AACN News—October 2002—Certification

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Vol. 19, No. 10, OCTOBER 2002

AACN Chapters Help Raise the Voice of Certification
In Atlanta, CCRN Achievement Is Reason for Pride and Celebration

By Suzanne S. Prevost, RN, PhD
Chair-Elect, AACN Certification Corporation

Critical care certification represents a significant accomplishment for nurses practicing in one of the most demanding nursing specialties. Most nurses share a mutual respect and admiration for their peers who achieve and maintain these certification credentials.

Unfortunately, in many work environments, certified nurses do not receive the support or recognition they deserve. In fact, in units where certification is not the norm, managers may be more focused on promoting workforce equity than on applauding outstanding accomplishments and performance. Some coworkers may even respond to certified nurses with skepticism, envy or feelings of intimidation.
In contrast, AACN chapters provide the perfect forum for acknowledging and celebrating the accomplishments of certified nurses. The Atlanta Area Chapter is one of those that is a model for demonstrating commitment and support for certification.

The Atlanta chapter supports members and other local nurses by offering a low-cost CCRN review course once or twice each year. The course is taught by national experts, including Barbara McLean, RN, MN, CCRN, CCNS-NP, FCCM. During the course, certified chapter members advise participants about certification application procedures, study tips and other information from AACN Certification Corporation, such as the �3-Person� discount.

The chapter also purchases certification recognition plaques for posting in all of the major local hospitals. The inscription on the plaques reads: Atlanta Area Chapter AACN recognizes the following CCRNs for their dedication to excellence. Unit managers or other leaders add individually engraved nameplates to the plaques for each CCRN in their unit.

In addition, Atlanta chapter leaders scan the AACN Certification Corporation Web site (www.certcorp.org) on a regular basis to identify newly certified CCRNs in their state. If they are not chapter members, they are sent a congratulatory letter and offered free membership in the chapter for the following year.

In August, the chapter sponsored its first Certification Recognition Luncheon. All certified chapter members were invited to attend free of charge. In addition to the meal, the guests were treated to a free continuing education program on the �Value of Certification,� and presented a small packet of gifts, including a CCRN badgeholder.

Members were recognized and applauded for their years of continuous certification. Lynda Liles, who had been certified the longest with 26 years, received special recognition and a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers. The event was truly a celebration and will likely become a regular tradition for the chapter.

Linda Lyles (far left), a CCRN for 26 years, celebrates
with other Atlanta Area Chapter members (from left)
Joanne Pappas, Sue Williams and Kim Bentley at a
recent luncheon celebrating members� commitment
to certification.

Audits for CCRN Renewal Are Random : Certificants Should Continue to Track CERPs

The CCRN renewal process will change, effective Feb. 1, 2003. Certificants will no longer be notified in advance when they are to be audited, nor will they be required to submit a listing of CERP activities.
Instead, they will simply fill in the appropriate number of CERPs earned in each category on the renewal application form and sign the honor statement. Certificants must still maintain evidence of achievement of the required CERP hours.

Following successful renewal, a fixed percentage of certificants will be randomly selected for audit. They will then have 60 days to submit the required verification materials, such as course certificates and letters of confirmation of volunteer activities. If materials are not submitted within 60 days, certification will be revoked and notices will be sent to the candidate�s employer and state board of nursing.
Certificants requesting CCRN renewal should continue to keep personal records of CERP activities to satisfy an audit of CE records if performed. A CERP log form, which is included in the CCRN Renewal Handbook, is also available online at http://www.certcorp.org.

As always, AACN Certification Corporation reserves the right to conduct additional audits as necessary.

Group CCRN Exam Fee Discount Extended to Dec. 31

You can still receive a discount when you apply to take the CCRN exam with two or more of your colleagues. The deadline to take advantage of this popular 3-Person Discount has been extended to Dec. 31.

This 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 at http://www.certcorp.org, or requested by calling (800) 899-2226 or e-mailing certcorp@aacn.org.

Applicants have 90 days from the time they receive their confirmation letters to take the exam. Coapplicants are not required to take the exam at the same time.

Respect, Recognition, Reward

A Special Feeling
Last month, I received the certificate of recognition for my 20th anniversary as a CCRN. It made me smile and remember what a wonderful achievement this was in my professional and personal life. I remember how hard I studied, and how proud I was to achieve CCRN status.

I just want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to pause and remember a time in my life when I really made a difference. Thank you for making me feel special. It's exactly what nurses need to do for each other, especially during these challenging times.
Denise D. Hayes, RN, MSN, CCRN, CRNP
Chalfont, Pa.

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