Journal of Nursing Education

Major Article 

Measuring the Value of Academic Nurse Educator Certification: Perceptions of Administrators and Educators

Kathleen Poindexter, PhD, RN, CNE; Deborah Lindell, DNP, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN; Debra Hagler, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, CNE, CHSE, ANEF, FAAN

Abstract

Background:

Certification is one option for validating the professional competence of academic nurse educators. The relative value associated with such certification has not yet been established.

Method:

Psychometric analysis of a new Perceived Value of Certification Tool for Academic Nurse Educators (PVCT-ANE) was conducted. Certified nurse educators (CNE) and noncertified nurse educators and nursing program administrators responded to an online survey using the PVCT-ANE.

Results:

A sample of 718 nurse faculty members and administrators from 48 states in the United States participated. Academic nurse educator certification was valued by nurse educators and administrators as representing specialized knowledge, attainment of a professional standard, educator competence, and professional credibility. Value statements associated with satisfaction and professional accomplishments were rated higher than statements associated with professional recognition and marketing.

Conclusion:

The PVCT-ANE is useful for assessing how different groups perceive the value associated with academic nurse educator certification. [J Nurs Educ. 2019;58(9):502–509.]

Abstract

Background:

Certification is one option for validating the professional competence of academic nurse educators. The relative value associated with such certification has not yet been established.

Method:

Psychometric analysis of a new Perceived Value of Certification Tool for Academic Nurse Educators (PVCT-ANE) was conducted. Certified nurse educators (CNE) and noncertified nurse educators and nursing program administrators responded to an online survey using the PVCT-ANE.

Results:

A sample of 718 nurse faculty members and administrators from 48 states in the United States participated. Academic nurse educator certification was valued by nurse educators and administrators as representing specialized knowledge, attainment of a professional standard, educator competence, and professional credibility. Value statements associated with satisfaction and professional accomplishments were rated higher than statements associated with professional recognition and marketing.

Conclusion:

The PVCT-ANE is useful for assessing how different groups perceive the value associated with academic nurse educator certification. [J Nurs Educ. 2019;58(9):502–509.]

Calls for preparing nurse educators to teach the next generation of nurses continue to grow in strength (American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN], 2017; National League for Nursing [NLN], 2017; World Health Organization [WHO], 2016). Expectations of faculty members are multidimensional to include developing innovative curricula, planning student-centered learning activities, establishing collaborative partnerships, and leading visionary change within the academy (AACN, 2017). Nursing students must be prepared to enter a complex health care environment ready to engage in intellectually, emotionally, and physically demanding work (Institute of Medicine [IOM], 2015, p. 8). As the cost of higher education increases and funding sources decrease, the demands for program accountability, efficiency, and effectiveness continue to escalate (Kreighbaum, 2019; Mitchell, Leachman, Masterson, & Waxman, 2018). These forces place a greater emphasis on academic nursing programs' hiring and retaining of nurse educators qualified and prepared to teach.

Credentialing is one method of demonstrating competence through meeting accepted standards established in a specialized field of practice (Needleman, Dittus, Pittman, Spetz, & Newhouse, 2014). “These standards may be minimal and mandatory or above the minimum and voluntary” (International Council of Nurses, 2006, as cited in American Nurses Credentialing Center [ANCC], n.d.-a). Three types of credentials are generally recognized: entry level, specialized skills or training (voluntary), or advanced practice specialty certification (Needleman et al., 2014).

The process of credentialing may contribute to standardizing role expectations and quality performance measures. Certification, as a voluntary form of credentialing, recognizes the achievement of a specialized skillset beyond basic minimum requirements (ANCC, n.d.-b). In nursing, there are more than 185 specialty certifications (AACN, 2017; Biel, Grief, Patry, Ponto, & Shirey, 2014), each with unique eligibility requirements. Many studies indicate correlations between nursing certifications and improved practice outcomes, higher retention rates, increased satisfaction, and marketability (AACN, 2017; Biel et al., 2014; Needleman et al., 2014). However, certification research is limited and little evidence supports consistent outcomes across all types of specialized certification in nursing (Fitzpatrick, 2017; Lundmark et al., 2012). Rigorous research to validate outcomes associated with voluntary certification depends on stakeholder beliefs about the value of certification (Needleman et al., 2014). To determine the value associated with credentialing, researchers need to explore the links between practice, outcomes, and certification (IOM, 2015).

The NLN (2012) and WHO (2016) have established core competencies of nurse educators. The NLN offers certification as an academic nurse educator (CNE®) and academic clinical nurse educator (CNE®cl) to validate knowledge of core competencies and expertise in these specialty areas of practice (NLN, n.d.). To date, there is a paucity of research aiming to examine values associated with certification as an academic educator from the perspective of academic nurse administrators and nurse educators (CNE and non-CNE). The purpose of this article is to report the psychometric properties of a revised Perceived Value of Certification Tool© for academic nurse educators (PVCT-ANE) and results of a study of values regarding nurse educator certification as perceived by administrators and educators.

