Certifiably Awesome

Fall 2021 As Seen in Our Fall 2021 Issue
Certifiably Awesome

With a fifth emergency nursing certification in hand, Johns Hopkins pediatrics ICU nurse Casey Green is just getting started

Casey Green of the pediatric cardiology intensive care unit at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Children’s Center could make quite an alphabet soup by simply tossing together the letters from her emergency nursing certifications into a pot. But she has something even more important cooking.

This summer, Green became just the 85th nurse in the United States ever to hold all five emergency nursing certifications from the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing:

• Certified Transport Registered Nurse (CTRN)
• Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN)
• Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN)
• Trauma Certified Registered Nurse (TCRN)
• Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse (CPEN)

(The CTRN is a rare certification belonging to only a few hundred nurses and served as Green’s initial motivation. Once she attained it, she knew nothing was out of the question. “The CTRN and the CEN, I’d say they’re tied [for the hardest to achieve].”)

On top of these, Green also holds—at age 28—a critical care registered nurse certification (CCRN) from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Put it all together, and meet Casey Green, RN, CCRN, CTRN, CFRN, CEN, TCRN, CPEN. “[It] is still so surreal to me,” says Green of joining such an elite group of nurses.

Becoming certified is one way for nurses to grow skills and expand expertise throughout their careers. Currently, about 950 Johns Hopkins Hospital nurses have at least one certification. “Becoming certified is not just about ‘adding more letters after your name’ or ‘just a test anyone can take.’ The knowledge you gain while studying for certification translates directly into improving your nursing practice, which improves the care you provide to every patient you interact with,” she explains.

Green started her journey in 2010 at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD, earning an associate’s degree there and then a BSN from the University of Maryland in 2017. Already an EMT, she went to work on a goal of achieving two emergency certifications. “But as I passed the first emergency certification,” she recalls, “I went on and started scheduling others. I ended up taking six exams in four months!”

Of course, she’s done it all while working at the hospital and serving as adjunct faculty at Howard Community College. “What helped me most was to think of my studies as a way to increase my knowledge as a nurse, not just as something I needed to know to pass an exam.”

And Green hopes to influence others who might have thought about certification but, for whatever reason, haven’t followed up. For herself, “The next step is applying for [certified registered nurse anesthetist] CRNA school … along with continuing to teach and inspire others to surpass me!”

This report was compiled from articles by Johns Hopkins Communications Specialist Laura Motel and Rob Senior of American Nurse magazine. Watch American Nurse’s Spotlight video on Casey Green.

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