(AP) -- It's not hard to find a labor and delivery nurse certified in electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) in the Upper Valley Medical Center (UMVC) obstetrics unit in Troy.
Within the past year, 100 percent have achieved this national certification.
Nurses can be nationally certified in their specialty, such as obstetrics, oncology, surgical, pediatrics and hospice.
To become certified, nurses first must be eligible to test by meeting practice and education requirements. After taking and passing the national examination, nurses maintain their certification through continuing education requirements.
A nurse chooses to become certified as part of professional development, to validate specialty knowledge on a national level, be recognized for expertise and demonstrate her/his commitment to the profession and best practice.
"UVMC nursing is very proud to have all of our obstetrical nurses certified in fetal monitoring. This provides for safer patient care in the department," said Terry Fry, UVMC's chief nursing officer.
UVMC encourages nurses to consider certification in their field of expertise, Fry said, adding the number of certified nurses continues to increase.
The National Certification Corporation (NCC) is the body that certifies obstetrics nurses. There are core certifications that can be earned such as certification in inpatient obstetrics. The EFM certification is a subspecialty exam that certifies added qualification in EFM.
In the UVMC obstetrics unit, all labor and delivery nurses became certified in EFM as part of a Premier Health initiative for staff competency and safe patient care.
All labor and delivery nurses have completed AWHONN basic and intermediate fetal monitoring courses, have become NCC certified, and have taken or will take the AWHONN advanced fetal monitoring course as well.
Physicians also were invited to become certified in EFM, contributing to safe care as all members of the team demonstrate the same knowledge and use the same terminology when communicating about the EFM strips.
The EFM certification exam is a 125-question test that focuses on pattern recognition, interpretation and management.
In 2013, nurses in the U.S. and Canada held more than 684,600 certifications -- an increase of more than 87,000 over the previous year, according to the American Board of Nursing.
National Certified Nurses Day was celebrated March 19. At UVMC nearly 100 nurses are certified.
To learn more, log on to HYPERLINK "http://www.UVMC.com" www.UVMC.com.