Related PVCT Research

Individual beliefs about the value of certification are one of the few areas regarding certification that have been studied in various nursing specialties. The PVCT was developed by the Certification Board Perioperative Nursing Research Committee to study perceptions of certified operating room nurses about certification (Gaberson, Schroeter, Killen, & Valentine, 2003). The PVCT is an 18-item Likert-type survey designed to measure the perceived value of nursing specialty certification, with emphasis on clinical roles. The statements in the initial PVCT, developed from literature review and analysis of responses of five focus groups, had five content areas: competency, recognition, evidence for consumers, intrinsic rewards, and marketability and financial benefits. Initial testing of the PVCT reduced the factors to three (personal value, recognition by others, and professional practice) (Gaberson et al., 2003) and, with further testing, the PVCT was found to have two factors or subscales: intrinsic value and extrinsic value (Sechrist & Berlin, 2006).

The PVCT instrument has a stable factor structure on both exploratory (Gaberson et al., 2003; Sechrist & Berlin, 2006) and confirmatory factor analysis (Sechrist & Berlin, 2006) and demonstrates high internal consistency and reliability, with a Cronbach's alpha of .92 to .95 (Messmer, Hill-Rodriguez, Williams, Ernst, & Tomooressi, 2011). In studies with diverse groups of nurses, the PVCT has demonstrated both discriminant (Bekemeier, 2007) and predictive validity (Sechrist & Berlin, 2006).

Barbé (2015) made minor adaptations to the PVCT tool for use with nurse educators. The PVCT–Nurse Educator© (PVCT-NE©) consists of 18 items (two items revised to align with nurse educator practice) and a two-factor structure (intrinsic and extrinsic values) consistent with the original PVCT (Barbé & Kimble, 2018a). A study comparing 295 certified and noncertified nurse's responses to the PVCT-NE reported results consistent with those from the original PVCT (Barbé & Kimble, 2018b). Despite this progress, the PVCT-NE tool adaptation did not address all items that might be expected to differ between clinical nurse practice and nurse educator practice.

To our knowledge, extant research using the PVCT did not specify a theoretical definition of the concept of perceived value. For the current study, perceived value is defined as the participant's understanding of the worth or importance of certification as a nurse educator. Definitions for intrinsic and extrinsic value are adopted from Barbé (2015). Intrinsic or “internal value comes from within an individual; those who find intrinsic value in an activity tend to engage in the activity for personal enjoyment or interest. Extrinsic or external value is outside the individual and is often associated with an outcome or reward” (Barbé, 2015, p. 246). These early efforts to examine the perceived value of achieving nurse educator certification provide a foundation for further exploration of factors associated with certification decisions such as administrators' perspectives. Additional tool development focusing on items specific to nurse educator practice and empirical data on administrator support for nurse educator certification could influence requirements such as the credentials required to enter into, and advance in, the role of the nurse educator. The current study had three purposes: to determine the appropriateness of the items and structure of the PVCT-ANE to measure values associated with certification as a nurse educator, to test the consistency and stability of the scores, and to examine perceived values of nurse educator certification as reported by nursing education administrators and educators.

Conceptual Model

To our knowledge, the PVCT does not have theoretical or conceptual basis. Therefore, the Expanded Conceptual Model (ECM) for credentialing research served as the conceptual model for the study reported here (Needleman et al., 2014). The ECM was built on the ANCC Model to Guide Credentialing Research and was developed to meet the “need for a common vision or conceptual model to advance the field of nursing credentialing research” (IOM, 2015, p. 6).

In the model, “Competencies and Capacities” of the credential are linked to three pathways (Invisible Architecture, Work Organization, and Nursing Performance) each containing three levels (competencies, intervening variables, and outcomes). According to the IOM (2015), “Each pathway can indirectly or directly affect four types of outcomes: organization, nurse, patient, and population health” (p. 19). Moreover, the three “pathways' components interact to create myriad associations and causal mechanisms” (IOM, 2015, p. 21).

The concept “Seek Credential” is influenced by external and internal factors and by the Invisible Architecture pathway and associated key factors of market (employability and rewards), leadership (beliefs and values), and organizational climate; and Environmental Confounders and Effect Modifiers, of which there are two types: Institutional and Individual (IOM, 2015).

Although the ECM was developed to guide credentialing research within a clinical environment, nurse educators employed in academic institutions share similar characteristics and working environments. For the current project, we used the constructs of “Invisible Architecture” (IA), “Environmental Confounders and Effect Modifiers” (ECEMs), and “Seek Credential” (internal and external factors). The ECEMs were examined using 19 perceived value statements. Perceived value of certification has an influence on one's decision to certify and are driven by both internal and external factors. A belief that certification validates specialized expertise would represent an internal factor, whereas improved marketability would be an external factor. Perceived value of certification may influence hiring practices, rewards, and compensation ultimately influencing educators' intent to become certified. The leadership component of IA was explored by including both administrator and nonadministrator faculty in the study. Further research on certification is necessary to incorporate additional elements of the conceptual model.

