AACN News—November 2004—Certification

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Vol. 21, No. 11, NOVEMBER 2004

Are You Ready for Certification, the Mark of Excellence?

By Beth Martin, RN, MSN, CCNS, CNRN
AACN Certification Corporation
Board of Directors

Certification—the expert step, the mark of excellence! In the whitepaper “Safeguarding the Patient and the Profession: The Value of Critical Care Nurse Certification,”1 AACN and AACN Certification Corporation describe certification as a method of ensuring expert knowledge and clinical judgment. Nurses who certify demonstrate a commitment to career development and dedication to patient care. Are you ready?

A good first step in deciding if you are ready for certification is to determine whether you meet the clinical eligibility requirements. Visit the AACN Certification Corporation Web site (www.certcorp.org) to review certification information and assess your clinical practice. AACN Certification Corporation acknowledges that critical care nursing occurs outside the four walls of the traditional ICU or CCU setting and does not specify the clinical setting. In fact, 40% of the approximately 40,000 certified CCRNs work outside the ICU/CCU setting. Having the recommended clinical practice experiences will enhance your understanding of the examination content. Are you ready?

Knowledge Assessment
Next, assess your knowledge. An advanced body of knowledge is necessary to care for the complex needs of patients, whether acutely or critically ill. Here are some tips to help in the self-assessment of your knowledge:
• Review the certification exam blueprint. Blueprints for all AACN Certification Corporation exams are included in the application handbooks, which are available in the “Documents” area of the Web site.
• If you are considering adult CCRN certification, try the newly revised self-assessment exam (SAE). This Internet-based exam allows you to practice answering the types of questions on the actual CCRN exam, to experience the computer-based testing method that is available year-round, to review rationales for correct and incorrect answers, and to receive an assessment of your strengths and areas that need further study. An SAE will be available for PCCN candidates by the end of this month. Are you ready?

Confidence Building
Self-confidence in testing is essential to passing any exam. How do you gain confidence? Start with a review course and use available study resources. Upcoming courses are listed in the “Products and Courses” area of the Web site, and you can shop for certification books, videos and audiotapes in the “Bookstore” area of the AACN Web site. Don’t overlook the benefits of a study group. By building a support network for yourself and others who want to successfully certify, you will acquire more in-depth knowledge and the confidence needed for successful certification. Are you ready?

In the September 2004 issue of AACN News, AACN President Kathy McCauley, RN, PhD, BC, FAAN, reminded us that an honest appraisal of our assets allows us to consciously work to overcome deficits.2 Self-knowledge will empower you to develop a conscious plan to achieve certification success. You’ll be ready!

1. American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Safeguarding the patient and the profession: the value of critical care nurse certification. Am J Crit Care. 2003;12:154-164.
2. McCauley K. Self-knowledge: more than a first step. AACN News. September 2004;21:2.

Congratulations to Newly Certified Progressive Care Nurses!

Congratulations to the following progressive care nurses who achieved the PCCN credential as of Aug. 31. The exam was launched in May.

Mary E. Adams, Cheryl A. Alexander, Pamela K. Allen, Jennifer L. Andreoli, Frances L. Anetrella, Susan F. Armbrester, Susan D. Armstrong, Elaine V. Austin, LouAnn E. Bala, Jessica M. Barnette, Pamela B. Barry, Kathleen M. Barta, Rosalie Baugh, Barbara L. Bolek, Pamela J. Bolton, Cheryl L. Bond, Patricia L. Bowen, Donna L. Boyer, Elaine S. Breton, Kimberly K. Brewer, Linda F. Bryant, Janice A. Burguess, Ruth A. Burke, Pamela Jane Burkhart, Marilyn L. Byrne, Mary K. Cadek, Sheryl L. Casey, Kelly M. Chaplick, Courtney B. Clark, Tamara M. Clos, Phyllis B. Coley, Michelle L. Coley, Adrianne M. Cote, Kathleen M. Cullen, Pamela S. Curry, Wendy J. Czaja, Cynthia Ann Damboise, Ariel Circulado Dela Cruz, Gladys Beratio Dinglasan, Elaine P. Dyson, Kirsten F. Ebbesen, Joan M. Ellis, Mary Louise Falk, Marianne Fasano, Dana K. Flatley, Nathalie M. Fleureau, Amber L. Fore, Janice Lee Fouraker, David Fox, Bonnie C. Frazier, Victoria D. Fuller, Wendy J. Fullerton, Becki L. Fuzi,

