Relationships Between Certification and Job Perceptions of Oncology Nurses

Linda Hughes

Sandra E. Ward

Cecelia Gatson Grindel

Elizabeth Ann Coleman

Donna L. Berry

Pamela S. Hinds

Denise M. Oleske

Cynthia Miller Murphy

Marilyn Frank-Stromborg

cancer nursing, certification, satisfaction, motivation

Purpose/Objectives: To explore relationships between oncology nursing certification and oncology nurses’ job perceptions.

Design: Descriptive, correlational.

Setting: Questionnaire mailed to homes of Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) members.

Sample: 703 certified and 514 noncertified ONS members (N = 1,217; 50% response rate).

Methods: Data were collected using survey methods and grouped by respondents’ certification status for statistical analysis.

Main Research Variables: Certification, group cohesion, organizational commitment, and job satisfaction.

Findings: Certification was weakly correlated with cohesion, commitment, and satisfaction. Work setting, rather than certification, accounted for differences in job perceptions. Job perceptions were most positive in settings characterized by a high percentage of patients with cancer (> 75%), a high percentage of RNs (> 80%), and monetary support for continuing education.

Conclusions: The hypothesis that oncology nurses’ certification status is associated with job perceptions that are valued by employers was not supported.

Implications for Nursing Practice: Nurses’ job perceptions have been linked to control over nursing practice and participation in organizational and clinical decision making. Managerial strategies that empower certified nurses to practice with more autonomy and participate in decisions that affect patient care should be emphasized.

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