Certification is a process by which a nongovernmental agency validates, based upon predetermined standards, an individual nurse’s qualifications for practice in a defined functional or clinical area of nursing.
Most certification programs are created, sponsored or affiliated with professional associations and trade organizations interested in raising standards. Certifications are earned through an assessment process and, in general, must be renewed periodically. Certification credentials are nationally recognized and portable, meaning the credential is accepted from one hospital to another.
Many nurses who choose a clinical specialty area of nursing become certified in that area, signifying that they possess expert knowledge. Registered nurses are not required to be certified in a certain specialty by law. The State of Maryland licensure provides the legal authority for an individual to practice professional nursing in Maryland, while certification is voluntary, obtained through the Maryland Board of Nursing and validates knowledge, skills, abilities and experience in areas beyond the scope of RN licensure. Below are resources to assist you in the process or obtaining or maintaining license or certification in the State of Maryland.
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