New study links certification to positive surgical patient outcomes

A study published in the November issue of AORN Journal, the journal of the Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), showed specialty nursing certification may contribute to improved surgical patient outcomes in hospitals nationwide. The research showed higher rates of CPAN and CNOR/CRNFA certification in perioperative units were significantly associated with lower rates of central-line associated bloodstream infections in SICUs—notably, a 10 percent higher rate of CNOR/CRNFA and CPAN certification in perioperative units resulted in 16 and 8 percent (respectively) lower rates of central-line associated bloodstream infection rates in SICUs.

The study was conducted by assessing and merging 2011 unit-level clinical and administrative data—including patient outcomes, staffing and RN education—with the same survey data specific to national specialty certification and perceptions of the unit practice environment. Aside from looking solely at what occurred within the OR, the data also assessed how those actions impacted patients as they moved from the OR into other areas of the hospital.

The research was conducted by the staff at the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) and the University of Kansas, and was sponsored by CCI.