AACN News—May 2005—Certification

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Vol. 22, No. 5, MAY 2005


CMC, CSC Examinees Respond to Online Survey

AACN Certification Corporation recently conducted an online survey of CMC (cardiac medicine) and CSC (cardiac surgery) examinees. The preliminary results showed that:

• 13% of the respondents have taken both the CMC and CSC exams.
• Candidates to date have the following specialty credentials (92% CCRN; 3% CCNS; 2% PCCN; 3% ACNP).
• Most used the exam blueprint to study and said it was the most helpful for preparation. The next most helpful resources listed were other texts.
• 86% of the respondents said the exam met their expectations, based on the blueprint.
• 89% said the exam tested the clinical competence of their daily practice.
• 79% would recommend the exam to their colleagues.

At the time of the survey, 17% were awaiting their scores.

For more information about these new subspecialty exams, visit the AACN Certification Corporation Web.

New Jersey Hospital Recognized for Certification Advocacy

Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., received the 2005 Award for Nursing Certification Advocacy from the American Board of Nursing Specialties, of which AACN Certification Corporation is a member.

This award publicly recognizes individuals and organizations that advocate for or promote specialty nursing certification, thus leading to quality patient care. Award recipients engage in certification-related activities that:

• Benefit the public by promoting quality patient care and ensuring safety.
• Have influence beyond the individual or organization level, with the impact felt communitywide, statewide, nationally or internationally.
• Inform the public about specialty nursing certification and its value.
• Influence the process, standards, legal mandates relevant to specialty nursing certification specifically or certification in general.
• Advance the cause of specialty nursing certification.

Among the certified nurses at Saint Peter’s University Hospital are 166 CCRNs (105 adult, 50 neonatal, 11 pediatric).

Congratulations to Saint Peter’s for creating a certification culture benefiting patients and staff.

Ideas for Creating a Certification Culture

Following are some strategies that facilities have used to encourage and reward certification:

• Pay for study materials and resources, such as review courses and online self-assessment exams
• Pay certification exam application fees.
• Pay a salary differential. Some facilities pay several dollars more per hour.
• Count certification toward clinical ladder progression.
• Purchase a plaque to list the names of all certified staff in the unit.
• Seek certified nurses in recruitment advertisements.
• Display certificates of nurses on a “wall of honor.”
• Publish the names of certified nurses in the hospital newspaper.
• Sponsor an annual luncheon to recognize certified staff.
• Integrate certification into development plans during performance reviews.
• Encourage nurses to include credentials on nametags.
• Apply for magnet status through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
• Apply for the AACN Beacon Award for Excellence in Critical Care.
• Order the 2004 NTI audiotape featuring AACN President-elect Debbie Brinker, RN, MS, MSN, CCNS, CCRN, talking about “Creating a Certification Culture.”
• Purchase CCRN pins or other recognition products to give to certified nursing staff upon passing the exam.
• Set up a booth during National Critical Care Awareness and Recognition Month this month to explain and encourage
certification.

Deadline Extended for Transcripted Clinical Hours to Qualify for CCNS Exam

Until July 1, 2006, CCNS exam applicants whose academic program did not include 500 hours of faculty-supervised clinical practicum can make up the deficiency through a transcripted clinical experience arranged through an accredited college or university that offers a CNS program in acute or critical care. The original deadline was extended to accommodate transcripted clinical hours accrued in spring 2006.

AACN Certification Corporation Marks 30th Anniversary

AACN Certification Corporation is marking its 30th year of operation this year! The milestone will be celebrated at AACN’s 2006 NTI in Anaheim, Calif., in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the CCRN certification program. The American Board of Nursing Specialties recently recognized the corporation for achieving this 30-year milestone.

Display Your CMC or CSC Credential

Are you newly certified as a CMC (cardiac medicine) or CSC (cardiac surgery)? Display your new subspecialty credential proudly with a CMC or CSC pin with chain.

These gold pins are designed to attach to specialty certification pins, such as CCRN, CCNS and PCCN.

For more information or to order, visit the AACN Web site at www.aacn.org. The price is $5 for AACN members and $6 for others.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: I no longer work in critical care, so my CCRN will soon be expiring. I am interested in taking the CMC (cardiac medicine) subspecialty exam, but realized I need a current specialty certification to qualify. I have been working in cardiac rehabilitation. Would I be eligible to take the progressive care PCCN exam?

A: Nurses working in cardiac rehabilitation and stress testing would be able to sit for the PCCN exam if they meet the eligibility requirements. Eligibility is not determined by geographic unit, but by the needs of the patient. In progressive care areas, patients are moderately stable with the potential for becoming unstable, and patient problems and therapies are less complex than in critical care.
Another way to determine if the PCCN exam is the appropriate exam for you is to review the exam blueprint and determine if the patient problems in the content outline match your practice. The most heavily weighted component of the PCCN exam is cardiovascular clinical judgment, even more so than in the CCRN exam. A number of nurses, including cardiac rehabilitation nurses, interested in the new CMC subspecialty certification in cardiac medicine are finding a career pathway leading them first to the PCCN exam and eventual subspecialty certification such as PCCN-CMC.

Additional information about exams administered by AACN Certification Corporation is available online at www.certcorp.org.
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