I have had the opportunity to serve on the committee that is putting together a new board exam for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) for pediatric critical care. This was a brand new experience for me. There was an application process and 10 of us were picked to serve on this test writing committee. This new exam will be in addition to the Certified Specialist in Pediatrics (CSP) Exam. This will be a specialized certification for RDNs in the PICU and NICU. The test will be called Certified Specialist in Pediatrics in Critical Care (CSPCC).
I had the chance to go to Chicago this past week to work more on the development of these test questions. It is such an interesting process to write exam questions for a national board exam. Like I mentioned earlier this is a brand new experience for me. I never realized the time that went into crafting the perfect test question and providing the best/most plausible incorrect answers.
I share this with you all for two reasons: 1) To encourage you to apply for things that are outside your comfort zone. I had never done anything like this before, but being able to learn about this process and get to gain these skills has been such a neat adventure. I also got to network with some amazing RDNs from around the country. This isn't something that I imagined I would be doing, but I took a chance and went for it! 2) This additional certification is needed. Having this board exams for RDNs is important to help encourage and support specialty areas in nutrition. Being able to specialize in a certain population or disease state helps you, as a provider, to give the best care to your patients. I am very excited for this to come together and become another certification that RDNs can obtain. From my experience, RDNs are often under-utilized and I think this a great way to show how important nutritional management is for pediatric critical care.
If there is an experience or opportunity that comes up in your career area, then go for it! Don't be scared to apply or think that you aren't qualified enough. Take a chance and go for it! You never know what all you will be able to learn. I am excited to be able to be included in this test writing process and eager to see how this certification helps to build up the profession in pediatric critical care!