Method

PVCT-ANE

Validation and refinement of an instrument occurs over time with the discovery of new information and evidence. Work on the PVCT-ANE took a slightly different direction than Barbé's and Kimble's (2018a) PVCT-NE. Permission was granted by the Competency and Credentialing Institute (CCI) to adapt the original 18-item PVCT survey to align the PVCT-ANE with statements regarding the value of academic nurse educator certification. Adaptations include revision of three value statements and the addition of one new value statement. “Indicates level of clinical competence” was revised to “Indicates level of nurse educator competence.” “Indicates attainment of a practice standard” was revised to “Indicates attainment of a professional standard.” “Enhances personal confidence in clinical abilities” was revised to “Enhances personal confidence in nurse educator competencies.” Early in the adaptation process, some content experts reported that salary in academic settings is often unaffected by attaining certification. They recommended adding a value statement pertinent to the reward structure in academic settings: “contributes to tenure and promotion.” The 19 value statements are rated using the original 5-point Likert-type scale (4 = strongly agree, 3 = agree, 2 = disagree, 1 = strongly disagree, 0 = no opinion). The modified scale conceptually consists of 12 items to measure intrinsic values and seven items for the measurement of extrinsic values.

Content Validity

Content validity of the PVCT-ANE was determined for the 19 individual value statements (I-CVI) and the overall PVCT-ANE scale (S-CVI/Average). The PVCT-ANE was reviewed by 12 nurse educator content experts from three academic institutions. Each educator had at least 5 years of experience in nursing education and a minimum of a master's degree. The experts rated the relevance of each statement in regard to nurse educator certification by using a 4-point ordinal scale ranging from 1 = not relevant, 2 = somewhat relevant, 3 = relevant, to 4 = very relevant, consistent with a recommended process (Lynn, 1986). The I-CVI was calculated for each item by summing the number of experts rating the item as 3 or 4 and dividing by the total number of experts. The S-CVI/Average was computed by averaging the I-CVI for all items in the scale.

The I-CVI for each item ranged from 0.67 to 1. Two items were below 0.78, the recommended minimum for determining content validity of individual items: 0.67 for “increases salary” and 0.75 for “enhances professional autonomy.” Consideration was given to dropping both items from the tool based on the I-CVI values; however, the items were retained to maximize consistency with the original PVCT scale. The added value statement “contributes to tenure and promotion” rating was 0.83. The S-CVI/Average was 0.90. Content experts completed the pilot survey and provided feedback on ease of responses, readability, and flow.

Procedure

After approval from the institutional review board (IRB), a database of nursing program administrators was developed by obtaining names of member programs from the AACN and NLN websites. Administrator names and e-mails were confirmed and duplicates were removed prior to e-mailing an invitation to participate to 1,206 administrators. A link in the e-mail connected the participant to the survey housed on a secure server (Qualtrix®). Nurse administrators were invited to participate and asked to forward the survey to nurse educators employed by their organization. There were no exclusion criteria. Two e-mail reminders about the survey were sent 1 week apart. Additional IRB approval was required and received from three academic programs that had been invited to participate.

Data Analyses

Data analysis was aligned with the three purposes of the study. First, we determined the appropriateness of the items and structure of the PVCT-ANE to measure values associated with certification as a nurse educator. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to examine the factor structure of the revised scale. Second, a reliability analysis was conducted to test the consistency and stability of the scores. Third, we examined perceived values of nurse educator certification as reported by administrators and educators from a variety of academic nursing programs.

PVCT-ANE Factor Analysis. FACTOR, an exploratory factor analysis package for use with ordinal data derived from Likert scales (Lorenzo-Seva & Ferrando, 2006), was used to conduct psychometric analysis of the PVCT-ANE survey. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) is a statistical method used to examine underlying factor structure and relationships between variables when revising an instrument (Tabachnick & Fidell, 2013). Initially, the data were screened to assess for outliers and grossly incomplete responses were removed from the data prior to analysis. For the purpose of conducting the EFA, the original 5-point Likert-type scale was recoded to 4 = strongly agree, 3 = agree, 2 = disagree, 1 = strongly disagree, and 0 (no opinion) = 999 missing data. FACTOR does not permit missing values and excludes all cases (listwise deletion) with missing data prior to analysis. Item means, confidence intervals (CI), skewness, and kurtosis were examined to determine appropriateness of the survey items to perform an EFA (Table A; available in the online version of this article). A multivariate test (Mardia, 1970) for skewness was not significant; however, there was evidence of excessive kurtosis (p < .001). The use of polychoric correlations was selected for analysis as recommended when using ordinal data or when tests for normality are significant (Timmerman & Lorenzo-Seva, 2011).

Univariate Descriptives (N = 474)

Table A:

Univariate Descriptives (N = 474)

The polychoric correlation matrix was further examined to determine suitability of the data for EFA to include nonzero correlations, a significant Bartlett's test less than .05, and a Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) result above .80 (Beavers et al., 2013). A parallel analysis was conducted to determine factor retention based on the 19-item PVCT-ANE (Horn, 1965). Based on the recommended number of factors from the parallel analysis, an oblique rotation was selected for use with EFA due to its ability to allow relationships between factors (Gaskin & Happell, 2014). SPSS® version 24 software was used to determine Cronbach's alpha as an estimate of factor internal consistency.

