Source: The News-Enterprise
Two nurses at Hardin Memorial Hospital recently received certification from the American Board of Neuroscience Nursing as Stroke Certified Registered Nurses or SCRN.
Earned and maintained by more than 5,000 nurses, the SCRN credential formally recognizes the attainment and demonstration of a unique body of knowledge necessary for the practice of stroke nursing, the American Board of Neuroscience Nursing’s website said.
Critical Care Unit nurses Bethany Gusler, BSN, SCRN, RN, and Darin Life, BSN, SCRN, RN, passed the 170-question exam in September. Prior to them, only Stroke Program Coordinator Rosa Vittitoe, MSN, SCRN, RN, had the certification.
The stroke nurse certification program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification, the only nationally recognized accrediting body for specialty nursing certification programs.
According to the American Board of Neuroscience Nursing, the accreditation is a peer-review mechanism allowing nursing certification organizations to obtain accreditation by demonstrating compliance with the highest quality standards available in the industry.
The fail rate of the exam is 48 percent.
“It was the hardest test I have ever taken,” Life said.
The cost of the exam is $400. If the nurse passes, HMH reimburses them. Vittitoe said the fact Life and Gusler were willing to take this step shows how important stroke care is to them.
“It is not something that is required, but it is something that these guys have chosen to do,” Critical Care Unit Manager Nathan Ernst, BSN, RN, said. “It is a lot of time studying. It is a lot of preparation. It is a lot of time out of their personal lives.”
“I think the other big thing to me is that it really just validates the knowledge that they have,” he added. “It’s not like they’ve gone back to school and they had to learn all these things. This is a certification saying they have this knowledge. They are able to meet these very high standards in regards to stroke care.”
Gusler said the nurses in the stroke designated units have the basic understanding of stroke care, having been certified to access patients who have had a stroke, this certification just adds to it.
“Through all the education that I’ve had over the past year with stroke care, it has just made me better at being able to care for these patients,” she said.
Vittitoe said the American Board of Neuroscience Nursing credentialed nurses who have passed SCRN are “experts in their area.”
“That is what I think is comforting to the community,” Ernst said. “Not only do these guys meet our expectations here at Hardin Memorial Hospital, but they have met very high expectations from a National professional organization to say they are experts when it comes to stroke care.”
Vittitoe said they already have four additional nurses planning to take the exam in February. She said she advocates for SCRN certification in the emergency department, intensive care, critical care and progressive care units.
“Those are our designated units for strokes,” she said, noting her vision is for at least 25 percent of the nurses in those units to have the certification by the end of 2020.
HMH sees more than 800 stroke patients a year. In 2010, the hospital was designated a primary stroke center by the Joint Commission.