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The Pursuit of Knowledge

A Certification in Nursing

When choosing a career, several things come to mind — job description, training and education, or the salary, but there are also a number of other factors that influence your choice. Frida Bedolla, BSN, RN, CMSRN, a clinical nurse at Northwestern Medicine Huntley Hospital, shares her inspiration behind pursuing a career in health care. She also discusses why she got her nursing certification and how certifications can be helpful. (Nurses can earn certification in specific areas of care, such as pediatrics or critical care, to demonstrate a deeper understanding of that specialty.)

Why did you become a nurse?

I became a nurse because, growing up, my grandpa suffered from heart failure, and I wanted to support him and be able to understand his disease process. Although he never saw me graduate as a nurse, it gives me comfort knowing that I can now take care of patients that are going through what he went through.

Why did you decide to get certified?

I decided to get certified because I'm a strong believer that the more knowledgeable you are, the more you have to offer. With more knowledge, you can better educate your patients and answer their questions, and you also become a great resource for your co-workers and your entire team. 

Why do you think it is important for nurses to achieve professional certification?

As an inpatient nurse, you see so many conditions and diagnoses throughout your career that some of them become more common than others. You start becoming accustomed to seeing the common conditions, and you lose knowledge of the others. For example, you might be really familiar with caring for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) but not as familiar with caring for patients with sickle cell disease. That's why it's important to achieve certification — to continue to expand your knowledge to provide better care for your patients. 

What advice would you give to colleagues who might be interested in pursuing certification?

Go for it. You have nothing to lose. It might seem overwhelming at first, but a lot of that information is already engraved into our minds from nursing school. Since I received my certification, I find myself providing my patients with more thorough explanations. The big takeaway I received was being able to provide better patient education — that's a big part of my role as a nurse.