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Top 11 Unit Manager Certifications

This article provides an overview of the most important certifications for top unit managers, including requirements and potential benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for unit managers in the job market because they demonstrate a level of knowledge and skill that is necessary to be successful in the position. Certifications also provide employers with assurance that their employees have the necessary qualifications and experience to handle the responsibilities of the job. Additionally, certifications can give unit managers an edge over other candidates when competing for positions in a competitive job market. Finally, certifications can help unit managers stay up-to-date on industry trends, regulations, and best practices, allowing them to be more effective in their roles.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the various certifications available to Unit Managers and explain how they can help advance their careers.

What are Unit Manager Certifications?

Unit Manager Certification (UMC) is a program that provides healthcare professionals with the necessary training and knowledge to manage a unit in a healthcare facility. This certification allows individuals to demonstrate their ability to effectively manage a unit by understanding the roles and responsibilities of staff, developing policies and procedures, and creating an environment that promotes quality care.

The UMC program is designed to equip candidates with the skills they need to successfully lead their units. It covers topics such as financial management, staffing strategies, patient safety, quality improvement, and communication. Candidates will also learn how to use data to make informed decisions regarding patient outcomes. Through this program, individuals can gain the knowledge needed to foster an environment of collaboration among staff members while ensuring the delivery of safe and effective care.

Having a Unit Manager Certification can help healthcare professionals advance their careers by providing them with the skills needed for successful unit management. Having this certification can also open up leadership opportunities within their organization or even new job opportunities at other facilities. The certificate can also be used as proof of competency when applying for promotions or other managerial positions. Ultimately, having this certification can help healthcare professionals become more successful in their current roles and enable them to reach higher levels of responsibility within their organization.

Pro Tip: When considering a unit manager certification, research the specific requirements that must be met in order to become certified. Make sure you understand the scope of knowledge and skills required for the certification and ensure you have all the necessary resources to successfully complete it.

Related: What does a Unit Manager do?

Top 11 Unit Manager Certifications

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

1. Certified Nursing Unit Manager (CNUM)

Certified Nursing Unit Manager (CNUM) is a credential for nurses who have demonstrated expertise in managing and leading nursing units. CNUMs are responsible for the overall management of a nursing unit, including staffing, budgeting, policy implementation, and quality assurance.

The CNUM credential is offered by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). To become certified as a CNUM, one must have a current registered nurse license, at least two years of experience in a leadership role in an acute care setting, and must pass the AACN's Certified Nursing Unit Manager exam.

The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as patient care management, human resources management, financial management, and legal issues. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete.

The cost for taking the exam is $400 for AACN members or $500 for non-members.

2. Certified Health Unit Coordinator (CHUC)

Certified Health Unit Coordinator (CHUC) is a professional certification program for individuals who provide administrative support in healthcare settings. The CHUC certification is administered by the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (NAHUC).

To become certified, applicants must have at least one year of experience working as a health unit coordinator or in a related position and complete an approved training program. Upon successful completion of the training program, applicants must pass an exam to receive their certification.

The cost of the CHUC certification depends on the type of training program chosen. Training programs range from online courses to classroom-based instruction and can cost anywhere from $500 to several thousand dollars.

It typically takes between six months and one year to complete the necessary coursework and pass the exam.

3. Certified Case Manager (CCM)

Certified Case Manager (CCM) is a professional credential that demonstrates an individual’s expertise in case management. It is awarded by the Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC). The CCM credential is recognized as the gold standard for case managers and serves as a mark of excellence within the field.

It typically takes about 6-12 months to complete the requirements for certification, depending on an individual’s experience and knowledge. To become certified, individuals must have a bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited institution and at least two years of full-time work experience in case management. Additionally, they must pass an exam administered by CCMC.

The cost of becoming certified varies depending on whether or not you are a member of CCMC. For non-members, the cost is $395 for the application fee and $325 for the exam fee. For members, the cost is $295 for the application fee and $275 for the exam fee.

Once certified, individuals must maintain their certification by completing continuing education credits every three years.

4. Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ)

Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) is a professional certification that recognizes healthcare professionals who demonstrate knowledge and experience in the field of healthcare quality. The CPHQ certification is administered by the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ).

The CPHQ certification process involves completing an application, passing an exam, and meeting certain continuing education requirements. The application process includes submitting proof of at least three years of full-time work experience in healthcare quality or related fields, as well as providing references from employers or colleagues.

The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as performance improvement, patient safety, data management, and risk management. It takes approximately four hours to complete the exam. Candidates must achieve a score of at least 70% on the exam to receive their CPHQ certification.

In order to maintain their CPHQ certification status, individuals must complete at least 30 hours of continuing education every two years. This can include attending conferences and workshops, taking online courses, participating in webinars and seminars, or reading books and journals related to healthcare quality.

