2022 NNCC Advocacy Award Winner

NYU Langone Health, NYU Langone Hospital

Long Island, New York

Each year, NNCC gives the Advocacy Award to one unit for outstanding performance in advancing nephrology nursing certification and patient care. Applications are reviewed by the NNCC Board of Commissioners, which looks for programs and activities that support certification. The Commissioners also consider the impact the facility has on the community. The winning unit receives an engraved plaque and a check for $1,000.

For 2022, this unit is NYU Langone Health.

To further honor its dedicated staff members, we spoke with Faith Lynch, DNP, RN, CNN, Nurse Manager, Acute Dialysis, NYU Langone Health, NYU Langone Hospital - Long Island.

Why did you submit an application for your unit for the NNCC Advocacy Award?

The Acute Dialysis Unit at NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island (NYULH-LI) is a team of dynamic nurses that have worked extremely hard to pave the way in nephrology nursing within their organization. After the hospital’s Magnet® re-designation, the nurses in the Acute Dialysis Unit expressed their renewed commitment in seeking professional board certification as a project. They worked so hard as a team to prove that they deliver the highest quality of safe patient care and there is no better way to highlight the amazing accomplishments than by nominating them for this award.

Why is certification important to the nurses in your department and your facility?

NYU Langone Health has taken pride in the professional education and development of their nurses by supporting and valuing the attainment of professional board certification. As a key tenet of Magnet®, and the hospital’s clinical ladder titled “Nursing Professional Advancement Program”, professional certification is an opportunity for nurses to validate mastery of their knowledge, skills, and abilities as well as promote their autonomy, confidence, and competence. These dialysis nurses take pride in delivering the best care to our patient population.

How do you motivate your nurses to get certified?

I honestly believe that motivating the nurses comes from leadership setting the standard. I wanted all my nurses to better themselves professionally and this was the perfect opportunity to do it. To model the way and inspire the team, I, myself, as the Nurse Manager of Acute Dialysis obtained my CNN. This helped to prove “If I can do it, so can you”. After that, the nurses developed a robust strategy to utilize the abundance of resources provided by NYU Langone Health and the NNCC to increase the certification rate for the nurses in their unit.

Does your employer value/appreciate nephrology-nursing certification? If so, how?

NYU Langone Health values certification of all nursing specialties. The health system offers an abundance of resources to increase the certification rate for nurses. The organization offers financial support for preparing for and taking the certification exam. Additionally, a yearly financial stipend is provided to clinical nurses for maintaining certification. Nurses that achieve professional board certification are celebrated during the ANCC’s Certified Nurses Day, National Nurses Week, Nephrology Nurses Week, and at various other venues during the year. Certified nurses at NYULH-LI are recognized in the Nursing Clinical Update Bulletin, a monthly publication by the hospital’s Magnet Program Office, and via email from the Acute Dialysis nursing leadership team to the department’s interdisciplinary team inclusive of nurses, providers, etc. The nurses in the Acute Dialysis Unit, who have achieved professional board certification, are acknowledged as experts in their specialty and utilized as resources and preceptors for new and experienced nurses who are caring for patients with renal disease.

Where do you go from here?

Leveraging the resources at NYU Langone Health and with the support of leadership, the nurses in the Acute Dialysis Unit have achieved an 82 percent certification rate through the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) as of December 2021. The unit’s certification rate at the beginning of calendar year 2021 was 18 percent which is greater than a 350 percent increase! With this trend, we are hoping to be at 100 percent certified by the end of 2022.

What would you tell other nurses who are considering nephrology-nursing certification?

Certification is a professional accomplishment for every nurse. It shows you are an expert in your specialty. You need to want to do it for yourself, but also for your patients. We go by the motto, “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team!”- Phil Jackson

FOR MORE INFORMATION: If you would like to apply for the NNCC Award for Nephrology Nursing Certification Advocacy, there’s plenty of time! Visit the NNCC Advocacy Awards page for details and apply before January 1, 2023.

View all NNCC awards, scholarships, and grants and apply.