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Issue Background

Certification: The Defining Difference

All patients deserve to have highly qualified personnel keeping them safe from  infections and research shows that certified IPs tend to outperform their noncertified counterparts.  Click here to learn more

As part of its Strategic Plan 2020 to “support board certification in infection prevention and control to promote widespread adoption,” APIC has launched its Certification: The Defining Difference campaign. This state-based legislative effort encourages new infection preventionists (IPs) to become certified in infection prevention and control. APIC is currently promoting this legislation in state legislatures.

Why is certification important?

The relationship between certified nurses and the quality of patient care is well established. High performing organizations with Magnet status or other specialty certifications recognize that credentialed staff is an important indicator to patients and employers that their professionals are qualified and competent.1

Certified IPs are:

  • better prepared to interpret evidence and act as champions for key infection prevention practices within their facilities;
  • two to three times more likely to perceive the evidence of certain infection prevention practices as strong; and,
  • more likely to implement certain infection control measures.2,3 

Hospitals with infection prevention and control programs led by a CIC® have significantly lower rates of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infections.4

1American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. AACN Certification Corporation. Safeguarding the patient and the profession: the value of critical care nurse certification. Am J Crit Care 2003;12:154-64.
2Krein SL, Hofer TP, Kowalski CP, et al. Use of central venous catheter-related bloodstream infection prevention practices by US hospitals. Mayo Clin Proc 2007; 82: 672-678.
3 Saint S, Greene MT, Olmsted RN, Chopra V, Meddings J, Safdar N, Krein SL. Perceived strength of evidence supporting practices to prevent health care-associated infection: results from a national survey of infection prevention personnel. Am J Infect Control. 2013 Feb; 41 (2):100-6.
4Pogorzelska M, Stone PW, Larson EL. Certification in infection control matters: Impact of infection control department characteristics and policies on rates of multidrug-resistant infections. Am J Infect Control. 2012 Mar; 40 (2):96-101.