Julia K. Garrison, Christopher M. Geary, Mary Karen Gilles, Judith A. Giovannelli, Tonia Y. Glenn, Barbara A. Godby, Janelle A. Godkin, Diane Gray, Lynne Green, Dorothy M. Gregory, Kalee L. Gresham, Jan S. Griffin, Karen N. Hamilton, Angelyn J. Harper, Marcia L. Harris, Melissa A. Haslett, Stacey S. Hawes, Judi Hensley, Meredith A. Heyde, Kelly A. Hill, Paula J. Hogsten, Mary Anne Holmes, Linda Horner, Paula A. Innis, Nancy A. Jacobs, Teresa M. Jones, Emmaly J. Karl, Karen A. Kesten, Amy B. Klingensmith, Carrie L. Klusty, Chelly Kniceley, Rebecca J. Koenig

Dana Lalk, Charlene M. Lane, Jeremy C. Langley, Jane M. Lindblad, Susan M. Long, AnnMarie Lundgren, Lynne M. Mahaffey, Lisa A. Manovill, Linda K. Martin, Cynthia J. Martz, Sara McCauley, Mitzi McCloud, Elizabeth McClure, Arthur A. McDonald, Cathy Ann McKee, Laura A. Meacham, Nancy A. Mead, Julie A. Meek, Lolita W. Melhado, Therese M. Mendez, Jeannette Meyer, Denise Anne Miller, Sharon Miller, Barbara M. Mills, Melissa K. Minor Morrow, Sheri L. Mommerency, Marilyn E. Moore, Christopher Morrison, Jean I. Morrison, Jacqueline M. Myers

Margaret C. Neal, Margaret T. Newman, Dawn M. Nobles, Lynda G. Ownby, Karen A. Page, Sheila M. Palmer, Ann M. Peterson, Carrie S. Priest-Chenowith, Janice F. Rellier, Ira Gene Reynolds, Lyla Cae Rhoades, Valerie Rislove, Charlene M. Roch, Deborah J. Rodgers, Wanda J. Rodgers, Anne Rogers, Agnela Romanillos, Marcia J. Rossetti, Josette L. Ryan, Grace M. Samson, Michelle Denise Sanders, Virginia R. Sanders, Melinda D. Sawyer, Stephanie J. Schwenn, Jacqueline Scotney, Dennis Sebetich, Theresa Fullo Sheehan, LuAnn Shoaf, Elaine M. Smith, Barbara Jo Smyth, Dawn M. Specht, Tricia N. Spinelli, Cheryl A. Stacy, Youlanda D. Staggs, Paula K. Stalpes, Donna M. Starsiak, Anna M. Steffe, Betty Steverson, Barbara M. Stone, Freeman A. Strickland

Julie P. Tanner, Patricia A. Thompson, Linda M. Thomson, Lillian E. Threatte, Vanica B. Todd, Julia L. Tofanelli, Catherine Tremblay, Amy S. Treu, Charlene T. Trimeloni, Michele S. Trinka, Mary R. Triplett, Jessica Ann Trivett, Donna D. Trudelle, Andrea Truex, Rita A. Twineham, Barbara L. Ullery, Deborah E. Urling, Angele M Valerio, Krystal M. Van Buren, Mary J. VanAsten, Jose A. Vazquez-Diaz, Maribeth K. Walker, Donna G. Weidner, Debbie L. Welch, Jo Ann Weld, Michell L. Williams, Cynthia L. Wolford, Roman Woznicki, Joan M. Yager, Jeffrey Young.

