John Whitcomb

John J. Whitcomb was recently honored for achieving a milestone in the critical care nursing profession.
Image Credit: John Whitcomb

John J. Whitcomb, associate professor and undergraduate coordinator in the Clemson University School of Nursing, recently received national recognition for reaching a significant milestone in the nursing profession. Whitcomb is one of 1,079 Critical Care Registered Nurses (CCRNs®) honored this year by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) for 20 years of continuous certification.

Since 1994, Whitcomb has consistently maintained CCRN certification offered through the AACN Certification Corporation. Whitcomb has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with the AACN, having served on its board of directors and the Certification Corporation for the AACN, so he is more familiar than most with what it takes to maintain this certification.

“Maintaining the certification is challenging, but it has afforded me a great deal of experience over the course of my career, both in military service and higher education,” Whitcomb said. “The purpose of renewal is to enhance continued competence, and I feel that knowledge can only benefit the students I teach every day.”

CCRN certification is one of the most advanced professional credentials that can be achieved by a nurse in the field of acute and critical care. As a result, the CCRN credential is highly regarded as recognition of advanced knowledge and clinical expertise in the care of acutely and critically ill patients and their families.

Research studies have specifically linked CCRN certification to higher levels of job satisfaction, clinical knowledge, experience and skill. These studies have found that CCRN-certified nurses are particularly motivated to maintain clinical excellence even in rapidly changing acute and critical care environments. Further, the studies found that the achievement of certification serves as a tangible demonstration of commitment on the part of the individual to patients, families, employers and colleagues alike. Whitcomb hopes he can add his students to that list.

“It is my mission to advance quality nursing education,” Whitcomb said. “I want to play a part in preparing the nursing workforce to meet the needs of diverse populations in an ever-changing health care environment.”

Whitcomb is a fellow of critical care medicine in the American College of Critical Care Medicine. He retired as a Navy Nurse Corps commander after 26 years of service. During his military service, Whitcomb served as the Specialty Advisor to the Surgeon General (Navy) for critical care nursing.

Whitcomb’s research interests include critical care, resuscitative outcomes, ethics, military nursing and leadership. His research has been published in scholarly journals such as Nursing Research, Advances in Nursing Science and Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing and Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America. He has presented his research locally, nationally and internationally. Whitcomb is currently working to understand the relationship between lack of sleep and delirium in intensive care units. His research has led him to contribute to the development of protocols that will help care providers utilize sedation and environmental control in these settings.