AACN Chapters Help Raise the Voice of
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
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,
with other Atlanta Area Chapter members (from left)
Joanne Pappas, Sue Williams and Kim Bentley at a
recent luncheon celebrating members� commitment
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
As always, AACN Certification Corporation
reserves the right to conduct additional audits as necessary.
Group CCRN Exam Fee Discount Extended to
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
or requested by calling (800) 899-2226 or e-mailing
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