For more information about the PCCN certification exam for progressive care nurses, visit the AACN Website.

Geriatric Item Writers Convened

Through the Nurse Competence in Aging project,
a five-year initiative funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies
the Geriatric Item Writing Committee was convened to
develop trial items for the CCRN certification exam.
Members of the Geriatric Item Writer Committee are
(from top left) Justine Medina (staff liaison), Colleen
Heafey, Lynn Rodgers and Lee Ann Haygood and
(from top right) Carol Hartigan (staff liaison),
Carole Moore and Celia Laird.

Eligibility and Renewal Requirements Set for Subspecialty Certifications

The AACN Certification Corporation Board of Directors has approved the following criteria regarding eligibility and renewal requirements for the new subspecialty cardiac medicine certification (CMC) and cardiac surgery certification (CSC), scheduled to be available in January:

• Current unrestricted RN or APRN license in the United States or its territories
• 1,750 hours in care of the acutely or critically ill patient within the two years preceding the date of application, with 875 of those hours accrued in the most recent year preceding application; 875 of the 1,750 hours must be in the care of:
—The acutely or critically ill cardiac patient (for CMC)
—The cardiac surgery patient within the first 48 hours post-
operative (for CSC)
• Current nationally accredited (National Commission for Certifying Agencies or American Board of Nursing Specialties) nursing specialty certification.

• Current unrestricted RN or APRN license in the United States or its territories
• 25 Category A CERPs in the three-year renewal period
—Pertaining to cardiology (for CMC)
—Pertaining to cardiac surgery (for CSC)
• 432 practice hours within the three years preceding date of application, with 144 of those hours accrued in the most recent year preceding application, in the care of:
—The acutely or critically ill cardiac patient (for CMC)
—The cardiac surgery patient within the first 48 hours post-
operative (for CSC)
• Current nationally accredited (NCCA or ABNS) nursing specialty certification

A list of FAQs and test specifications, as well as the Subspecialty Exam Handbook, is available on AACN Website.

Subspecialty Certification Exam Development Committees Meet

Members of the Subspecialty Exam Development Committees gathered recently to review items for the cardiac medicine certification (CMC) and cardiac surgery certification (CSC) exams. The committees reach consensus on whether items are appropriate and the answers are correct. Members of the Cardiac Medicine Certification Exam Development Committee are (from top left, photo at left) Marci Farquhar-Snow, Diane J. Appelman, Allison W. Dimsdale and Shirlien A. Metersky and (from top right) Julie A. Marcum, Beth Martin and Amy L. Brown. Members of the Cardiac Surgery Certification Exam Development Committee are (from top left, photo at right) Jeffrey S. Williams, Connie Barden and Sandra L. Lovelace and (from top right) Patti A. McCluskey-Andre, Jessie M. Casida and Linda A. Prinkey-Briggs.

Note: Eligibility and Practice Hours Outside the U.S.

Outside the United States, clinical practice hours for CCRN examination or renewal eligibility must take place in a U.S.-based facility or in a facility determined, by verifiable evidence, to be comparable to the U.S. standard of acute/critical care nursing practice, as evidenced by ANCC magnet status or JCAHO or JCR international accreditation.

Use the Power of Positive Thinking!

If you are preparing to sit for one of AACN Certification Corporation’s certification exams, let AACN President Kathy McCauley, RN, PhD, BC, FAAN, and AACN Certification Corporation Chair Jan Foster, RN, MSN, PhD, CCRN, know. They will send positive thoughts your way. E-mail your exam date to Kathy.McCauley@aacn.org or Jan.Foster@aacn.org.

Renewing certificants: You can now take the adult CCRN Self-Assessment Exam (SAE) for CERPs! Visit www.certcorp.org.

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