Getting some of these nursing certifications can be difficult, time-consuming, and at times expensive.
If you’re doing all of that, it makes a lot of sense you would like to make sure there’s a monetary benefit for all your troubles.
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Do Nursing Certifications Increase Salary?
Some employers give pay raises or bonuses to nurses with certain certifications. Monetary compensations for certifications are not standard across the board, and some employments are contingent on getting and keeping certain certifications/credentials.
With all that said, double-check with your HR department before pursuing any nursing certification.
There are Good Reasons to Get Your Nursing Certifications
Let me start by saying there are some good reasons for getting a nursing certification besides monetary compensation.
1. You’ll be Fired or Not Hired If You Don’t Have One
There are certain certifications you have to have for employment. These could be certifications common for most nurses, like the BLS certification (basic life support). Or ones that are more specialty-specific, like the ACLS or PALS certification.
The thing that sets these certs apart is that your benefit of having this is the job itself because everyone has to have it in that area to have a job.
When I was hired for a GI nurse position, it was contingent on me getting the ACLS certification within a certain time.
I wouldn’t get paid more for getting my ACLS, but I would be let go from the position if I didn’t get it.
2. It Makes You More Marketable
Some certifications will make you more marketable. For example, if you’re a critical care nurse, you might get the CCRN certification.
If you have the CCRN certification when applying for a critical care nursing position, even if the employer won’t pay you more for it, just having the certification will help you stand out above other applicants.
The reason is that hiring managers recognize that CCRN certification and know that not every nurse can get that CCRN.
3. It will Make You Feel Better About Yourself
Some of these certifications are not easy to get. There are many requirements to get them, and those with an exam component are even harder because, for many of them, the exams are no joke.
With that said, there’s a confidence you’ll get for knowing you’ve made that accomplishment, and in some instances, it will make you a better nurse.
As you can see above, there are plenty of good reasons to get nursing certifications besides money because the truth of the matter is you’re probably not going to get compensated for it. If you do, it won’t be by much.
Let’s take the example I used above with an ICU Nurse getting their CCRN. It’s a national certification that looks nice, but it might not necessarily translate to more money because different facilities handle it differently.
Here are some ways they may choose to handle it:
- You might get nothing.
- You might get some recognition.
- You might get a one time bonus.
- You might get a raise.
- You might only get assistance with the cost of acquiring the certification.
Consider Getting a Certification Anyway
Even if you don’t get anything, there are still some good reasons to get it. If you want monetary compensation, make sure to check with your company policy ahead of time. Don’t assume.
Lastly, whether or not it’s worth it will depend on your priorities and goals.
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