PVCT-ANE Data Analysis. SPSS was used to analyze demographic data, frequencies, and responses as reported on the PVCT-ANE survey. The recoded 5-point Likert-type scale was used for analysis using pairwise deletion for missing data. Frequencies were determined for each group (administrators and nurse educators stratified by certification), type of degree, and academic institution. Descriptive statistics, including means and standard deviations (SD) were reported for each group and domain category. Independent t tests and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were conducted to examine perceived values of nurse educator certification and determine whether any differences existed between administrators and educators who were CNEs and those who were not CNEs.

Results

A total of 718 administrators and nurse educators representing 48 states responded to the survey (Table 1). Some participants did not provide a response for every question, so the total number of participants varied across items. Participants were from a variety of academic institutions: 28% from research intensive universities, 43% from liberal arts colleges, 22% from community colleges, 2% from technical vocational programs, and 1% from diploma programs. Participants reported their highest academic nursing degree as PhD (25%), Doctor of Nursing Science (3%), Doctor of Education (3%), Doctor of Nursing Practice (13%), Master of Science in Nursing (47%), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (2%), associate degree in nursing (0.4%), and other (3%). Of those responses, 396 self-identified as administrators (141 CNE and 255 not CNE) and 322 were nurse educators (75 CNE, 230 not CNE, and 17 not identified).

Demographic Data of Study Sample (N = 718)

Table 1:

Demographic Data of Study Sample (N = 718)

PVCT-ANE Construct Validity and Reliability

An initial EFA was conducted using a sample size of 474, polychoric correlations, and a classical parallel analysis to determine the number of dimensions to retain (Garrido, Abad, & Ponsoda, 2013; Gaskin & Happell, 2014). The sample size was determined to be adequate (> 300 and communalities > 0.05) to proceed with analysis (Gaskin & Happell, 2014). A Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure (KMO = 0.95) indicated sample adequacy (Kellar & Kelvin, 2013). Bartlett's test of sphericity χ2 (136) = 6270.5, p < .000 indicated correlations were within the recommended range to conduct an EFA (Kellar & Kelvin, 2013). Polychoric correlation values ranged between 0.317 and 0.909. Results indicate excellent sample adequacy and all items were retained. Two dimensions were recommended for retention based on the mean eigenvalue criterion and ninety-fifth percentile of random eigenvalues rule (Garrido et al., 2013) (Table B; available in the online version of this article).

Parallel Analysis

Table B:

Parallel Analysis

To determine the actual factor-loading matrix, a subsequent analysis was conducted using polychoric correlations, unweighted least squares, and an oblique promax rotation (Garrido et al., 2013; Gaskin & Happell, 2014). Communality values ranged between 0.40 and 1.0 suitable for retention (Watson, 2017). A two-factor solution resulted in 13 variables loading on factor 1 (0.469 to 1.037) and seven variables loading on factor 2 (0.463 to 0.821). Variable 5, recognition from peers, cross-loaded on factor 1 (0.469) and factor 2 (0.463) and was removed from the tool (Tabachnick & Fidell, 2013). The analysis was conducted with 18 variables using the same criteria. Variable 13, enhances professional autonomy, cross-loaded on both factor 1 and factor 2 (0.545 and 0.303 respectively). Despite the stronger loading on factor 1, Tabachnick and Fidell (2013) recommend deleting variables with cross-loadings to improve factor structure. The remaining variables with factor loadings greater than 0.40 were assumed to have a reasonable correlation and retained (Kellar & Kelvin, 2013).

After deleting the two variables that cross-loaded on the two factors, the final structure was composed of 17 items, with 11 items loading onto factor 1 and six items loading onto factor 2. The rotated loading matrix, with loadings below 0.3 suppressed, is reported in Table 2. All loadings are above 0.40, no cross-loadings were present, and all items load consistent with their hypothesized value dimension. Factor 1 was titled “satisfaction with professional accomplishment” (intrinsic values) and factor 2 was titled “professional recognition and marketability” (extrinsic values).

Rotated Loading Matrix for Final Factor Structurea

Table 2:

Rotated Loading Matrix for Final Factor Structure

The interfactors correlation matrix was 0.726 (0.693 to 0.791, 95% CI). The Cronbach's alpha of the PVCT-ANE sub-scale satisfaction with professional accomplishment was .946, with a mean of 3.49 (minimum 3.14 to maximum 3.69) and the Cronbach's alpha was .879 for the subscale professional recognition and marketability with a mean of 2.69 (minimum 1.96 to maximum 3.0).

Perceived Values of Nurse Educator Certification

The second portion of the study was to examine perceived values of nurse educator certification as reported on the PVCT-ANE by academic administrators and educators. Analysis was conducted using the revised 17-item PVCT-ANE. Subsamples were divided into administrators who were CNEs, administrators who were not CNEs, educators who were CNEs, and educators who were not CNEs. Means and standard deviations for each subscale and subsamples are reported in Table 3. For the purposes of this article, certified refers to CNE and does not include other certifications. Administrators who were certified demonstrated higher mean scores on both the intrinsic and extrinsic subscales. Educators and administrators who are certified value certification at a higher rate than administrators and nurse educators who are not certified on both subscales.

