Climb the Clinical Ladder

With the many opportunities available in nursing, certification can give you an edge in achieving a variety of career goals. Here are ideas on how to showcase your certification.

Make your credentials work for you

  • Include your credentials on your name badge, if permitted.
  • Wear a credential pin.
  • Display your certificate in your unit or office.
  • Suggest your employer display a plaque with the names of certified nurses (ONCC offers a free recognition plaque to patient care settings where a majority of nurses are ONCC-certified).
  • Include your credential every time you sign your name in a professional capacity and print your credential on your business card, resume, and other professional materials.

Capitalize on opportunities for professional development

  • Develop a brief explanation of certification for patients and families. Share it with your facility and encourage other certified nurses to use it when introducing themselves to patients and families.
  • Volunteer to develop or revise nursing care guidelines or patient education materials.
  • Share information you learned while preparing for the certification test, either formally or informally.
  • As a certified nurse, your knowledge has been validated so offer to develop or teach in-service programs.
  • Volunteer to serve on committees within your institution, or to help establish new committees that may be needed.
  • Encourage certification among your peers by arranging a study group or teaching a portion of a review course.
  • Volunteer to speak to ONS or APHON chapters, other nursing organizations, or potential test candidates about the value of certification.
  • Participate in ONS or APHON chapter activities to meet other certified nurses in your community. Attend the ONCC Recognition Breakfast for Oncology Certified Nurses to make contacts at the national level.

Enhance Your Career

  • Give your employer a copy of your certificate for your personnel file and try to negotiate for support of certification in your benefit package.
  • Give your employer’s public relations department a press release announcing your certification.
  • Tell colleagues in your local Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) or Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON) chapter that you’ve become certified. Many chapters recognize certified nurses in newsletters, on websites, and at chapter meetings.
  • Document instances when certification has had an impact on the care you’ve provided, a decision you’ve made, or leadership you’ve demonstrated and share it with your employer.
  • Create a portfolio of your accomplishments to share with your employer or potential employer.
  • Update your resume or curriculum vitae to reflect your certified nurse status.