The cost for the CPHQ certification process varies depending on whether you are an NAHQ member or non-member. For members, the cost is $395 for the application fee plus $375 for the exam fee; for non-members, it is $495 for the application fee plus $475 for the exam fee. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with continuing education activities.

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). It is designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated expertise and commitment to patient safety. The CPPS certification is awarded after successful completion of an exam that tests knowledge and skills related to patient safety, as well as a portfolio review that assesses professional experience and accomplishments in patient safety.

The CPPS certification requires a minimum of two years of full-time, paid experience in the field of patient safety or related healthcare quality improvement activities. In addition, applicants must complete an online application form, submit a resume or CV, provide three professional references, and pay the applicable fee.

The CPPS exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as risk management, quality improvement methods and tools, error prevention strategies, communication strategies for patient safety, legal and regulatory issues related to patient safety, leadership principles for creating a culture of safety, and systems approaches to improving healthcare quality. The exam takes approximately four hours to complete and can be taken at any Pearson VUE testing center worldwide.

The cost for the CPPS certification varies depending on whether you are a member or non-member of NPSF. For members it costs $495 USD and for non-members it costs $695 USD.

6. Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN)

Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) is a professional certification awarded by the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB). This certification is designed to recognize the specialized knowledge and skills of registered nurses who care for adult medical-surgical patients. It demonstrates a commitment to excellence in patient care and provides employers with assurance that their nurses are knowledgeable in this specialty area.

To become certified, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having an active RN license and two years of full-time experience as a medical-surgical nurse. Applicants must also pass the CMSRN exam, which covers topics such as pharmacology, pathophysiology, assessment and management of common medical-surgical conditions, and more. The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete.

The cost to apply for the CMSRN certification is $350 USD. The fee includes application processing, review of credentials, access to study materials, and administration of the exam. After passing the exam, there is an annual renewal fee of $125 USD to maintain certification status.

7. American Organization of Nurse Executives Certification Program (AONE-CP)

The American Organization of Nurse Executives Certification Program (AONE-CP) is a voluntary certification program that recognizes nurse executives who demonstrate excellence in their field. The program was developed by the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) and is based on the AONE standards for nurse executive practice. It is designed to recognize those individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in the areas of nursing leadership, management, and administration.

To become certified through the AONE-CP, an individual must meet certain criteria including having a minimum of five years of experience as a nurse executive, completing an approved course in nursing administration or management, and passing an examination administered by AONE. The examination consists of both written and oral components and covers topics such as healthcare delivery systems, financial management, personnel management, quality improvement initiatives, legal issues related to healthcare delivery, and organizational development.

The process typically takes between six months to one year to complete depending on how quickly you can complete all requirements. To get started with the certification process you will need to submit an application along with documentation proving your qualifications and experience. Once your application has been approved you will be able to register for the exam.

The cost of becoming certified through AONE-CP varies depending on whether or not you are already a member of AONE. For non-members it costs $500 for the application fee plus $350 for each component of the exam (written and oral). For members it costs $400 for the application fee plus $250 for each component of the exam (written and oral).

8. American Nurses Credentialing Center's Nursing Administration Certification Program (ANCC-NACP)

The American Nurses Credentialing Center's Nursing Administration Certification Program (ANCC-NACP) is a program designed to recognize nurses who have achieved the highest level of expertise in nursing administration. The certification is intended to demonstrate mastery of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for effective management of nursing services.

In order to obtain ANCC-NACP certification, applicants must have a current RN license and at least two years of full-time experience in nursing administration within the past five years. Applicants must also hold a master’s degree or higher in nursing or a related field from an accredited college or university.

The application process typically takes four to six weeks from start to finish. After submitting the application and documentation, applicants will receive an email with instructions on how to complete the certification exam. The exam consists of multiple choice questions that cover topics such as organization and management, budgeting and finance, human resources management, legal issues, quality improvement, and more.

The cost for the ANCC-NACP certification program is $395 for members of the American Nurses Association (ANA) or $495 for non-members. This fee includes access to study materials and practice tests as well as one attempt at the certification exam.

9. American College of Healthcare Executives Certification Program (ACHE-CP)

The American College of Healthcare Executives Certification Program (ACHE-CP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize healthcare executives who demonstrate a commitment to excellence in the field. The program is administered by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), a not-for-profit professional society dedicated to advancing healthcare leadership.

To earn ACHE-CP certification, applicants must have at least three years of healthcare management experience and must pass an exam. The exam covers topics such as financial management, operations, human resources, strategic planning, and quality improvement. Applicants must also complete an ethics module prior to taking the exam.

