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Top 10 Healthcare Certifications

This article provides an overview of the most in-demand healthcare certifications to help professionals advance their career in the field.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for healthcare professionals in the job market because they demonstrate a level of knowledge and expertise that employers seek. They also show that the individual has taken the time to learn more about their area of expertise, which is an attractive quality in potential employees. Certifications provide a way to prove your qualifications and experience, and can be used as a bargaining chip when negotiating salaries or other job benefits. Additionally, certifications can open up new career opportunities and give healthcare professionals exposure to different areas of the field.

This article reviews some of the top certifications available for Healthcare professionals and explains how they can help advance one's career.

What are Healthcare Certifications?

Healthcare certification is a process by which individuals in the healthcare industry demonstrate that they have acquired the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to perform their job responsibilities effectively. This certification can be obtained through various means, such as attending accredited educational programs, completing approved training courses, or passing an exam. Healthcare certifications are offered by numerous organizations and institutions and can vary depending on the profession.

Having a healthcare certification is beneficial for both employers and employees. For employers, it provides assurance that their staff members have the necessary qualifications to provide quality care and services. Additionally, having certified professionals on staff demonstrates to patients and other stakeholders that the organization has met certain standards of excellence in its operations. For employees, having a healthcare certification opens up more opportunities for career advancement and higher pay. It also enables them to gain recognition from peers within their field by demonstrating their expertise in healthcare-related matters. Certification also serves as a way for employees to stay up-to-date with new developments in their field as well as ensure compliance with applicable regulations.

Pro Tip: To ensure that your healthcare certification is up-to-date, take the time to review the most recent standards and regulations in your field. This will help you stay compliant and knowledgeable about the latest rules and best practices.

Related: What does a Healthcare do?

Top 10 Healthcare Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Healthcares today.

1. Certified Medical Coder (CMC)

A Certified Medical Coder (CMC) is a professional who has been trained and certified to accurately assign medical codes to diagnoses, treatments, procedures, and services provided by healthcare providers. Medical coding is an essential part of the healthcare industry as it helps ensure that the correct information is sent to insurance companies for billing purposes.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to become a Certified Medical Coder (CMC). This depends on the individual’s experience level and how quickly they are able to complete their training and certification requirements. The requirements include completing an accredited medical coding program, passing a certification exam, and maintaining continuing education credits.

In order to become a Certified Medical Coder (CMC), you must first complete an accredited medical coding program. This can be done through a variety of methods including online courses, in-person classes, or self-study programs. Once you have completed your training program, you must then take and pass an approved certification exam. After passing the exam, you will need to maintain your certification by completing continuing education credits every two years.

The cost of becoming a Certified Medical Coder (CMC) varies depending on the type of training program chosen and any additional materials needed for the exam preparation process. Generally speaking, the cost ranges from $500-$2,000 USD depending on the type of program chosen and other factors such as location and duration of study time.

2. Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ)

Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) is a professional certification administered by the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ). The CPHQ credential is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and expertise in healthcare quality. It is the only nationally recognized certification program that focuses solely on healthcare quality.

The CPHQ exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete. The exam covers topics such as quality management, patient safety, performance improvement, risk management, and regulatory compliance. To be eligible to take the CPHQ exam, candidates must have a minimum of two years of full-time experience in healthcare quality or related fields.

To get the CPHQ certification, you must first apply for and pass the CPHQ exam. The application process includes submitting an application form and fee ($395 for NAHQ members; $495 for non-members). After passing the exam, you will receive your official CPHQ certificate from NAHQ.

The cost of taking the CPHQ exam varies depending on whether or not you are a member of NAHQ. For non-members, the cost is $495 plus applicable taxes. For members, the cost is $395 plus applicable taxes.

3. Certified Healthcare Risk Manager (CHRMP)

Certified Healthcare Risk Manager Program (CHRMP) is a professional certification program designed to help healthcare professionals develop the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively manage risk in their organizations. The program provides a comprehensive understanding of risk management principles and techniques, as well as an overview of the legal and regulatory requirements related to healthcare risk management. It also covers topics such as patient safety, quality assurance, medical malpractice, data security, and more.

The CHRMP certification is offered by the American Hospital Association (AHA). To be eligible for the certification, applicants must have at least five years of experience in healthcare risk management or related fields. Additionally, applicants must pass an exam administered by the AHA. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering various aspects of healthcare risk management.

