Exploration of specialty certification for nurse anesthetists: nonsurgical pain management as a test case.
Certification is the outcome of the demonstration of knowledge and skills, which is an important link to licensing and credentialing. Considering the essential role that Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists play in the practice of nonsurgical pain management, it is important that a certification process be developed that provides the necessary support to licensing and credentialing at the local, state, and federal levels. The goal of this project was to develop the foundational elements for a specialty certification in nonsurgical pain management. The Delphi method for the systematic solicitation and collation of information was used to query experts in the field of nonsurgical pain management regarding the elements necessary to establish such a specialty certification. Results of the query were compiled, analyzed, and compared to feedback about the elements from a sample of certified registered nurse anesthetists involved in nonsurgical pain management to assess reliability. The results provided identification of a target population for competency evaluation, tools for evaluation, resources for knowledge and skills testing, and a table of specifications for testing. A valid process to develop a specialty certification for nurse anesthetists with demonstration of knowledge and skills will help bridge the gap between continuing education and an actual demonstration that an individual practitioner possesses the necessary knowledge and skills to practice nonsurgical pain management.
Wooden, S; Docherty, S; Plaus, K; Kusek, A; Vacchiano, C
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