Promoting the Meaning and Value of NCSN Certification

Easy-To-Use Strategies for Educating the Wider Community

We invite everyone to implement the following easy-to-use strategies for educating the wider community about the meaning and value of NCSN certification-to both you and to interested parties (school nurses, faculty, school administrators, school boards, parents, and legislators).

When you receive notification of certification or recertification:

  1. Share your NSCN certification/recertification letter with school administrator(s) to highlight your accomplishment, the rigorous requirements for certification and the equivalency of NCSN with other national certification programs for nursing specialties.
  2. Display your NCSN certificate in a prominent place.
  3. Write a short article for your school newsletter(s) announcing that you have earned certification or recertification.
  4. Write a press release about your accomplishment and send it to your local newspaper.
  5. Use NCSN certification to support your request for a salary differential and/or promotion.

In your daily practice:

  1. Have your credentials printed on your name badge (e.g., BSN, RN, NCSN).
  2. Use your credentials whenever you sign your name (charting and sending communication to family members, faculty and staff).
  3. Print business cards with your credentials-and use them.
  4. Wear your certification pin proudly every day.
  5. Introduce yourself to students and their families both as a registered nurse and as a nationally certified school nurse.
    1. You can say, “My name is ____, and I’m an RN and a certified school nurse.”
  6. Give a presentation to your parent teacher association to raise awareness of the knowledge and experience needed to become nationally certified in school nursing and outline the benefits to students and the school community.
  7. Offer to provide educational presentations that highlight school nurse knowledge and expertise (faculty development, school nurse development, etc.).

To help your colleagues to become NCSNs:

  1. Offer to help your colleagues study for the NCSN certification examination.
  2. Know and share the eligibility requirements to take the exam.
  3. Encourage and support colleagues to earn their BSN.

Additional Resource: Suggested Sound Bites

School nursing is a nationally recognized nursing specialty. How often has a student, family member, school administrator, or colleague asked, “What does certification mean?” And how often have you wished you had just the right phrase to respond?

Consider using these phrases when asked, “What does certification mean?”

  1. Thanks for asking. It means I’ve invested time and effort to demonstrate my expertise in school nursing.”
  2. “NCSN is recognized as a nationally accredited credential that validates my specialized knowledge and expertise as a school nurse.”
  3. I’ve met the highest national standards for school nursing care.”
  4. “Professional recognition of expertise in my nursing specialty.”
  5. “Recognition of my professional commitment to lifelong learning and quality care.”
  6. “I’ve met nationally recognized standards for providing excellence in school nursing care.”
  7. “I’ve taken an extra step to demonstrate my commitment to providing the best possible care for our students and school community.”

If you have any strategies for gaining recognition that you have found particularly effective, or have any favorite answers for this question, please e-mail or post them to us so we can share them with your NCSN peers across the country:

Thank you!