The Certification Board for Urologic Nurses and Associates (CBUNA) improves the quality of care provided to urology patients by promoting and acknowledging the highest standards of urologic nursing practice through the certification process. Certification is a process by which a non-governmental agency or association validates an individual's qualifications and knowledge of practice in a defined function or clinical area, based upon predetermined standards. It assures both the lay public and other professionals that an individual has the knowledge needed to practice in a particular role in a particular specialty area. Certification:
- Develops standards of nursing care vital to the public interest
- Provides growth and advancement in nursing practice
- Enhances individual achievement and the individual's sense of professionalism
- Promotes a commitment to quality in the delivery of care to the public
More than 650 urologic nurses and associates are currently certified by the CBUNA. To become certified, candidates must pass a standardized pencil-and paper examination. Individuals successfully completing the certification process may use the following credentials for a period of 3 years:
- CURN - Certified Urologic Registered Nurse
- CUNP - Certified Urologic Nurse Practitioner
- CUA - Certified Urologic Associate
Certification is the tangible recognition of professional achievement and special competence in the practice of urologic care by nurses and technicians. At the present time, certification is a voluntary program designed to recognize those individuals who have acquired additional knowledge and qualifications in a specialized area of nursing. The Certification Board for Urologic Nurses and Associates (CBUNA) is committed to the promotion and enhancement of public health by providing a high level certification program for urologic health professionals. This is a major step in your career but one with many benefits. Obtaining urology certification is a personal challenge to become educated in the full scope of urology practice and publicly demonstrate your knowledge in your area of specialty clinical practice. Preparing for certification is an investment in you and your urologic specialty practice. The advantages of certifications are numerous:
- Certification improves your skills and knowledge. As you prepare for certification, you will become familiar with topics that you do not routinely encounter in your everyday job that will add richness and depth to your knowledge base.
- Certification can improve career opportunities and advancement. Certification shows that you are willing to invest in your career and ongoing knowledge, and have demonstrated mastery.
- Certification may result in increased economic advantages. Some facilities offer bonuses or hourly differentials for certified individuals, and certification can serve as a point for negotiation and advancement in a yearly performance review.
- Certification demonstrates your commitment to the care of your patients. It validates your commitment to your chosen specialty, and reflects a higher standard of knowledge in your role.
- Certification enhances the professional image of your role. Certified individuals can serve as role models for others within the profession, as well as students of all healthcare disciplines.
- Certification reflects achievement on a both a professional and personal level. Because it is through a third party, certification substantiates that you have attained mastery of a particular set of specialty knowledge.
- Certification builds self-esteem. Certification defines you beyond your job description or past achievements, and is a reflection of your drive to establish your expert knowledge.
- Certification may lead to greater on-the-job responsibilities. Certification is a recognizable indicator of your willingness to invest in your own professional development, and certified individuals are likely to be more aware of changes and trends in their field.
- Certification allows peers to recognize you as an expert in your specialty field. Healthcare professionals, patients and their families will recognize that you have taken an additional step in your career and have additional expert knowledge.
- Certification grants you professional credibility. Certification is an impartial, third-party endorsement of your knowledge and experience. In the absence of any “residency” or educational post-degree certificate programs, certification is the single best way you can testify to your expertise.
(first printed in the Urogram, March 2012)