work of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) on nursing regulation. A driving force behind the creation of the ANCC, Dr. Styles advanced nurse certification services and programs across the United States and abroad.
Dr. Styles served as president of the ICN, ANCC, the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the California Board of Registered Nursing. She was also dean and professor of the University of Texas School of Nursing, San Antonio; Wayne State University, Detroit; and the University of California, San Francisco.
In May 2006, ICN awarded Dr. Styles the Christiane Reimann Prize for her worldwide contributions to the profession.
Celebrating Certified Nurses Day helps you demonstrate your facility's commitment to nursing excellence. The ANA provides a suggested action plan and free promotional tools, plus branded products and gifts to educate colleagues and your local community.
For example, recognize your team with gifts for nurses that feature the Certified Nurses Day logo. Proceeds support research via the Margretta Madden Styles Fund, administered by the American Nurses Foundation. Shop Certified Nurses Day gifts and download promotion and recognition tools on the ANA's website.
In addition, the ANCC honors certified nurses through its Certified Nurse Awards. Each year, the awards are given to nurses who demonstrate the value and impact that specialty certification has on the nursing practice and improving patient outcomes. These nurses demonstrate that, through certification, they can provide superior care to their patients and become even greater assets to the healthcare organizations at which they work. They continue to contribute to the advancement of nursing in their specialty areas through innovation, collaboration, leadership, professional risk-taking and patient-centered care.
The 2019 winners will be announced March 19, 2019. To learn about how organizations such as yours celebrate Certified Nurses Day, read and share these success stories.
How is your organization celebrating Certified Nurses Day?