The Power of Lifelong Learning and Commitment: MSNCB's President Message

  • Posted on: 9 April 2019
  • By: AMSN

Welcome to the April/May Edition of MSNCB's Certification Central, your must-read recertification resource. One of the most common questions I am asked by both new and seasoned nurses concerns my career path in nursing. Specifically, they want to know the how and the why behind my career.

When I reflect on my career, I remember that as a newer nurse I was always eager to learn new skills, techniques, and of course new knowledge. I volunteered for committees, helped with annual skills competency days, and later became a nursing preceptor.

In my quest for knowledge and knowledgeable sources, I discovered the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN). At the time there was no Internet, so I had to go to a medical library to read the AMSN journals! I was pretty fascinated with the journals because they were easy to read and applicable to my medical-surgical practice as a trauma nurse.

Eventually, I joined AMSN and began receiving my own journals. One day while reading the journal, I saw an advertisement about the AMSN Annual Conference and I decided the easiest way to attend was to submit a poster that reflected my nursing practice. Thankfully, it was accepted and I had a wonderful time at the conference.

I became convinced that certification as a Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) was going to be a key component in my pursuit of excellence in nursing. The more I thought about CMSRN certification, the more important it became to share this concept throughout my healthcare organization.

As a result, I was inspired to develop an in-house CMSRN Preparation Course to certify our inpatient and outpatient nursing staff. In developing and teaching the CMSRN course with my colleagues, I developed a love of teaching and began to teach in the Surgical Services Specialty Orientation Program, Trauma Nurse Core Certification, and later became adjunct faculty at a local university.

As my scope of practice broadened, I saw an email from the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB) seeking to fill the position of board director. Reflecting on my nursing career, I felt I was an ideal candidate and I hoped they did too.

Needless to say, I applied for the position, was accepted, joined the board, and recently became its president. In reflecting on my career pathway, CMSRN certification was definitely the catalyst that started my nursing journey.

MSNCB Board President

Clinical Nurse Specialist
Barnes-Jewish Hospital
Saint Louis, MO