AACN News—November 2000—Certification

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Vol. 17, No. 11, NOVEMBER 2000

Item Writers Develop Questions for CCRN Exams

Members of the Adult, Pediatric and Neonatal CCRN Exam Item Writer Services met for three days in September 2000 in Baltimore, Md., to develop questions for the exam item banks.

Chairing the Item Writer Service committees are Wendy Blakely, RN, MSN, CCRN (adult exam), Karen Thomason, RN, MSN, CCRN (pediatric exam) and Beth Diehl, RN, MS, CCRN, NP (neonatal exam). Also attending the meeting were adult exam item writers Juli Daniels, RN, MSN, CCRN, Michael Day, RN, MSN, CCRN, Mary Beth Martin, RN, MSN, CCNS, CCRN, CS, CNRN, and Margaret McNeill, RN, MS, CCRN; pediatric exam item writers Jeanne E. Braby, RN, MSN, CCRN, Maria S. Chico, RN, MS, CCRN, CPNP, Catherine A. Fleischman, RN, MSN, CCRN, Mary A. Kisting, RN, MS, CCRN, and Kathryn Sheehan, RN, MSN, CCRN, ARNP; and neonatal item writers Kimberly Clipp, RNC, CCRN, NNP, Arthur Engler, RN, DNSc, Jacqueline Liess, RN, BSN, CCRN, Michelle Scannell, RNC, BSN, CCRN, and Nancy Townsend-Navarra, RN, BSN, CCRN.

They were joined by Roberta Kaplow, RN, PhD, CCNS, CCRN, and Michael Relf, RN, MS, CCRN, CS, both members of the Adult CCRN Exam Development Committee,

Other members of the CCRN Pediatric Item Writers Service are Susan M. Revero, RN, MSN, CCRN, ARNP, and Kathy Lynn Swartz, RN, MS, CCRN. Other members of the CCRN Adult Exam Item Writer Service are Deborah Drummonds, RN, MN, CCRN, CEN, Elliot Stetson, RNC, MSN, CCRN, and Terry Tucker, RN, MS, BA, CCRN, CEN.

Tina Froelicher of Professional Examination Services (PES) began the meeting by describing the process undertaken by PES staff to ensure that all examination items are psychometrically sound. The item writers focus their effort on the content of each item. During this phase of development, the volunteer committee checks for adequacy of content coverage, test item redundancy and the accuracy of the answer key. Current references are included with each item.

AACN Certification Corporation and PES apply a number of review procedures to ensure that the examinations contain items that are relevant to practice and critical to assessing the competence of critical care nurses at certification level.

After items are developed and processed at PES, they are forwarded to the respective Examination Development Committees, which meet to review and validate each item submitted. Each item is scored for importance, criticality and accuracy. Only items with adequate ratings are accepted by the committee and submitted to PES. PES maintains the committee’s rating data as part of the permanent documentation for each test item, in case the validity or accuracy of an item is challenged.

After all the requirements are met, the items are placed in a bank, which is used to update and revise current examinations. The process is lengthy and labor-intensive to ensure that items meet all uniform guidelines and requirements.

For more information about the CCRN certification exam, visit the AACN Certification Corporation Web site at www.certcorp.org; call (800) 899-2226; or e-mail certcorp@aacn.org.

CCRN and CCNS Paper-and-Pencil Exams Offered as Option in Rural Areas

Have you wanted to take the CCRN or CCNS certification examination, but found that testing centers are located too far from your home?

AACN Certification Corporation, in conjunction with its testing service, Professional Examination Service, is offering a certification testing alternative to individuals or groups living three hours or more from the nearest Prometric (formerly Sylvan) computer-based testing center.* Now, you can arrange to take a paper-and-pencil version of these exams at a site closer to home.

Although fees to test under this special arrangement are higher than computer-based testing in assigned centers, the individual costs can be reduced by scheduling the test with other candidates in your area. Any combination of candidates for the CCRN adult, neonatal and pediatric certification exams and the CCNS adult, neonatal and pediatric exams qualify under the fee schedule. (See fee schedule below.)

AACN Certification Corporation wants to make its certification tests as accessible and affordable as possible to candidates, regardless of where they live. For this reason, the testing system was switched in 1997 from the paper-and-pencil exam format, which was offered two times each year at 88 sites nationwide, to computer-based exams, which are offered five or six days a week at more than 300 locations.

Because of the fixed costs associated with administering secure paper-and-pencil examinations, AACN Certification Corporation cannot offer this alternative to candidates who live within three hours of a computer-based testing location.

A list of Prometric Centers currently offering the exams is available online at www.2test.com. Click on “Find A Test Center.” A state-by-state list of Prometric testing centers can also be requested via e-mail at certcorp@aacn.org, or by calling (800) 394-5995, ext. 334.

For more information, or to request that the paper-and-pencil exam be scheduled in your area, contact AACN Certification Corporation at (800) 394-5995, ext. 407.

*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.

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 from computer-based testing centers.

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)


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.

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

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.

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