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Chris Tigeris, RN, COHN(C)

Certified in occupational health nursing

Why did you become certified 25 years ago?

I felt that certification would reflect my extra education and higher skills more than just my RN title and a certificate course. It was a credential that indicated my expertise in my chosen area.

How has certification helped you in your career?

Some employers required certification. For others, they were more confident about the fact that they were hiring someone who definitely has expertise in a particular area, so they would get a great employee with a higher education, understanding, knowledge and skill set. Over time, I have had many people requesting my assistance as they clearly see me as an expert in the field.

How has certification helped you in your practice?

Due to the continuous learning requirements, I have attended seminars and taken courses that have helped make me a better nurse. I can provide the latest information about the concerns facing my clients along with better treatment and counselling options. Overall, my certification has furthered my knowledge base.

Do you have any messages you would like to share with nurses about the importance of continuous learning and certification?

In my 30-plus years of occupational health nursing, I have seen so many changes in treatment methods and practice standards. Without continuous learning opportunities, I may not have been able to keep up with the changes, nor excel in my workplace. Also, I realize that my financial status is higher due to my credential.