AACN News—November 2003—Certification

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Vol. 20, No. 11, NOVEMBER 2003


Certification Item Writer, Exam Developer Volunteers Needed
Progressive Care Certification Exam Also Planned

Based on the preliminary results of a landmark study of practice that was completed in October, AACN Certification Corporation has decided to pursue revisions in the CCRN examination, as well as development of a certification examination for critical care nurses working in the progressive care environment.

By exploring the activities of nurses who care for acutely and critically ill patients in a variety of settings, this comprehensive job analysis considered the entire spectrum of critical care nursing practice. The approach helped to identify overlaps and distinctions in different roles.

"This study has confirmed what we have believed about progressive care nurses for some time-that they are a part of the critical care family. Although they have the same values and mind-set as nurses in the ICUs, they bring a unique set of skills along the continuum of care in the critical care environment,"said AACN Certification Corporation Chair Suzanne Prevost, RN, PhD. "We are pleased to pursue this certification opportunity for them."

As a result of the study of practice, AACN Certification Corporation is now ready to move ahead with not only development of the progressive care exam but also revisions to the adult, pediatric and neonatal CCRN exams. Toward that end, an immediate call is going out for volunteers to serve as members of the Item Writers and Exam Development committees for all these exams.

Applications for these positions are due Dec. 8, with meetings scheduled to begin in February. All expenses associated with these volunteer commitments are paid by AACN Certification Corporation, according to AACN Certification Corporation policy guidelines.

Following is information about each group:

CCRN Exam
Item Writers Committee-Six to eight volunteers needed to serve for each exam. Members must be certified or have worked with newly certified CCRNs.
Exam Development Committee-Six volunteers plus a chair needed for the adult exam and three each plus chairs needed for the pediatric and neonatal exams. Members must be actively practicing at the bedside, but are not required to be certified.

Progressive Care
Item Writers Committee-10 volunteers needed. Members must be actively practicing in progressive care or working closely with progressive care nurses.
Exam Development Committee-Six volunteers plus a chair needed. Members must be actively practicing at the bedside in progressive care.

Item Writers Job Description
Members of the Item Writers Committee write multiple-choice questions for inclusion in the examination item bank. In addition, they research problem items during the preliminary item analysis. Although questions are prepared at home, item writers are required to attend a three-day meeting.

Qualifications:
� Demonstrated expertise in the area of clinical practice that is found in at least one of the content areas of the examination
� Demonstrated current knowledge of acutely and critically ill patients and clinical critical care nursing practice.
� Demonstrated knowledge of group focus and the ability to contribute to outcomes.

In addition, volunteers must be willing to forego involvement in education programs preparing individuals to take the examination targeted to their specialty while a member and for a period of two years after completion of their term. Members are ineligible to take the exam targeted to their specialty while a member and for a period of two years after completion of their term.

Item Writers Committee members, who must maintain confidentiality of examination materials, will serve a one-year term renewable at the discretion of the AACN Certification Corporation. The chair also serves as chair of the corresponding Exam Development Committee.

Exam Development Committee Job Description
Members of the Exam Development Committee develop and approve the exams according to test specification criteria. The committee members will continuously evaluate the relevance of the CCRN exam to the practice of critical care nursing. In addition, they will advise the CCRN 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.

Qualifications:
� Demonstrated expertise in an area of clinical practice that is found in at least one of the content areas of the examination
� Demonstrated current knowledge of acutely and critically ill patients and clinical critical care nursing practice.
� Demonstrated knowledge of group focus and the ability to contribute to outcomes

In addition, members must be willing to forego involvement in education programs preparing individuals to take the examination targeted to their specialty, while a member and for a period of two years after completion of the term as a member. In addition, members are ineligible to take the exam targeted to their specialty while a member and for a period of two years after completion of the term as a member. Committee members may have previous experience as exam item writers.

Exam Development Committee members, who must maintain confidentiality of examination materials, will serve a two-year term renewable at the discretion of the AACN Certification Corporation. To encourage continuity in the exam development process, the chair also serves on the corresponding Item Writer Committee.

For more information, call (800) 394-5995, ext. 268. To apply, simply fill out the form below. The form is also available online via the AACN Certification Corporation Web site.

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