AACN News—January 2001—Certification

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Vol. 18, No. 1, JANUARY 2001


Certification Survey Results Show Incentives for CCRNs

To gain insight into the advantages and institutional incentives for seeking certification, AACN Certification Corporation recently circulated a survey to its CCRN liaison group and CCRNs attending the NTI Certification Luncheon. More than 70% of the 2,000 respondents indicated that they received some form of compensation and/or recognition for their certification.

Nurses who responded stated that, in addition to bringing recognition as experts in their field, the rigorous certification process can reward critical care nurses with a variety of financial and other benefits supporting the importance of certification. The five most commonly mentioned benefits for CCRNs were increases in pay; advancement on the clinical ladder; special name badges displaying their credentials; awards and plaques of recognition; and reimbursement for exam fees. In addition, CCRNs indicated that they received other benefits, such as hiring bonuses, cash bonuses upon successfully passing the exam, facility-wide recognition days or events, reimbursement for NTI attendance, test preparation fees, time off to prepare for the examination, and/or being the last nurses to float to other units.

On a related note, the January 2000 Nurse Recruitment & Retention Study by the American Organization of Nurse Executives found that 55% of the 58 hospitals surveyed reimbursed nurses for certification.

There are currently more than 46,000 neonatal, pediatric and adult CCRN-certified nurses practicing worldwide. AACN Certification Corporation is continually working to provide new credentialing programs that contribute to achieving desired health outcomes for patients, as well as to the career advancement of nurses.

These survey results are just one of the promising communication tools that AACN Certification Corporation will put to use in promoting certification to hospital administrators, managed care organizations and other healthcare influentials. As part of that effort, AACN and AACN Certification Corporation have partnered with the Burson-Marsteller public relations agency to develop a national positioning and branding campaign. Burson-Marsteller will work with AACN and AACN Certification Corporation to raise the level of awareness of critical care nursing and the value of nurse certification.


Volunteers Sought for AACN Certification Corporation Committees

Opportunities for volunteers to serve as adult, neonatal or pediatric CCRN certification exam item writers, exam development committee members or appeal panel members are available for 2001-02.

Applications for these positions are due March 1, 2001. Appointments are effective July 1, 2001.

AACN Certification Corporation is seeking six members each to serve as item writers for the adult, pediatric and neonatal CCRN exams. CCRN exam item writers develop questions for the exam item bank and research problem items during the item analysis. Although questions are prepared at home, item writers are required to attend a three-day meeting.

In addition to developing and approving examinations according to test specification criteria, members of the CCRN Exam Development Committees continuously evaluate the relevance of the CCRN exam to the practice of critical care nursing and advise the AACN Certification Corporation Board of Directors of necessary revisions to the test blueprint. They also provide mentoring opportunities for item writers. Members of this committee attend one four-day meeting during the year.

AACN Certification Corporation is seeking six members each to serve on the adult, pediatric and neonatal CCRN Exam Development Committees. These positions are open to nurses who have previous experience as exam item writers.

Members of the CCRN Appeal Panels for the adult, pediatric or neonatal exam review and deliberate appeals as needed. Members work through written correspondence and may be called on to participate in conference calls.

All expenses associated with these volunteer commitments are paid by AACN Certification Corporation, according to AACN Certification Corporation policy guidelines.

For more information, call (800) 394-5995, ext. 415, or visit the AACN Web site at www.aacn.org.

CCRN Liaisons Help Promote the Value of Certification

A growing number of critical care nurses now volunteer as CCRN� liaisons, not only to promote the value of CCRN certification to their colleagues, but also to help keep current CCRNs informed about certification issues.

These more than 1,000 liaisons represent a spectrum of healthcare facilities, from rural to large metropolitan institutions.

The liaisons receive quarterly mailings, which include promotional materials for posting in their units, as well as information about the Synergy Model-based CCRN and CCNS examinations.

In addition, a CCRN liaison link is available on the AACN Certification Corporation Web site at www.certcorp.org.

If you are interested in becoming a CCRN liaison, call (800) 394-5995, ext. 268. You do not need to be CCRN-certified to join this group.