Analysis of Perceived Value of Certification Tool for Academic Nurse Educators (PVCT-ANE) by Category and Subsample

Table 3:

Analysis of Perceived Value of Certification Tool for Academic Nurse Educators (PVCT-ANE) by Category and Subsample

An independent t test was used to determine whether any differences existed between administrators (certified and non-certified) and nurse educators (certified and noncertified). Hedge's g was calculated to determine effect size for each of the independent t tests. Results are reported in Table 3. A significant difference and medium effect size were found between all participants who were certified and those who were not certified on the satisfaction with professional accomplishment subscale and a significant although small effect size on the professional recognition and marketing subscale. No significant differences were noted between administrators and nurse educators on the satisfaction with professional accomplishment subscale or on the professional recognition and marketing subscale. A significant difference and large effect size were found between certified administrators and noncertified nurse administrators on the satisfaction with professional accomplishment subscale and a small effect on the professional recognition and marketing subscale. A significant difference and medium effect size were also found between certified and noncertified nurse educators on the satisfaction with professional accomplishment subscale. However, there was no significant difference noted between certified and noncertified nurse educators on the professional recognition and marketing subscale.

An ANOVA was used to examine influence on perception of certification based on academic setting and highest nursing degree. There were no significant differences between administrators and educators when stratified by academic institutions or highest nursing degree on either subscale.

Discussion

The data collected for this study were adequate to conduct a factor analysis based on analysis of the descriptive statistics. The results of the EFA achieved a simple two-factor solution by deleting the two items which cross-loaded on both factors. Interestingly, both items were below 0.78 on the CVI, the recommended minimum for determining content validity. In previous instrument development by other authors, the item “promotes recognition from peers” was conceptually attributed as an extrinsic value and retained despite frequently cross-loading (Barbé & Kimble, 2018a; CCI, n.d.; Gaberson et al., 2003; Sechrist & Berlin, 2006). However, as the current results indicate, the item can equally represent a perceived intrinsic or an extrinsic value based on the interpretation of the participant. It was decided to remove the item from the factors due to the inability to conceptually associate the item within a specific domain.

The second factor removed due to cross-loading was “enhances professional autonomy.” Initially, this item was conceptually consistent with an intrinsic value. The perceived value of “enhances autonomy” may not be as significant in the academic environment as it is the clinical environment. The final EFA resulted in a two-factor structure of the PVCT-ANE with a total of 17 items. Both factors were significantly correlated and had high reliabilities as indicated by Cronbach's alpha. The revised PVCT-ANE was confirmed as a valid instrument to measure perceived values of certification as a nurse educator. The instrument may be used by administrators and educators to assess the value of nurse educator certification within an academic environment. The results may provide guidance to administrators who desire to promote certification within their organization or educators contemplating seeking academic nurse educator certification.

The satisfaction with professional accomplishments subscale had higher value ratings than the professional recognition and marketing subscale across all groups. This result is consistent with prior studies using the PVCT and PVCT-NE indicating that certification is valued more for personal satisfaction than for its professional recognition or external rewards. CNEs reported a higher value on educator certification than non-CNEs on both subscales. This finding is not surprising given that those who perceive value as a CNE would be more likely to pursue certification than those who do not value certification. Thirty-six percent of the noncertified participants reported they were considering certification. There was a significant difference between certified and noncertified nurse educators on the personal satisfaction subscale and no significant difference on the professional recognition and marketing subscale. The finding also calls attention to nurse educators' perceived lack of recognition and rewards for nurse educator certification in academic environments.

There was a significant difference between certified administrators and noncertified administrators' responses on both sub-scales. These findings call attention to the possible impact of leadership values on one's potential intent to certify. Recognition and rewards from administrators may influence other nurse educators to seek certification.

The type of academic institution did not seem to contribute to overall perceived values associated with educator certification. Although organizational values and priorities may influence an educator's decisions to seek specialty certification (IOM, 2015), administrator values may have a stronger influence on the environment than the type of institution. There was no difference noted between administrators' and educators' values of certification based on type of academic degrees held.

The satisfaction with professional accomplishments and professional marketing and recognition subscales reflect NLN nurse educator core competencies and serve to confirm the specialized knowledge and skills expected of nurse educators. Strong support that ANE certification validates specialized knowledge as a nurse educator has the potential to contribute to a decision to certify and enhances marketability of educators.

These findings call attention to the possible impact of leadership values on one's potential intent to certify. Factors such as a lack of recognition and rewards have been identified as barriers to certification across nursing specialties and these types of items show lower extrinsic scores on the PVCT. Consistent with the ECM model, these are important intervening variables that contribute to one's decision to seek certification (IOM, 2015). Recognition from peers or administrators and contributions to tenure and promotion may influence other nurse educators to seek certification.

Academic institution settings also contribute to the overall perceived values associated with educator certification. Organizational values and priorities may influence an educator's decisions to seek specialty certification as noted on the ECM model (IOM, 2015). Additional studies to examine specific variables that influence a decision to certify, validation of confounding variables, and identification of outcomes are necessary to fully validate the use of the model for nurse educator certification.

