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Certification Toolkit

At UVA Medical Center, we encourage our nurses to pursue certification in their specialty. Specialty certification ensures that we provide the safest possible care for our patients. Certification is currently a requirement for Clinician 4 and Advanced Practice roles and will be required for Clinician 3s beginning July 1, 2017.

In 2016, the PNSO Professional Development Committee and the Chief Nursing Officer partnered with Human Resources and Senior Administration to  implement a number of changes increasing certification resources and recognition for our nurses!

Certification Quick Links:


The growth and development of our UVA Medical Center Registered Nurses is a high priority.

There is a growing body of nursing research and clinical evidence that supports high RN specialty certification rates with better patient care outcomes. Achieving national certifications in one’s nursing specialty increases professional pride and competency!

At UVA, we have an organizational goal to achieve a RN specialty certification rate of 34% by 2017 and 36% by 2018.

  •  Computer-Based Learning Modules: See Netlearning anytime for CBL "Certification Review Materials - Nursing"
  • CE Direct & Pearls Review Courses: UVA has purchased a number of seats for CE Direct (curious about what they offer? see course catalog), which includes Pearls Certification Review Courses for over 80 certifications as well as thousands of continuing education offerings, to make it easy for UVA nurses to get certified and stay certified! Seats are popular - complete an application, or contact the Nursing Professional Development Services Office to learn whether a seat is currently available / to be added to the waiting list. - Study Tips from CE DirectInformation resource sheets for some of the most commonly sought specialty certifications
  • Test taking Tips: https://www.medicalcenter.virginia.edu/intranet/pnso/certification/TestTakingTips.doc/view
  • Study Guides: The PNSO Professional Development Committee is partnering with the Health System Library and Nursing Professional Development Services to support nursing certification. Certification preparation resources include purchased and donated study materials, Exam Study Guides on Kindles, recorded webinars and on-line learning modules.  Click here for a complete list of resources available at the Health System Library. 
  • List of Nursing Professional Organizations - consider connecting with your local chapter, which might offer certification preparation resources!

The PNSO has partnered with Human Resources to participate in multiple programs in order to provide additional resources to our nurses seeking specialty certification. These programs allow for exam fees to be paid upfront so the nurse does not pay out of pocket. These programs also allow our nurses a second opportunity to take the exam at no cost if the first attempt is unsuccessful.


As of June 1, 2017, the IVA Health System participates in this program administered by the Medical-Surgical Nurses Certification Board (MSNCB).  This program enables UVA Health System to pay certification exam fees upfront with no out-of-pocket expense, and two opportunities to pass the exam.  This program specifically applies to only two exams - the CMSRN and the CCCTM.  You may read more about the program here.  In order to apply for a voucher code to enable you to schedule an exam using the program, click here.

As of July 1, 2014, this program enables UVA Health System to pay certification exam fees at a discounted rate so that nurses do not have any out-of-pocket expense. In order to be eligible for this program, the certification sought MUST be one of the specialty certifications offered through the ANCC (not Nurse Practitioner or Clinical Nurse Specialist Certifications).

Click here to complete a web form to get started OR use the links below for more information.

About the Success PaysTM program | List of Eligible Certifications (except NP and CNS certifications)

This program allows an eligible nurse to take the CNOR exam twice in a 12-month period if the first attempt is unsuccessful. The program is only available for the CNOR credential and is offered through the Competency and Credentialing Institute (CCI).
Click here to complete a web form to get started

AACN Voucher Program (for CCRN and PCCN)

This program allows an eligible nurse to obtain a voucher to use as payment for the CCRN or PCCN exam.  The voucher must be mailed in using regular US Postal mail service.  The AACN does not have an electronic system in place yet.  Click here to complete a web form to get started for CCRN and Click here to get started for the PCCN.


The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) offers the No Pass, No Pay Program for pediatric nurses seeking the CPN credential. The PNCB offers a number of resources including several free CE modules: http://www.pncb.org/ptistore/control/ce/product_list?prod=fce. RNs do not need to be certified or seeking certification to access these free modules. Currently most modules are targeted for advanced practice RNs, but general practice RNs are the majority of participants overall.   Click here to submit a web form to get started!

Expenses for initial certification, and re-certification not offered through these specific programs may still be eligible for reimbursement. See Applying for funding assistance for more information. Nursing certifications eligible for funding assistance must be on this list of National Certifications recognized by the ANCC for reporting on the Magnet Demographic Data Collection Tool (DDCT)TM. Again, NP and CNS certifications are not eligible.


Funding Assistance for certification is part of UVA Employee Benefits, HR Policy 301

NEW in 2016!!! Effective October 1, 2016 reimbursement of certifications will increase from $325 to $375. The Human Resources Policy No. 301 will be updated to reflect this increase. It will continue to apply to all eligible employees as outlined in the policy. 

As described above, UVA Health System participates in a number of external programs that allow the institution to pre-pay the exam fee for the nurse.

If you are not participating in one of the pre-pay programs, funding assistance for certification is a reimbursement process. This means the RN pays expenses out-of-pocket and is reimbursed. The educational assistance form will get you started!



  • We will introduce a $300 bonus (all bonuses are subject to applicable State and Federal Tax guidelines) for all specialty certified RNs. This will be effective in March 2017 as part of the national celebration of Certified Nurses Day. This additional financial support provides recognition for RNs who achieve specialty certification and helps support any costs that are not covered by the Health System.
  • Benefitted and non-benefitted RNs are eligible for the bonus.
  • Certifications are eligible for reimbursement and bonus if they are included on the approved specialty certifications list.
  • Eligibility for the bonus will be contingent upon providing evidence of a current/active specialty certification at the time the bonus is paid.

If you are currently certified or obtain your RN specialty certification,  be sure your RN PNSO Profile is updated.

Areas that have certification wall plaques will use an online tool to request new nameplates. If you need a new name plate(s) or if you have questions about wall plaques, click here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/uvacert


  • March 19th is National Certified Nurses Day.
  • The PNSO sponsors events during the entire week. Information can be found in the PNSO email BLAST leading up to March 19th.
  • Local units are encouraged to recognize the certified nurses on their team!

Click here for answers to many questions about the NEW certification offerings.

If you do not find the answer to your question, contact the .

2018 Certification Review offerings

NPDS is now hosting the following electronic certification review on an ongoing basis.  Click the applicable link below to register.:

  • CNOR Exam Review: https://meded.cvent.com/UVA-CNOR
  • CNRN Exam Review: https://meded.cvent.com/UVA-CNRN
  • Pain Management Exam Review: https://meded.cvent.com/UVA-PM
  • Spring CCRN Certification Review Webinar Course: in the hospital on Tuesday evenings, from 1600 to 2030, starting March 27, 2018 thru April 24, 2018.  The five webinar reviews will be on the upcoming NPDS Class Calendar and 19.2 AACN contact hours are available upon completion of all five classes.  The course is available now for open enrollment in NetLearning/LMS. 
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