What is Certification? Validation of an individual nurse’s qualifications for practice in a defined area Administered by a nongovernmental agency Based on predetermined standards Recognizes knowledge, skills and abilities beyond the scope of RN licensure
A means to recruit and retain good nurses Knowledge that their nurses have met rigorous national requirements and are role models of professional accountability Growing evidence links certified nursing practice and positive outcomes Certification is among the key excellence indicators for programs such as Magnet and Beacon Why Do Hospitals Support Certification?
For personal challenge and self-improvement To advance knowledge and education To demonstrate mastery of skills, knowledge and abilities to patients and administration To distinguish themselves through commitment to lifelong learning and career growth Improve salary and advancement opportunities Why Do Nurses Get Certified?
As a vital part of AACN, the recognized leader and standard-setter in acute and critical care nursing, AACN Certification Corporation administers certification programs for nurses to proudly demonstrate the specialized knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for safe and effective acute and critical care nursing practice AACN certification contributes to improved patient health and safety by establishing and promoting high standards of professional practice Why AACN Certification?
AACN Certifications For nurses who care directly for acutely or critically ill patients at the bedside For nurses who care for acutely and critically ill adult patients in progressive care settings For nurses who care for acutely or critically ill adult patients from remote location For clinical nurse specialists who care for acutely or critically ill patients For acute care nurse practitioners who care for acutely and critically ill adult patients For certified nurses who subspecialize in caring for adult cardiology patients For certified nurses who subspecialize in caring for adult cardiac surgery patients
AACN Certification Exams AACN Certification Corporation develops and administers the CCRN, PCCN, CCRN-E, CCNS, ACNPC, CMC and CSC exams These exams are legally defensible and psychometrically sound indicators of the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for effective nursing practice Exams are open to nurses caring for acutely and critically ill patients who meet the eligibility requirements, including a specified period of clinical practice in the role being tested
CCRN certification is for RNs working at the bedside of acutely and critically ill patients The clinical setting may include ICUs, CCUs, Emergency Departments, Trauma Units, Interventional Radiology /Cardiology Units, or Critical Care Transport/Flight Units There are three separate CCRN exams: adult, neonatal and pediatric
PCCN certification is for nurses working at the bedside of acutely ill adult patients in a progressive care setting Progressive care is how AACN collectively describes units such as Intermediate Care, Direct Observation, Step-down, Telemetry, and Transitional Care The PCCN credential is also appropriate for nurses who practice in Cardiac Cath Labs
CCNS advanced practice certification is for clinical nurse specialists working with acutely and critically ill patients The CCNS may be used by nurses in some states to help qualify for AP nursing licensure A candidate must document completion of a graduate advanced practice education program meeting specific requirements There are three separate CCNS exams: adult, neonatal and pediatric
CCRN-E certification is for RNs caring for acutely and critically ill adult patients from a remote location CCRN-Es work in tele-ICUs (virtual or e-ICUs) monitoring from behind a camera to identify trends in patient data and instability and communicate with patients and bedside nurses Eligible hours are those worked in a tele-ICU or in a combination of tele-ICU and direct bedside care
ACNPC advanced practice certification is for adult acute care nurse practitioners A candidate must document completion of a graduate advanced practice education program meeting specific requirements ACNPC certification is approved on a state-by- state basis - check with your State Board of Nursing to make sure the ACNPC exam meets your state's requirements for advanced practice designation or licensure
Cardiac Medicine subspecialty certification is for nurses who hold a nationally accredited clinical nursing specialty certification such as CCRN, PCCN, CCRN-E, CCNS or ACNPC who subspecialize in caring for adult cardiology patients The clinical settings may include: CCU, Combined ICU/CCU, Medical Cardiology, Heart Failure Clinics/Home Care, Interventional Cardiology and/or Electrophysiology Units
Cardiac Surgery subspecialty certification is for nurses who hold a nationally accredited clinical nursing specialty certification such as CCRN, PCCN, CCRN-E, CCNS or ACNPC who subspecialize in caring for adult cardiac surgery patients within the first 48 hours postoperatively The clinical settings may include: Cardiac Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Cardiovascular Surgery and Post-Anesthesia Recovery Units
For more information about AACN certifications, visit: www.aacn.org