The Future Directions of Credentialing Research workshop report noted six themes that had been discussed as components of a National Agenda for Credentialing Research in Nursing (IOM, 2015). As noted earlier, although the workshop focused on clinical nursing, these themes can be viewed from the lens of nursing education. In that context, this study addressed four workshop themes: a “shared research framework” (the study was framed in the Expanded Conceptual Model), “improved data availability, harmonization and interoperability” (PVCT-ANE instrument); “the changing roles of nurses (e.g., nurse educators) in a complex health care (e.g., nursing education) environment,” and the “potential for research on nursing (education) credentialing to contribute to, as well as benefit from, health care (education) quality improvement activities in the United States” (IOM, 2015, p. 5).

Limitations

A larger representative sample of administrators than nonadministrators responded to the survey. Participants in this study may have a greater interest in academic certification than the overall nurse educator population, which may have resulted in a higher reported satisfaction score on value items. Nurse educators who work in settings that do not offer promotion or tenure may not have interpreted the item addressing that topic as pertinent.

Conclusions

Attaining the CNE credential is one way to demonstrate excellence as an academic nurse educator. The PVCT-ANE measures the perceptions of nurse educators regarding the value of attaining the CNE credential. The PVCT-ANE has utility for nurse educators, nursing education administrators, and others interested in understanding factors influencing nurse educators' decision to pursue certification. The tool could also be useful in identifying and implementing strategies to encourage nurse educators to pursue the CNE credential. Recommendations for future research include replicating the study with a broader sample of educators and administrators and conducting a confirmatory factor analysis to test the predictive ability of the PVCT-ANE. As more academic nurse educators become certified, it will be important to evaluate the outcomes of certification for a broad range of stakeholders.

