The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) has announced the winners of the 2011 CNA Employer Recognition Award, a prestigious prize honouring employers who have shown an exceptional commitment to supporting registered nurses pursuing and maintaining national certification in a range of nursing specialties. This year's top prize winner is CAMH!
CAMH was selected because it demonstrated exceptional commitment in encouraging certification among its nurses, who then integrate their knowledge into practice and maintain a high degree of competency in the delivery of mental health nursing care.
“We are thrilled to receive this national recognition award!” says Rani Srivastava, Chief of Nursing and Professional Services. “As leaders in mental health nursing, it is wonderful to receive CNA acknowledgement for our nurses’ commitment to their own certification and to supporting the broader mental health nursing community with our certification workshops. By enhancing the knowledge and competencies of mental health nurses through this national certification process, we promote safer and better quality services for our clients.
Margaret Gehrs, Director of Nursing Practice, is very pleased to learn of this special acknowledgment. “To be recognized nationally by the CNA is a real honour. Although certification is voluntary, it demonstrates that our certified nurses value continuous learning and promote specific nursing practice standards in our specialty area. The credentialing process is renewed every five years, so our nurses must confirm that they have met the mandated learning, as specified by CNA’s predetermined standards.”
CAMH also provided outstanding educational support for participants of the CNA Certification Program by hosting an annual two-day intensive workshop by nurses specializing in different areas of mental health, thereby boosting nurses' chances of successfully earning their credential.
“We are one of only two organizations in Canada offering this type of workshop. We have been doing this since 2003 and average about 60 participants each year – from the GTA, Ontario and even other parts of Canada,” says Linda Slodan, Manager of Nursing Education.
Anita Martin, Nurse Educator in the Dual Diagnosis Program says, “Being a certified psychiatric/mental health nurse reflects my commitment to providing the best possible care for clients facing mental health challenges. It helps me to focus my efforts to learn more about the factors that affect holistic well-being and how nurses might best support it.”
Also reflecting on his CNA certification, Edson Villareal, APN in the Law and Mental Health Program notes that achieving certification is a hallmark of success but it must be followed by continuous learning. “Having the CPMHN(C) designation allows me to have the mobility to pursue career advancement opportunities that would otherwise not be available.”
According to the CNA, Edson is right. Many employers seek CNA-certified nurses in their recruitment campaigns because they see the benefit in building a workforce of RNs who are officially recognized as qualified, competent and current in a specialty.
More information about the CNA certification exams can be found here