VG Nurse Brings Key Certification to VGYC
As more chronically ill patients end up in primary care clinics, ambulatory care nursing is becoming the sought-after career.
Ambulatory Care Nurses take care of patients at sites outside of hospitals. Often, they care for patients across a life span, helping patients deal with pain management and providing health education for patients with chronic illnesses or injuries.
Karen Salazar, a registered nurse and Clinical Program Manager at our McMinnville Clinic, recently passed the Ambulatory Care Nursing exam, making her the first board certified ambulatory care nurse at VG. The exam is administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, which recognizes exceptional registered nurses (RN) and family nurse practitioners nationally.
Karen is a caregiver by nature. She ran a preschool for years before her neighbor, Jennifer Kelso, also an RN at McMinnville, suggested a career as a nurse.
“My kids were getting older, and I wanted to do something different,” Karen said. “I tried one science class (biology), and I loved it. I just kept moving forward.”
Her favorite class was microbiology. “If I hadn’t gone to nursing school, I would have wanted to work in a lab,” she said. But lab work would have kept her from working with patients.
“My favorite aspect of nursing is the relationship you have with the patients,” Karen said. “You get to see the patient over and over again as you help them manage their illnesses.”
The Affordable Care Act, which stresses primary care and prevention, is behind the rise in ambulatory care nursing, according to an article in MedScape. In addition to providing direct care, ambulatory care nurses teach and guide patients in self-care and in making decisions about healthy behaviors.
Karen, however, took it a step further, proving herself in five core areas – clinical practice, professional role, communications, systems/legal and regulatory and education.
“I set a goal to become board certified by the end of 2017,” said Karen, who has been with VG for three years. “I wanted to challenge myself and to enhance my own professional knowledge. Becoming board certified has increased my confidence in my nursing.”
For more information about the exam and certification, visit: https://www.aaacn.org/certification/ambulatory-care-nurse-certification-exam.