Perspective from Becky Brosch, RD, CSR, LD
Disclosures: Groesbeck reports financial support from the School of Health Professions, Department of Clinical and Preventive Nutrition Sciences, to cover costs of using the PVCT in the survey.
December 13, 2021
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Board-certified specialist in renal nutrition credential viewed valuable by those with it

Perspective from Becky Brosch, RD, CSR, LD
Disclosures: Groesbeck reports financial support from the School of Health Professions, Department of Clinical and Preventive Nutrition Sciences, to cover costs of using the PVCT in the survey.
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Survey results revealed that registered dietitian nutritionists with the board-certified specialist in renal nutrition credential reported the credential to be highly valuable, according to data published in the Journal of Renal Nutrition.

Those who received financial reimbursement for earning the credential were more likely to feel it was worth more.

“Understanding the values registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) place on their specialist certifications can provide health care administrators or credentialing agencies with knowledge about the factors that influence RDNs’ decisions around seeking specialist certification. The financial costs associated with the specialist certification examination and reexaminations might hinder RDNs from pursuing them, especially if RDNs do not receive a financial benefit,” Amanda Groesbeck, RDN/LDN, CNSC, senior director of food and nutrition at Morrison Healthcare in Charlotte, North Carolina, and colleagues wrote. “This study aimed to evaluate the perceived value of RDNs who hold the board-certified specialist in renal nutrition (CSR) credential using the Perceived Value of Certification Tool (PVCT) and explore if there were differences in value scores between RDNs who received reimbursement for obtaining the CSR credential and those who did not.”

In a cross-sectional study, researchers sent 553 RDNs who held the CSR credential an internet-based survey. The survey included demographic questions and 18 value statements that weighed the total perceived value of certification among the participants, 12 of which were intrinsic value statements and six were extrinsic value statements. Participants rated the statements on a 4-point Likert scale including ‘‘strongly disagree’’ (SD=1), ‘‘disagree’’ (D=2), ‘‘agree’’ (A=3), ‘‘strongly agree’’ (SA=4) and ‘‘no opinion.’’

The Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare value scores between participants who received reimbursement and those who did not.

Of the 553 RDNs invited to join the survey, 184 completed it (median age was 44 years old; 95.1% were women; 81.5% were white; 96.2% were non-Hispanic). The survey revealed 53.3% of the participants received reimbursement for taking the board-certified specialist examination or reexamination. Furthermore, those who received reimbursement had higher perceived extrinsic value scores than those who did not.

Overall, the median PVCT scores were 61 of 72 for total, 43.5 of 48 for intrinsic and 18 of 24 for extrinsic values. The statements on which most participants agreed were “validates specialized knowledge” and “provides evidence of professional commitment.” The lowest value statement was “increases salary.”

“In conclusion, total, intrinsic, and extrinsic value scores of those who received reimbursement for the CSR credential were higher than scores of those who did not receive reimbursement; however, there was only a statistically significant difference in the extrinsic value score. RDNs with the CSR credential value their specialist certification, with 12 of the 18 value statements reaching at least 80% agreement,” Groesbeck and colleagues wrote. “To increase the nursing profession’s perceived value of specialist certifications, the Magnet Board of Nursing suggests strategies to grow extrinsic values based on the PVCT, such as offering reimbursement, a clinical ladder program or recognizing those who have a specialist certification with a special name badge. Given the lower extrinsic value of the CSR credential in this study, using like strategies may increase recognition and participation of RDNs in this certification program.”

According to the researchers, limitations of this study include possible response bias.