The ACHE-CP certification process typically takes 6-9 months from start to finish. To get started, applicants must first submit an application and fee ($350 for members of ACHE or $450 for non-members). Once approved, applicants will receive instructions on how to register for the exam and will be given access to study materials. After passing the exam, applicants will receive their official certificate within 4-6 weeks.

The total cost of the ACHE-CP certification process varies depending on whether or not you are a member of ACHE; however, it typically ranges from $400-$500 including the application fee, exam fee and any additional study materials purchased.

10. National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards Certification Program (NAB-CP)

The National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards Certification Program (NAB-CP) is a voluntary certification program for long-term care administrators. The program is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of professional competency in the field and demonstrate their commitment to excellence in the profession.

The NAB-CP certification process involves passing an exam, completing continuing education requirements, and meeting other qualifications as determined by the NAB-CP Board of Directors. The exam consists of multiple choice questions covering topics such as long-term care administration, regulations, ethics, and management principles. It takes approximately three hours to complete the exam.

To become certified through the NAB-CP program, applicants must submit an application form along with supporting documentation and fees. Applicants must also meet certain prerequisites including having at least two years of experience in a long-term care setting or related field and having completed at least 30 semester hours of college coursework in health services administration or related fields.

The cost for the NAB-CP certification program varies based on the applicant’s individual circumstances but typically ranges from $200-$400 USD. Once certified, individuals are required to maintain their certification status by completing continuing education courses every two years and submitting an annual renewal fee.

11. Association of periOperative Registered Nurses Perioperative Nursing Certification Program (AORN-PNCP).

The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Perioperative Nursing Certification Program (PNCP) is a nationally recognized certification program for registered nurses who specialize in the care of surgical patients. The PNCP is designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of perioperative nurses. To obtain the certification, individuals must meet specific eligibility requirements and pass an examination.

The eligibility requirements include having a current RN license, two years of experience as a perioperative nurse within the past five years, and completion of 30 hours of continuing education in perioperative nursing within the past three years. Once these requirements are met, individuals can apply to take the exam.

The exam consists of 175 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as patient safety and infection control; anesthesia; pre-, intra-, and post-operative care; equipment; pharmacology; and professional practice issues. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete and costs $340 for AORN members or $390 for non-members. Upon successful completion of the exam, individuals receive their PNCP certification from AORN. This certification is valid for five years before renewal is required.

Do You Really Need a Unit Manager Certificate?

Yes, you do need a unit manager certificate if you are considering a career in the healthcare industry. Unit managers are responsible for managing and supervising the day-to-day operations of a hospital unit or department. They must possess strong leadership and organizational skills to ensure that their unit meets the goals set forth by the organization.

Unit managers must also have an understanding of the medical field, as they frequently work with doctors, nurses, and other health professionals. A unit manager certificate will demonstrate that you have completed coursework in topics such as hospital administration, patient care management, health information systems, financial management and human resources management. This certificate shows employers that you have the knowledge necessary to successfully manage a hospital unit or department.

In addition to demonstrating your knowledge of healthcare administration, having a unit manager certificate can also give you an edge when applying for jobs in the healthcare industry. Many hospitals require applicants to have formal education or training in order to apply for managerial positions. Having a certification from an accredited program can help make your resume stand out from other candidates and show potential employers that you are serious about pursuing this type of career.

Overall, having a unit manager certificate is essential if you want to pursue a career in healthcare administration. It provides proof that you possess the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in this field and allows employers to quickly assess your qualifications when reviewing applications for managerial positions.

Related: Unit Manager Resume Examples

FAQs About Unit Manager Certifications

1. What is a Unit Manager Certification?

Answer: A Unit Manager Certification is a certification program that provides individuals with the knowledge and skills to effectively manage, lead and support units in healthcare settings. It includes courses on administrative functions, patient care, clinical operations, quality improvement and leadership.

2. How long does it take to get a Unit Manager Certification?

Answer: The length of time it takes to complete the certification depends on the individual's educational background and experience level. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete the entire program.

3. What are the benefits of having a Unit Manager Certification?

Answer: Having a Unit Manager Certification demonstrates expertise in leading and managing healthcare teams, which can lead to increased job opportunities and higher salaries. Additionally, having this certification validates knowledge of best practices in healthcare management, which can help improve patient outcomes and reduce costs for health systems.

4. How much does it cost to get a Unit Manager Certification?

Answer: The cost of obtaining a Unit Manager Certification varies depending on the provider offering the program. Generally speaking, most programs will range from several hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars depending on the duration of the program and number of courses taken.

5. Are there any prerequisites for getting a Unit Manager Certification?

Answer: Yes, most providers require applicants to have at least one year of clinical experience or equivalent education prior to enrolling in their program. Additionally, some providers may require applicants to pass an entrance exam before being accepted into their program as well as maintain an active license or certification throughout their training period.