Certification vs. Certificate: Do You Know the Difference?
Have you ever found yourself wondering, "What is the difference between certification and a certificate?" To assist you in communicating with your colleagues and clients and to help avoid confusion in the marketplace, AALNC has provided you with some guidance so you can learn the difference.
- Results from an assessment process that recognizes an individual's knowledge, skills and competency in a particular specialty
- Typically requires professional experience
- Awarded by a third-party, standard-setting organization, typically not for profit
- Indicates mastery/competency as measured against a defensible set of standards, usually by application or exam
- Standards set through a defensible, industry-wide process (job analysis/role delineation) that results in an outline of required knowledge and skills
- Typically results in credentials to be listed after one's name (LNCC, ONC, CCRN)
- Has on-going requirements in order to maintain; holder must demonstrate that they continue to meet requirements
- Results from an educational process
- For newcomers and experienced professionals
- Awarded by educational programs or institutions often for-profit
- Indicates completion of a course(s) with a specific focus (different than a degree-granting program)
- Course content is determined by the specific provider or institution and is not standardized
- Usually listed on a resume, detailing education
- Demonstrates knowledge of course content at the end of a set period of time
By setting and enforcing standards for certification, the American Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC) seeks to protect the public and consumers through their mission to provide assurance to the public that the nurse holding the credential from an accredited certification program possesses the knowledge, skills and competency for quality practice in the specialty. In compliance with ABSNC standards and requirements, the American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification Board (ALNCCB) certifies legal nurse consultant professionals through the Legal Nurse Consultant Certified (LNCC) program. Unlike many certificate programs being offered by colleges and private educational providers, the LNCC program is practice-based. It is not intended to teach individuals how to become legal nurse consultants. Rather, it is designed to measure an individual's "knowledge-in-use" — the application of knowledge and skills by those with real-life experience in this role.
Certification as a Legal Nurse Consultant Certified (LNCC®) shows nurse colleagues, clients, employers and others in the medical-legal system that you are knowledgeable of, experienced in and committed to the specialty of legal nurse consulting. The process of becoming certified enhances your professional development and provides opportunities for professional growth. To learn more about AALNC’s Legal Nurse Consulting Certification (LNCC®), please visit http://lncc.aalnc.org/
Visit the AALNC website for more information.