Longitudinal Assessment: A Strategy to Improve Continuing Professional Certification

Authors
Giron S, Dishman D, McMullan S, Riel J, Newcomer T, Spence D, Choudry S
Year
2021
Journal
Journal of Professional Nursing
Abstract

Healthcare certification organizations carefully balance a commitment to bring value to their membership through programs that support lifelong learning and professional growth, while protecting the public by ensuring competent certified practitioners. These certifying bodies are challenged with remaining current with their maintenance of certification programs while keeping pace with the growing breadth of knowledge, industry standards and guidelines, innovative advances, and rapid technological gains in testing and assessment. Within the context of process innovation, the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) evaluated the current landscape of Longitudinal Assessment (LA) as a potential strategy for the assessment of core knowledge as part of their Continued Professional Certification Program for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. This manuscript details the evaluation of LA using a Logic Model as the tool to scaffold inquiry, a review of LA literature, an environmental scan of current LA programs with identification of LA program elements available, and the results of a LA feasibility study. The findings substantiate that continued professional certification which incorporates a LA strategy can augment lifelong learning, but is not an assessment strategy that can be implemented without thoughtful planning, customization and continuous maintenance.