The cost of the CHRMP certification varies depending on where you take the exam and whether you are a member of the AHA. Generally speaking, it costs around $500 to take the exam without being a member of AHA, while members can take it for around $400. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with taking practice exams or other materials related to preparing for the exam.

It typically takes about two months to complete all requirements for obtaining CHRMP certification after passing the exam. This includes submitting documentation such as proof of work experience and transcripts from any relevant educational programs completed prior to taking the exam. Once all requirements are met and approved by AHA, applicants will receive their official CHRMP certificate within two weeks.

4. Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS)

Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) is a professional certification program that recognizes individuals who demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the healthcare information and management systems field. The CPHIMS certification is offered by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). It is an internationally recognized credential for healthcare professionals who have expertise in the development, implementation, and maintenance of healthcare information systems.

To become certified, applicants must meet certain criteria, including having at least three years of experience working with health information technology or management systems, completing an approved training program, and passing the CPHIMS exam. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as data security, system design and architecture, project management, change management, and system integration.

The CPHIMS certification process typically takes between six months to one year to complete. The applicant must first submit an application form to HIMSS along with supporting documentation such as transcripts or certifications from their training program. Once accepted into the program, applicants must then register for the exam and study for it using resources provided by HIMSS.

The cost to obtain the CPHIMS certification varies depending on whether the applicant is a member of HIMSS or not. For non-members, the cost is $495 USD; for members it costs $395 USD. Additionally there may be additional fees for late registration or rescheduling exams.

5. Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS)

Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS) is a certification program offered by the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF). The CPPS program was designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated expertise in patient safety and quality improvement. The program provides an opportunity for healthcare professionals to demonstrate their commitment to patient safety, gain recognition from peers, and advance their careers.

The CPPS credential requires applicants to pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as patient safety principles, risk management, quality improvement methods, and communication strategies. Applicants must also demonstrate at least three years of experience in the field of patient safety or quality improvement.

The CPPS exam takes approximately four hours to complete and is offered twice per year at various locations throughout the United States. The cost of the exam is $495 for NPSF members and $595 for non-members.

In order to maintain the CPPS credential, holders must complete continuing education activities every two years. This includes attending conferences or workshops related to patient safety or quality improvement, completing online courses or webinars related to these topics, or participating in other approved activities such as research projects or writing articles on the subject.

6. Certified Professional in Healthcare Compliance (CPHC)

Certified Professional in Healthcare Compliance (CPHC) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage healthcare compliance programs. The CPHC certification is offered by the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA).

It typically takes three to six months to prepare for the CPHC exam, depending on the individual's experience level and familiarity with healthcare compliance topics. To obtain the CPHC certification, applicants must pass an online exam that covers topics such as healthcare regulations, laws, ethics, risk management, and more.

The cost of obtaining the CPHC certification varies depending on whether you are an HCCA member or not. For non-members, the fee is $1,195 USD; for members of HCCA, it is $995 USD. In addition to this fee, there may be additional fees associated with taking the exam if you choose to take it at a testing center rather than online.

7. Certified Health Executive (CHE)

Certified Health Executive (CHE) is a professional certification program designed to recognize and promote excellence in the healthcare industry. The CHE designation is awarded by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

The CHE program consists of a comprehensive examination that tests an individual’s knowledge and skills in business, finance, operations, quality, human resources, and other areas related to healthcare management. To be eligible for the exam, individuals must have at least five years of experience in healthcare administration or management.

The exam typically takes three hours and is offered twice a year at various locations throughout the United States. The cost to take the exam is $450 for ACHE members and $550 for non-members. Upon successful completion of the exam, individuals will receive their CHE designation from ACHE.

8. Certified Clinical Documentation Improvement Practitioner (CCDIP)

Certified Clinical Documentation Improvement Practitioner (CCDIP) is a credential that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated expertise in improving the quality of clinical documentation. This certification is offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

To become certified, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having an active AHIMA membership, completing a minimum of two years of experience in clinical documentation improvement, and passing an exam. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately four hours to complete.

The cost for the CCDIP certification exam is $299 for AHIMA members and $399 for non-members. After passing the exam, applicants must renew their certification every three years by earning continuing education credits or retaking the exam.