References

  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2017). Preferred vision of the professoriate in baccalaureate & graduate nursing programs. Retrieved from http://www.aacnnursing.org/News-Information/Position-Statements-White-Papers/Professoriate
  • American Nurse Credentialing Center. (n.d.-a). Credentialing definitions. Retrieved from https://www.nursingworld.org/education-events/faculty-resources/research-grants/styles-credentialing-research-grants/credentialing-definitions/
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center. (n.d.-b). Our certifications. Retrieved from https://www.nursingworld.org/our-certifications/
  • Barbé, T. (2015). Preliminary psychometric analysis of the modified perceived value of certification tool for the nurse educator. Nursing Education Perspectives, 36, 244–248. doi:10.5480/14-1429 [CrossRef]26328293
  • Barbé, T. & Kimble, L.P. (2018a). A factor analysis of the perceived value of certification tool for nurse educators: Evidence for construct validity. Nursing Education Perspectives, 39, E2–E6. doi:10.1097/01.NEP.0000000000000300 [CrossRef]
  • Barbé, T. & Kimble, L.P. (2018b). What is the value of nurse educator certification? A comparison study of certified and non-certified nurse educators. Nursing Education Perspectives, 39, 66–71. doi:10.1097/01.NEP.0000000000000261 [CrossRef]
  • Beavers, A.S., Lounsbury, J.W., Richards, J.K., Huck, S.W., Skolits, G.J. & Esquivel, S.L. (2013). Practical considerations for using exploratory factor analysis in educational research. Practical Assessment, Research, & Evaluation, 18(6), 1–13.
  • Bekemeier, B. (2007). Credentialing for public health nurses: Personally valued…But not well recognized. Public Health Nursing, 24, 439–448. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1446.2007.00654.x [CrossRef]
  • Biel, M., Grief, L., Patry, L.A., Ponto, J. & Shirey, M. (2014). The relationship between nursing certification and patient outcomes: A review of the literature. Retrieved from http://www.nursingcertification.org/resources/documents/research/certification-and-patient-outcomes-research-article-synthesis.pdf
  • Competency and Credentialing Institute. (n.d.). Research tools: Perceived value of certification tool (PVCT). Retrieved from https://www.cc-institute.org/research/research-tools
  • Fitzpatrick, J.J. (2017). The value of nursing certification: Revisited and reinforced. Journal of the Association for Vascular Access, 22, 131–134. doi:10.1016/j.java.2017.07.002 [CrossRef]
  • Gaberson, K.B., Schroeter, K., Killen, A.R. & Valentine, W.A. (2003). The perceived value of certification by certified perioperative nurses. Nursing Outlook, 51, 272–276. doi:10.1016/j.outlook.2003.09.003 [CrossRef]14688762
  • Garrido, L.E., Abad, F.J. & Ponsoda, V. (2013). A new look at Horn's parallel analysis with ordinal variables. Psychological Methods, 18, 454–474. doi:10.1037/a0030005 [CrossRef]
  • Gaskin, C.J. & Happell, B. (2014). On exploratory factor analysis: A review of recent evidence, an assessment of current practice, and recommendations for future use. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 51, 511–521. doi:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2013.10.005 [CrossRef]
  • Horn, J.L. (1965). A rationale and test for the number of factors in factor analysis. Psychometrika, 30, 179–185. doi:10.1007/BF02289447 [CrossRef]14306381
  • Institute of Medicine. (2015). Future directions of credentialing research in nursing: Workshop summary. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
  • Kellar, S.P. & Kelvin, E. (2013). Munro's statistical methods for health care research (6th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolter Kluwer.
  • Kreighbaum, A. (2019). Call for accountability system for all colleges. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/print/quicktakes/2019/04/12/call-accountability-system-all-colleges
  • Lorenzo-Seva, U. & Ferrando, P.J. (2006). FACTOR: A computer program to fit the exploratory factor analysis model. Behavior Research Methods, 38, 88–91. doi:10.3758/BF03192753 [CrossRef]16817517
  • Lundmark, V., Hickey, J., Haller, K., Hughes, R., Johantgen, M., Koithan, M. & Unruh, L. (2012). A national agenda for credentialing research in nursing (ANCC Credentialing Research Report). Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Credentialing Center.
  • Lynn, M.R. (1986). Determination and quantification of content validity. Nursing Research, 35, 382–385. doi:10.1097/00006199-198611000-00017 [CrossRef]3640358
  • Mardia, K.V. (1970). Measures of multivariate skewness and kurtosis with applications. Biometrika, 57, 519–530. doi:10.1093/biomet/57.3.519 [CrossRef]
  • Messmer, P.R., Hill-Rodriguez, D., Williams, A.R., Ernst, M.E. & Tomooressi, J., (2011). Perceived value of national certification for pediatric nurses. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 42, 421–432. doi:10.3928/00220124-20110516-01 [CrossRef]21598852
  • Mitchell, M., Leachman, M., Masterson, K. & Waxman, S. (2018). Unkept promises: State cuts to higher education threaten access and equity. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Retrieved from https://www.cbpp.org/research/state-budget-and-tax/unkept-promises-state-cuts-to-higher-education-threaten-access-and
  • National League for Nursing. (2012). The scope of practice for academic nurse educators: 2012 revision. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • National League for Nursing. (2017). Graduate preparation for academic nurse educators: A living document from the National League for Nursing. Retrieved from http://www.nln.org/docs/default-source/about/nln-vision-series-(position-statements)/vision-graduate-preparation2.pdf?sfvrsn=8
  • National League for Nursing. (n.d.). Certification for nurse educators. Retrieved from http://www.nln.org/professional-development-programs/Certification-for-Nurse-Educators
  • Needleman, J., Dittus, R.S., Pittman, P., Spetz, J. & Newhouse, R. (2014). Nurse credentialing research frameworks and perspectives for assessing a research agenda. Washington, DC: Institute of Medicine.
  • Sechrist, K.R. & Berlin, L.E. (2006). Psychometric analysis of the perceived value of certification tool. Journal of Professional Nursing, 22, 248–252. doi:10.1016/j.profnurs.2005.11.006 [CrossRef]16873048
  • Tabachnick, B.G. & Fidell, L.S. (2013). Using multivariate statistics (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
  • Timmerman, M.E. & Lorenzo-Seva, U. (2011). Dimensionality assessment of ordered polytomous items with parallel analysis. Psychological Methods, 16, 209–220. doi:10.1037/a0023353 [CrossRef]21500916
  • Watson, J.C. (2017). Establishing evidence for internal structure using exploratory factor analysis. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 50, 232–238. doi:10.1080/07481756.2017.1336931 [CrossRef]
  • World Health Organization. (2016). Nurse educator core competencies. Geneva, Switzerland: Author.

Demographic Data of Study Sample (N = 718)

Variablen (%)
Participant characteristics
  All participants718 (100)
  Certified nurse educators (CNE)217 (30)
  Not certified as nurse educators498 (69)
  Formerly certified18 (3)
  Never certified, but considering261 (36)
  Never certified, not considering207 (29)
  Administrators396 (56)
  Administrators who are CNEs141 (36)
  Considering certification116 (30)
VariableTotal n (%), N = 718Certified n (%), N = 217
Program type
  Research intensive university198 (28)54 (25)
  Liberal arts college or university309 (43)90 (41)
  Community college162 (22)65 (30)
  Diploma program9 (1)1 (0.5)
  Technical/vocational program16 (2)3 (1)
  No response24 (0.03)4 (0.02)
Highest academic degree
  Doctorate397 (55)133 (62)
  Master's290 (40)80 (37)
  Bachelor7 (1)1 (0.5)
  Associate5 (0.7)2 (0.9)
  No response22 (0.03)1 (0.00)
Highest academic degree in nursing
  PhD in nursing181 (25)55 (25)
  Doctor of Nursing Science18 (3)5 (2)
  Doctor of Education in Nursing18 (3)5 (2.3)
  Doctor of Nursing Practice93 (13)35 (16)
  Master of Science in Nursing349 (47)100 (46)
  Bachelor of Science in Nursing13 (2)1 (0.5)
  Associate Degree in Nursing3 (0.4)1 (0.5)
  Other21 (0.03)12 (0.06)
  No response22 (0.03)3 (0.01)

