AACN News—July 2005—Certification

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Vol. 22, No. 6, JUNE 2005

Certified Nurses Celebrated at Annual NTI Event

Although the setting for the annual Certification Celebration at AACN’s National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition was different this year, the message was the same: Certified nurses have made an exceptional commitment to their patients and their patients’ families.

Instead of the traditional luncheon, this year’s celebration was a dinner on Wednesday night of the NTI. More than 1,500 CCRNs, CCNSs, ACNPs, PCCNs and new CMCs and CSCs attended.

Future Planning
Outgoing AACN Certification Corporation Chair Jan Foster, RN, MSN, PhD, CCRN, provided the gathering a brief overview of the past year’s accomplishments and plans for the future.

“We’ve worked very hard to ensure that our strategic plan furthers our purpose of protecting consumers and is relevant to today’s workplace environment,” she said.

Among the corporation’s accomplishments in the past year are launching the PCCN exam for progressive care nurses, revising the CCRN exams and launching the nursing subspecialty exams in cardiac surgery and cardiac medicine. In the future, Foster said, the corporation will continue to focus on communicating the value of certification and on collecting research that correlates with positive system and patient outcomes.

She announced that the corporation will develop an acute care nurse practitioner certification program.

The Tribute
An always popular part of the celebration found the certified nurses celebrating personal milestones, with a handful who have been certified for more than 25 years in the spotlight. Foster called them the “true pioneers … who decided to take their knowledge to the next level, who dedicated themselves to their chosen profession and who helped make certification what it is today.”

“The commitment you’ve made to your patients, your colleagues and your hospitals is felt by everyone in this room.”

The Certification Celebration Dinner was cosponsored by Hill-Rom in partnership with AACN Certification Corporation. Atrium Medical Corp. provided special memento coffee mugs for the 17th consecutive year.

Giant monitors gave all Certification Celebration participants a
commanding view of the goings on at the dinner event. More than
1,500 nurses certified in acute and critical care attended the dinner,
a new format for the popular event at NTI.

The Certification Oasis, cosponsored by Clarian Health Partners,
was a popular gathering place for certified nurses at the NTI.
AACN Certification Corporation representatives, including Tracy
LoBono (left, above) were on hand to greet and assist visitors.

ABNS Survey Shows Hiring Preference for Certified Nurses

The American Board of Nursing Specialties recently conducted a survey regarding perceptions of the value of certification. The survey results from 139 nurse managers in 35 states and several other countries were published in the May 2005 issue of Nursing Management.

Among the highlights were:

• 86% of respondents indicated they would hire a certified nurse over a noncertified nurse if everything else were equal.
• 75% indicated the top reason for hiring certified nurses versus noncertified nurses was that the certified nurse has a proven knowledge base in a given specialty.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am a CCRN-CSC. Will CERPs for my subspecialty certification also count toward my CCRN renewal?

Yes. Twenty-five Category A CERPs in the subspecialty are required for renewal of the subspecialty certifications (along with practice requirements). You may also use those CERPs for Category A CERPs for the CCRN renewal, if they fall within the same renewal time frames.

I have not yet practiced in the United States for two years, but have been working full time as an RN in the states for the last year and have 1,750 hours of caring for critically ill patients. Do I have enough practice hours to be eligible to take the CCRN exam?

Yes. The requirement is for 1,750 hours in direct beside care of acutely and critically ill patients within the last two years, with 875 hours accrued in the most recent year preceding application. Achieving 1,750 hours within the last year meets that criteria. We are interested in the 1,750 hours of caring for acutely and critically ill patients, but it can’t be spread out over more than two years, and at least 875 hours must be within the most recent year.
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