Nursing Certifications: 4 Reasons You Should Pursue Them

If you have a standard nursing license, you’ve already put in many long hours of study and preparation to get there. You’ve proven that you have the knowledge and the aptitude to take on one of the most important careers—and succeed.

But what if you’re ready to take another step in your career?

You may want to consider pursuing additional nursing certifications. From an Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) to a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP), each certification can have significant benefits for your career.

Azusa Pacific University’s nationally ranked School of Nursing is an ideal place to prepare for this important next step. Some of APU’s nursing certification programs, such as the Nursing Education certificate, allow you to take the certification exam once you’ve graduated and started a job as a nurse faculty member. This is a significant advantage, considering some exams require you to have two years of experience (or 4,000 hours) in the field before you can pursue a certificate.

That means you can start building up certifications immediately after graduating and starting your first job.

4 Reasons to Pursue Nursing Certifications

Earning a nursing certification takes hard work and dedication, but there are many benefits to getting started! Here are four reasons to pursue additional nursing certifications:

  1. You’ll become more marketable in your field. Hospitals want nurses who know their fields. When hospitals see your certifications, they’ll know you’re willing to put in the extra work to prepare for your career, and they’re more likely to want you on their team. In fact, noted that 90 percent of nurse managers said they’d hire a certified nurse over one who wasn’t certified (assuming everything else was equal).

  2. You’ll get paid more. Employers often compensate nurses for their effort to get certifications. According to’s Salary Survey, base salaries were higher for nurses who were certified than for those who were not. Plus, some employers will provide nurses with hourly certification differential pay. Check with your organization’s HR department to learn about how your employer compensates certified nurses.

  1. You can help your patients more effectively. Certifications aren’t simply letters that go after your name—they represent skills you can now put into practice with patients. You likely became a nurse because you wanted to help people and see patients take important steps with their health. APU’s nursing certification programs will help you strengthen your skills. In 2017, USA Today named APU’s School of Nursing one of the top 10 programs to earn a nursing degree. As a certification student, you’ll study for your specialties under the same top-notch, Christ-centered faculty that guide students to nursing degrees.

  2. You demonstrate your competency to others. As a medical professional, it’s critical you have confidence in yourself. It’s also crucial that your coworkers have confidence in you, and, most importantly, your patients have confidence in your knowledge and skills. With a certification in a particular discipline, you’ll show others you know what you’re doing—and can be counted on, whether you’re educating other nurses, serving oncology patients, or working with children.

Nursing Certification Programs at APU

APU’s School of Nursing offers eight programs to prepare Master of Science in Nursing students for certifications. These pathways include Nursing Education, Nurse Executive (following completion of the MSN in Healthcare Administration and Leadership), Family Nurse Practitioner, and Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist.

“Our programs are specifically tailored to prepare you for the certification exam that you could take immediately upon graduating, as long as you meet all the qualifications,” said Larry Santiago, the program director for the MSN in Nursing Education at APU.

Want to learn more about pursuing a nursing certification at APU? Explore the School of Nursing’s post-master’s certificates.