Faculty note: Vandenhouten publication
Christine Vandenhouten, associate professor of Nursing, co-authored an article in the September/October 2015 issue of the journal Public Health Nursing about the results of a national study exploring motivators and barriers for obtaining the public health nursing certification. The article, “Credentialing Public Health Nurses: Current Issues and Next Steps Forward,” found that while nursing certification is viewed by many as a means to document specialty knowledge and expertise, few public health nurses hold this credential. The authors found that, among nurses that do, they do it out of a desire to validate professional knowledge and competence with a relative few citing financial incentives as a motivating factor. (Less than 25 percent received any form of compensation for the distinction). The main barriers to certification were being unaware of the eligibility requirements, cost, and the sense that it was not valued/rewarded by their employer. Vandenhouten and her co-authors (colleagues from nursing schools at the University of Maryland and Florida State University) provide recommendations for public health stakeholders including professional organizations, schools of nursing, and policy makers for promoting this important external validation of expertise.