In addition to the CCDIP credential, AHIMA also offers other certifications related to clinical documentation improvement such as Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist (CCDS), Certified Clinical Documentation Integrity Specialist (CCDIS), and Certified Clinical Documentation Improvement Professional (CCDIP).

9. Certified Health Care Facility Manager (CHFM)

Certified Health Care Facility Manager (CHFM) is a professional certification program that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage health care facilities. The CHFM certification is administered by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

The CHFM program requires applicants to have a minimum of five years of health care management experience, including at least two years in one or more of the following areas: operations, finance, human resources, information technology, or quality improvement. Applicants must also pass a comprehensive examination to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in health care facility management.

The CHFM exam can be taken at any ACHE-approved testing center. It takes approximately three hours to complete the exam, and it costs $350 for ACHE members and $450 for non-members.

The CHFM certification is valid for three years after which recertification is required. Recertification involves completing 60 hours of continuing education activities related to health care facility management over the three-year period.

10. American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Nursing Certification Program

The American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Nursing Certification Program is a voluntary program designed to recognize nurses who have achieved excellence in their field. It provides evidence of a nurse’s mastery of the knowledge and skills necessary for practice at the highest level. The program is open to all registered nurses, regardless of specialty or practice setting.

To obtain certification, nurses must meet certain criteria including: passing an exam, having a current RN license, meeting educational requirements, and completing continuing education activities. Depending on the type of certification being pursued, it can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to complete the process.

The cost of the certification depends on the type of certification being sought and whether or not you are an ANCC member. Generally speaking, it costs between $200-$400 for non-members and between $150-$300 for members.

In order to get started with the certification process, you should first review the eligibility criteria for your desired specialty area and then register for the exam through Prometric Testing Centers or Pearson VUE Testing Centers. Once you have passed your exam, you will need to submit documentation verifying that you meet all other requirements such as licensure and education. Finally, you will need to submit proof of completion of continuing education activities within two years prior to applying for certification. Once all documentation has been submitted and reviewed by ANCC staff, your application will be approved and you will be granted certification in your chosen specialty area.

Do You Really Need a Healthcare Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on the individual’s goals and current situation. Some people may find that having a healthcare certificate is beneficial, while others may not need one at all.

For those who are considering a career in healthcare, having a healthcare certificate can be beneficial. It can provide evidence of knowledge and skills to employers, as well as demonstrate that the individual has taken steps to further their education and development in the field. It can also open up opportunities for advancement in the form of higher pay or promotions.

Those who already work in healthcare may not need a certificate, but they could benefit from taking additional courses or workshops to stay up-to-date on industry trends and technologies. This will allow them to remain competitive in their current positions or advance into new roles with more responsibility and better pay.

Finally, individuals who are considering entering the field of healthcare but don’t yet have any experience may want to consider obtaining a healthcare certificate first. This will give them an edge over other applicants by showing potential employers that they have already taken the initiative to gain knowledge and skills in the field.

Overall, whether or not someone needs a healthcare certificate depends on their current situation and goals for their career. For some it may be necessary, while for others it may not be necessary at all.

Related: Healthcare Resume Examples

FAQs About Healthcare Certifications

Q1: What is a Healthcare Certification?

A1: A healthcare certification is a credential that demonstrates an individual has achieved a certain level of knowledge and expertise in the healthcare field. It typically requires completing a program of study or passing an examination. Certifications are offered by organizations such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

Q2: How do I obtain a Healthcare Certification?

A2: Obtaining a healthcare certification usually involves completing a program of study, such as an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in healthcare-related fields, and then taking and passing an examination. Depending on the type of certification, additional requirements may be necessary.

Q3: What are the benefits of having a Healthcare Certification?

A3: Having a healthcare certification can provide many benefits, including increased job security, higher earning potential, and greater professional recognition. It also demonstrates to employers that you have specialized knowledge in the field.

Q4: How long does it take to get certified?

A4: The amount of time it takes to get certified will vary depending on the type of certification you are pursuing and your educational background. Generally speaking, it can take several months to several years to complete all requirements for most certifications.

Q5: How much does getting certified cost?

A5: The cost for obtaining healthcare certifications varies depending on the type of certification you are pursuing and which organization offers it. Fees may include tuition costs for educational programs, application fees, exam fees, and continuing education credits required for renewal.