Rotated Loading Matrix for Final Factor Structurea

VariableFactor 1Factor 2
Values specialized knowledge0.687
Indicates level of nurse educator competence0.791
Indicates attainment of a professional standard0.878
Enhances professional credibility0.731
Promotes recognition from other health professionals0.762
Promotes recognition from employers0.744
Increases consumer confidence0.740
Enhances feeling of personal accomplishment1.019
Enhances personal confidence in nurse educator abilities0.896
Provides personal satisfaction1.020
Provides personal challenge0.967
Enhances professional autonomy0.837
Indicates professional growth0.931
Provides evidence of professional commitment0.704
Increased marketability0.618
Increases salary0.821
Contributes to promotion and or tenure requirements0.709

Analysis of Perceived Value of Certification Tool for Academic Nurse Educators (PVCT-ANE) by Category and Subsample

PVCT-ANE SubscalesCertified Nurse Educator Nonadministrator, n = 75Noncertified Nurse Educator Nonadministrator, n = 230Certified Nurse Educator Administrator, n = 141Noncertified Nurse Educator Administrator, n = 255
Satisfaction with professional accomplishment (11 items, mean ± SD)3.60 (0.474)3.29 (0.596)3.71 (0.354)3.29 (0.582)
Professional recognition and marketing (6 items, mean ± SD)2.77 (0.576)2.73 (0.673)2.93 (0.511)2.70 (0.676)
Comparison of Perceived Values: Satisfaction With Professional Accomplishmenttpg
Certified and noncertified educators and administratorst(712) = 8.670< .001*0.71
Certified administrators and noncertified administratorst(394) = 7.814< .001*0.82
Certified nurse educators and noncertified nurse educatorst (303) = 4.168< .001*0.55
Administrators and nurse educatorst(699) = 1.794.0730.14
Comparison of Perceived Values: Professional Recognition and Marketingtpg
Certified and noncertified educators and administratorst(710) = 2.88.004**0.24
Certified administrators and noncertified administratorst(393) = 3.49.001**0.37
Certified nurse educators and noncertified nurse educatorst(302) = 0.512.6090.07
Administrators and nurse educatorst(697) = 0.830.4070.06

Univariate Descriptives (N = 474)

Variable*MeanCI (95%)VarianceSkewnessKurtosis
Values specialized knowledge3.5213.45 – 3.590.389−1.1000.871
Indicates level of nurse educator competence3.1373.04 – 3.230.667−0.630−0.289
Indicates attainment of a professional standard3.5403.46 – 3.620.417−1.3271.553
Enhances professional credibility3.5153.43 – 3.600.520−1.4061.350
Promotes recognition from peers3.3123.32 – 3.400.616−0.9530.296
Promotes recognition from other health professional2.8972.80 – 2.990.688−0.272−0.623
Promotes recognition from employers3.0552.96 – 3.150.702−0.514−0.478
Increases consumer confidence2.7682.67 – 2.860.676−0.049−0.720
Enhances feeling of personal accomplishment3.6943.63 – 3.760.284−1.7863.676
Enhances personal confidence in nurse educator abilities3.4563.37 – 3.540.493−1.1260.729
Provides personal satisfaction3.6543.59 – 3.720.306−1.5652.697
Provides personal challenge3.6243.56 – 3.690.340−1.4221.644
Enhances professional autonomy2.9622.86 – 3.060.720−0.301−0.791
Indicates professional growth3.5323.45 – 3.610.464−1.3781.449
Provides evidence of professional commitment3.5573.48 – 3.640.479−1.6022.288
Provides evidence of accountability3.1583.06 – 3.250.665−0.532−0.677
Increased marketability3.1033.01– 3.200.671−0.470−0.664
Increases salary2.0041.79 – 2.090.5650.6500.504
Contributes to promotion and or tenure requirements2.7092.60 – 2.810.784−0.236−0.660

Skewness: Coefficient – 50.359; Statistic – 3978.327; p = 1.0000
Kurtosis: Coefficient – 421.886; Statistic – 42.352; p = 0.0000**
** Significant at .001

Parallel Analysis

VariableReal Data EigenvaluesMean of Random Eigenvalues95th Percentile of Random Eigenvalues
113.03136*1.366731.42573
21.54603*1.297911.34810
30.817301.247191.28773
40.561511.201841.23855
50.536741.161301.19585
60.470761.124651.15723
70.326851.089021.11682
80.294000.015471.08558
90.242751.021231.04897
100.229800.989381.01576
110.206600.957850.98247
120.187190.925940.95318
130.147250.895950.92385
140.129790.864260.89195
150.104490.833200.86099
160.071500.798960.82760
170.046600.764380.79902
180.035420.726560.76007
190.014060.678960.71600
Authors

Dr. Poindexter is Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; Dr. Lindell is Associate Professor, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio; and Dr. Hagler is Clinical Professor, Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona.

The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

Address correspondence to Kathleen Poindexter, PhD, RN, CNE, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs, College of Nursing, 1355 Bogue Street, A222 Life Science Building, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824; e-mail: poindex9@msu.edu.

Received: September 28, 2018
Accepted: May 21, 2019

10.3928/01484834-20190819-02

Sign up to receive

Journal E-contents