AACN News—April 2003—Certification

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Vol. 20, No. 4, APRIL 2003


Corporation Seeks Nominations for Board of Directors

AACN Certification Corporation is seeking nominations of individuals to serve on the Board of Directors for terms that begin July 1, 2004.

Invited are nominations for the offices of chair-elect and two directors.

Nominations must be received or postmarked by June 13, 2003. The nomination form can be obtained by calling (800) 899-2226 or online.

The board is made up of a combination of individuals who are certified by the corporation, other nurses and consumer representatives. These board members are accountable for ensuring sound certification programs that address the competencies required of critical care nurses for excellence in practice and for fulfilling the professional obligation to patients.

Reimbursement for travel as well as other expenses are provided for all of these national volunteer positions. Following are brief descriptions of the AACN Certification Corporation positions for which nominations are invited:

Chair-elect (One, 1-Year Term)-The chair-elect works to become familiar with the duties of the chair and consults with the chair to prepare for continuity and a smooth transition of leadership. He or she performs all duties of that position in the chair's absence. The Board of Directors selects the chair-elect candidate from the submitted nominations.

Director (Two, 2-Year Terms)-A director actively participates in governance to ensure the corporation's financial viability and growth; evaluate organizational outcomes based on established priorities and action plans; monitors the impact of corporation initiatives on patient care and healthcare delivery systems; articulates positions and policies to key stakeholders; and ensures a successful relationship between AACN and AACN Certification Corporation. Nominations for both nurse leaders and consumer representatives are being accepted for these positions.

For more information about the Call for Nominations, contact Tracey Kane at (800) 394-5995, ext. 415, or visit the AACN Web site.


CCNS Exam Undergoes Comprehensive Review
Pretesting of Items Will
Help Ensure Performance

Members of the CCNS Exam Development Committee are (from left) Lorraine C. Victor, Judy Verger (board liaison), Patricia J. Atkins, Kathleen M. Vollman, Katherine E. Collopy, Deborah L. Bingaman and Liz Miller (staff liaison).


A comprehensive review of all test items by the CCNS Exam Development Committee produced two revised and two new CCNS examinations for clinical nurse specialists in critical care.

A new feature is the addition of a pretesting process for newly created items, which help to ensure that new items perform well.
Lawrence J. Fabrey, vice president of measurement and research at Applied Measurement Professionals, AACN Certification Corporation's testing agency, provided his expertise in creating reliable and valid examinations. An innovative approach used the online completion of the Angoff Process, or passing point for the examinations. This Web review provided an additional way for the content experts to reconfirm the answer key, determine if there was content overlap or cueing, and provide judgments on the percentage of those who will select the correct item.

Members of the committee, which met for three days in January in Costa Mesa, Calif., are Patricia J. Atkins, RN, MS, CCRN, Deborah L. Bingaman, RN, MSN, CCRN, NP, CRNP, Katherine E. Collopy, RN, MSN, CCRN, Lorraine C. Victor, RNC, MS, CCRN, and Kathleen M. Vollman, RN, MSN, CCRN, CS. The board liaison is Judy Verger, RN, MSN, CCRN, and staff liaisons are Liz Miller, RN, BSN, and Carol Hartigan, RN, MA.

New Mexico Now Recognizes CCNS Certification

New Mexico has joined the list of states that now recognize CCNS certification as meeting the criteria for advanced practice nursing designation or licensure.
In addition to New Mexico, the state boards of nursing in Alabama, California, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin have either approved the CCNS exam, or listed AACN Certification Corporation as an approved certification body.

AACN Certification Corporation has contacted the state boards in all 50 states to request recognition of the CCNS certification exam for clinical nurse specialists in acute and critical care. Depending on the wording of specific statutes or rules, each state that recognizes the CNS role for advanced practice status may have the option to approve the CCNS exam process.

However, though pressure from managed care groups, reimbursement issues and the desire to conform to the same practices as neighboring states seem to be influencing the move toward regulation of advanced practice, some boards of nursing do not have the statutory authority to establish or approve an advanced practice category. AACN Certification Corporation continues to monitor legislation in those states.

All nurses planning to use the CCNS to obtain advanced practice licensure should check the specific requirements of their state boards of nursing before taking the CCNS exam.

Note: Certification obtained through AACN Certification Corporation is a voluntary process and is intended to test only for specialized knowledge. AACN Certification Corporation is not authorized to define qualifications of any person for nursing practice. The significance of certification in any jurisdiction is dependent on the statutes in that jurisdiction, and it is the individual candidate's responsibility to contact the appropriate state board of nursing to obtain information pertaining to licensure requirements.