Testing to Resume After
Feb. 15: New Service to Administer Certification Exams
Because of its commitment to improving the CCRN
and CCNS certification testing process, AACN Certification Corporation has
contracted with a new company to administer its certification exams. To
accommodate the transition of testing from the former company, whose contract
expired Dec. 31, 2001, the examination process has been suspended until Feb. 15,
The new contract with Applied Management
Professionals (AMP) includes many enhanced features, one of which is that
candidates will receive their final results with a breakdown of scores by
content area on the day of testing.
Applicants who were planning to test during this
period will be given a new 90-day window to schedule their tests. AMP will send
them confirmation postcards prior to Feb. 15, 2002. A list of AMP assessment
center locations (testing locations) and online scheduling is available at
www.goamp.com or by calling (888) 519-9901.
New examination handbooks can be obtained by
calling (800) 899-2226 (Request Item #8298 for the CCRN exam or #7297 for the
CCNS exam) or Fax-on-Demand at (800) 222-6329 (Request Item #8012 for the adult
CCRN exam, #8013 for the pediatric CCRN exam, #8014 for the neonatal CCRN exam
or #7297 for the CCNS exam). The handbooks can also be accessed online at
In addition, the 3-Person Discount for CCRN
applicants has been extended. Originally scheduled to expire Dec. 31, 2001, the
special discount applies to three or more candidates who apply as a group to
take the adult-, pediatric- or neonatal- CCRN exam. The discounted exam fee is
$175 for AACN members and $255 for others, which saves each applicant $45.
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 or requested by calling (800) 899-2226 or e-mailing
Confirmation letters are sent within three to
four weeks of applications. Applicants then have 90 days to take the exam.
Co-applicants are not required to take the exam at the same time.
Certification Is a Mark of
By Thomas L. Hickey
Director, AACN Certification Corporation
It had been a fast-paced night in the surgical
ICU. Jim felt like he had been literally flying around the unit and was not even
sure what time it was.
What Jim did know was that he felt a sense of
satisfaction. He felt like he was in control of the environment around him. He
also was gratified to know that he was a positive force in his patient�s
recovery that night.
As he placed a blood pressure cuff on his
patient�s arm, Jim noticed something that he wasn�t sure he had seen before�a
�CE� mark on the blood pressure cuff. What did it mean?
Later that morning, Jim noticed the �CE� mark on
another piece of equipment as he helped a colleague place a cover on a patient
who had been admitted to the unit following emergency surgery. Now Jim was
Jim was off the next day and decided to search
on the Internet for information about this �CE� mark. He discovered that it was
a mark of excellence for products. To obtain the mark, products were subjected
to stringent standards that were difficult to meet.
Jim reflected on where he had seen the mark on
his last shift. He realized that, if he looked for it, he would find the mark on
several of the items that he routinely used in the unit.
It was then that Jim also remembered the
information from his educational coordinator encouraging Jim to seek
certification in his specialty. He knew then what he needed to do.
If the products he used every day had been put
to the test to demonstrate that they had been manufactured with quality, then
Jim felt he should go through the same steps and achieve his CCRN credential. He
wanted to demonstrate to his patients, their families and his colleagues, but
most importantly to himself, that he had achieved a high standard as well.
Thomas L. Hickey is a consumer
representative on the AACN Certification Corporation Board of Directors. He is
president and CEO of MediQuest, Canton, Mich.
Alumnus CCRN Designation
The new Alumnus CCRN designation is now
available to CCRNs who have transitioned from acute and critical care bedside
practice but remain in nursing in another role. The program was established as a
way to acknowledge the talent, experience and loyalty to CCRN certification that
these exemplary CCRNs have demonstrated. Many have expressed an interest in
continuing their bond as a liaison or mentor for nurses who are considering
To apply for this Alumnus CCRN designation, you
must be moving from acute and critical care bedside practice to another role or
specialty, with no intention of returning to acute and critical care bedside
practice. You must have been a CCRN in good standing at some time in your
career. Although the Alumnus CCRN designation can be used on resumes, it cannot
be used after a signature or on an identification badge. The fee to apply for
three years is $75 for AACN members and $90 for nonmembers.
All Alumnus CCRNs will receive the monthly
issues of AACN News and a certificate suitable for framing. In addition, a lapel
pin denoting Alumnus CCRN status will be available for purchase.
To obtain the Alumnus CCRN application, call
(800) 899-2226 and request Item #8019 or Fax on Demand at (800) 222-6329 and
request Document #8019; e-mail
or visit the AACN Certification Corporation Web site.
Strategic Research Shows
Importance of Promoting Certification
The need to communicate the value of
certification to employers and the public was evident in a recent strategic
research study conducted in August 2001 by the market research firm of Research
Dimensions. The certification-related portion of the study, which included
subgroups of AACN members, former members and nonmembers, indicated that few
hospitals require CCRN certification and only about one-third compensate nurses
for becoming certified. Approximately 40% of the hospitals provided financial
assistance to help defray the cost of taking the certification exam.
The findings further validate one of AACN
Certification Corporation�s priority initiatives to promote the value of nursing
and certified nursing practice and to highlight the unique contributions
certified nurses make to patient care. AACN Certification Corporation is
currently working with a public relations firm to identify and communicate the
significance of certified nursing practice to a variety of constituents,
including current and potential certificants, policy makers, employers and
At the same time, certified nurses are
encouraged to continue individual efforts to increase awareness of the value of
certification and to pursue support of certification among employers.
AACN Certification Corporation is seeking
volunteers to serve on its adult, pediatric and neonatal CCRN and CCNS Exam
Appeals Panels. Between six and eight volunteers are needed for each.
Appeals Panel appointees, who review and
deliberate exam appeals, work primarily through written and electronic
correspondence and participate in several conference calls that can be taken
from home or work.
These positions are part of AACN�s annual Call
for Volunteers. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2002.