Sandy Bodin, MA, RN, CNN, and outgoing President of NNCC, believes that nurses, as a whole, are aware that the more certifications existing among a team, the better patient outcomes will be. The purpose of certification in nursing, Bodin shares, includes protecting the public from unsafe and incompetent providers, giving consumers more choices in selecting health care providers, distinguishing among levels of caregivers, and giving better-trained providers a competitive advantage.
“Certification,” Bodin explains. “Has been shown to positively affect patients and nurses.”
Recently, NNCC’s outgoing president shared her thoughts on the process of becoming certified, the real-world work of nursing leaders and the impact of NNCC on the specialty of nephrology nursing.
Tell us about your career, and why you chose nephrology.
When I was in college, I was intrigued when we toured the dialysis unit at the local hospital. As a student nurse, I selected the dialysis unit as the clinical setting for my internship. The nephrology nurses were so impressive. They were able to seamlessly incorporate the use of technology into the care of the patients. Of course, dialysis “technology” was quite different from today. There were no computer interfaces and ultrafiltration pressure was applied to the blood line with a C-clamp. The machines looked like wash tubs and if the coil dialyzer froze during shipment, they had massive blood leaks. I was impressed with the competence and calmness of the nurses and with the relationships they had with their patients and families. I decided I wanted to be like them and applied to work in the dialysis unit after graduation and a year on a med-surg unit.
Why do you believe strongly in the benefits of certification?
The benefits of certification are two-fold. For myself, certification gives me confidence and pride in my knowledge, my commitment to ongoing learning and my growing experience. For patients, certification demonstrates that I have taken the extra step to provide quality and safe care.
What motivates you as a nurse - and what drives you personally?
I am motivated by the belief that I can improve the quality of care for patients with kidney disease. The goal of lifelong learning and specialty certification helps to keep me motivated.
What are your hopes for NNCC, as an organization, and its members?
NNCC is a highly respected organization in the kidney community. I see and hear that whenever I meet with members of the community. I hope that NNCC continues to offer the most respected certifications for nephrology nurses and technicians. Our certifications are accredited by the American Board of Nursing Specialties which demonstrates our excellence.
Sandy, what are you most proud of, what was a particularly impactful achievement or experience you had in your leadership role with NNCC? Why is this so meaningful to you, personally, and/or to the betterment of NNCC?
The most important people of any certification commission are the subject matter experts (SME) who write the exams. I am so impressed by the SMEs that serve on NNCC’s exam boards and test committees. I am pleased that NNCC has been able to provide educational opportunities for our SMEs to increase their nephrology knowledge. I am also very excited to launch our water module, which is a self-learning computerized based review of CMS water standards for our certificants. The launch of the water module will be this year.
Sandy, your tremendous contributions to NNCC during your leadership service will strengthen NNCC for years to come. Is there anything you would like to share, as you reflect on your impact and experience with NNCC?
I have been grateful for the opportunity to serve on NNCC. The commissioners, our testing partners at C-NET, and our management staff at Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc are goal-oriented individuals with positive attitudes. Our SMEs are outstanding. The specialty field of nephology nursing has evolved over the years, however, one thing that does not change is the need for certified technicians, nurses, and nurse practitioners to provide safe, quality care to patients with kidney disease. The future holds new and exciting opportunities for nephrology nurses in the areas of chronic kidney disease (CKD) management, transplantation, regenerative medicine, and research.