AACN News—December 2000—Certification

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Vol. 17, No. 12, DECEMBER 2000


Who Is Eligible to be a CCRN? Here Are Some Answers

QAre postanesthesia, telemetry and catheter lab nurses eligible to take the CCRN� exam?

AEligibility to sit for the CCRN exam depends on your practice. If you work at the bedside of critically ill patients for at least 1,750 hours in the two-year period preceding application, and 875 of those hours are accrued in the most recent year preceding application, you are eligible to take the CCRN exam. Many patients traditionally cared for in ICU/CCU settings may now be admitted or cared for in a variety of units and, regardless of the clinical arena, these acute and critically ill patients require knowledgeable, clinically competent nurses.

The specialized body of knowledge for critical care nurses delineated by the Study of Practice is still the framework and basis for exam content. We strongly recommend reviewing the complete CCRN Examination Blueprint, which is available free online or via fax or e-mail, before making the decision to test. Having knowledge of physiology and management of patients requiring hemodynamic monitoring or ventilators is necessary for you to successfully pass the CCRN exam. If you are unfamiliar with a specific technology, you may wish to also seek out clinical experiences that will help familiarize you with patient assessment and troubleshooting.

Q:I work in a private physician’s office. Will this count toward the practice hours I need to renew my CCRN certification?

A:The CCRN is a direct bedside nursing credential. Patients who are able to visit a doctor’s office are not generally considered critically ill. Therefore, your work in a doctor’s office would not qualify toward the hours needed for renewal of your CCRN certification. To be eligible to renew, you need a minimum of 432 hours per renewal period of direct patient contact. Working one 12-hour shift per month in a critical care unit would meet the requirement for renewal.

Q:I am working as a nurse educator. Will this position qualify me for renewal of my CCRN certification?

ANurses serving as educators, as well as those serving as managers and researchers, may apply the hours they spend supervising nursing students or nurses at the bedside toward their practice requirement. However, nurses in these roles must be actively involved in caring for patients at the bedside. For example, demonstrating how to measure pulmonary artery pressures or supervising a new employee or nursing student performing a procedure will qualify.

Q:Because of my current situation, I am unable to renew my CCRN certification. Is there an option for me?

A:Yes, you can apply for the CCRN Inactive status, which will allow you an additional three years to meet recertification requirements. Inactive status is available to nurses who do not meet the recertification eligibility requirements, but do not want to lose their CCRN. However, during the inactive status period, nurses may not use the CCRN credential. You can elect to renew your CCRN certification at any time during the three-year inactive period, as long as you have obtained the 432 practice hours required, with 144 hours accrued in the year preceding the application, and have met the educational requirements.

Q:I am retiring from nursing. Can I preserve my CCRN status?

A:Although you cannot retain your CCRN credential, the CCRN Retired status provides the CCRN-certified nurse who is retiring from the nursing profession with a continued sense of career identity and professional connectedness. The CCRN-R credential recognizes CCRN-certified nurses for their years of service at the bedside. It also acknowledges their pride and dedication in maintaining their certification. To be eligible for the CCRN-R credential, a nurse must have current CCRN certification, more than 10 years of nursing experience, and no plans to return to practice. Renewable every three years, the CCRN-R credential can be used with any professional affiliation.


Group Exam Fee Discount Extended


Apply by Dec. 31, 2000, to take the CCRN certification exam at the same time as at least two of your friends or coworkers, and each of you will receive a $45 discount off the examination fee! Group applications materials must be postmarked by Dec. 31, 2000.

Originally scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, 2000, this special offer has been extended because of its popularity.

The reduced exam fee for applicants taking advantage of this offer is $175 for AACN members and $255 for others. To be eligible for the discount, applications must be accompanied by the “3-Person Discount Flyer,” which is included with the application materials. The flyer can also be printed from the AACN Certification Corporation Web site at www.certcorp.org, or requested by calling (800) 899-2226 or e-mailing certcorp@aacn.org.

To take advantage of the three-person discount, you must return all applications and payments, along with the flyer, in one envelope. However, co-applicants are not required to take the exam at the same time. You will receive a confirmation letter within three to four weeks of submitting your application. Applicants then have 90 days to take the exam.

For more information about this special offer, call (800) 899-2226 or e-mail certcorp@aacn.org.


Fees to Take Paper-and-Pencil

Following are the fees to take the paper-and-pencil version of the CCRN exam under the special arrangement offered to candidates who live three or more hours, one way, from computer-based testing centers. Driving times are based on U.S. street level data drawn from the U.S. government and other data providers. Because the computer-based tests are available year round, driving times are based on summer driving conditions

CCRN Exam
One candidate $750
Two candidates testing together $400 each
Three candidates testing together $300 each
Four or more candidates testing together $220 each (AACN members)
$300 each* (nonmembers)

CCNS Exam
One candidate $750
Two candidates testing together $425 each
Three or more candidates testing together $325 each (AACN members)
$425 each* (nonmembers)

This paper-and-pencil exam fee schedule applies to all applicants, whether they are testing for the first time, retesting or recertifying by exam.

For more information, call (800) 899-2226 or e-mail certcorp@aacn.org.

*Candidates who are not members of AACN can pay the $78 one-year membership fee and test at the member fee rate.