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Vol. 23, No. 7, JULY 2006

Renewal by Synergy CERPs—Focus on New Category C

Renewal by Synergy CERPs, a new way CCRNs and PCCNs can renew their credential starting in January 2007, integrates the AACN Synergy Model for Patient Care, which is our certification framework. By January 2010, Renewal by Synergy CERPs will replace the current Renewal by CERPs program. This month’s article focuses on Category C.

Category C CERPs pertain to ongoing learning (CEs, academic courses, or inservices) and activities that relate to collaboration and systems thinking. The new Synergy CERPs program will require 10 CERPs in Category C. Certificants may also choose to use their 20 CERPs of choice in Category C; the maximum number of CERPs in this category is 30. Here are the definitions and some examples of the Category C nurse characteristics and CERPs that would fall under this category:

Collaboration—Working with others (e.g., patients, families, healthcare providers) in a way that promotes/encourages each person's contributions toward achieving optimal/realistic patient/family goals. Collaboration involves intra- and interdisciplinary work with colleagues and the community.

• How to work on a team
• Communication skills, (i.e., crucial conversations, negotiation)
• Dealing with difficult people
• Performance appraisal
• Participating in a nursing team/interdisciplinary project/hospital committee
• National nursing organization membership and participation

Systems Thinking—The body of knowledge and tools that allow the nurse to manage whatever environmental and system resources that exist for the patient/family and staff, within or across healthcare systems and nonhealthcare systems.

• Healthy Work Environments
• Management and leadership Skills
• Risk Management
• AACN Synergy Model for Patient Care
• Community Resources
• Natural Disaster Planning/Emergency Planning and Coordination
• Case Management
• Participating in or leading a national committee (inter system; interdisciplinary)*
• Designing new systems/forms/policies and procedures*
• Leading a case conference*

Examples of current AACN CE products that fit Category C:

• Organ Donation Breakthrough Collaborative: Increasing Organ Donation Through System Redesign
• Authentic Leaders Creating Healthy Work Environments for Nursing Practice
• Engage and Transform
• Communication in the Healthcare Workplace: A Prescription for Better Care
• Effect of a Multidisciplinary Intervention on Communication and Collaboration Among Physicians and Nurses
• The Link Between Teamwork and Patients’ Outcomes in Intensive Care Units
• Bold Voices in Progressive Care Using Shared Decision Making to Implement Evidence-Based Practice in Progressive Care
• Using Mediation Techniques to Manage Conflict and Create Healthy Work Environments
• Disaster Nursing: New Frontiers for Critical Care
• Developing a Multidisciplinary Weaning Unit Through Collaboration

For more listings go to the AACN Web site, click on Continuing Education, then AACN’s Premier Online CE.

Examples of NTI 2006 sessions that count for Category C (By 2007, NTI sessions will be coded for both renewal programs.):

• Healthy Work Environments Through Crucial Conversations
• Silent No Longer: Beginning the Journey to Create Cultures of Safety
• Leadership Development With Vision, Relationships and Execution
• Hurricane Katrina: Critical Care Nurse on the Front Lines
• Creating the Rules of Engagement for Recruitment and Retention
• Confronting Difficult Situations and Bad Behaviors
• AACN Healthy Work Environments Standards: The Overview
• Nurse Managers Have Maslow Needs Too!
• The Synergy Model: An Acuity Staffing System for Progressive Care
• Teamwork: Together We Can Do the Impossible

For more complete examples and actual number of CERPs awarded, refer to the draft CCRN Renewal Handbook at www.certcorp.org. The final CCRN Renewal Handbook will be available online in August.

Remember, if you are due to renew your CCRN in January 2007, you may choose the current Renewal by CERPs program or the new Renewal by Synergy CERPs program. Requirements for both programs will be included in the Renewal Handbook.

Changes in Current CERP Program

Concurrent with Renewal by Synergy CERPs Program implementation, the current renewal program will have a few minor changes. Changes mostly reflect more CERPs for committee leadership roles than member participation; more CERPs for peer-reviewed journals/books than not; requiring a clinical judgment component to volunteer activities; fewer CERPs for dissertation; and clarifying preceptor hours.

These minor changes will go into effect in January 2007 and will be included in the CCRN Renewal Handbook to be posted online in August 2006. Following are the changes:

CategoryActivityWasChanged to Comment
ProfessionalEditorial in journal5 CERPs2 CERPs
PublicationAdded journal column
Added AACN News article
Added peer reviewed to original
research article
Research abstract
Chapter in a book
Journal reviewer (reviewer of articles
or book chapters)
Book reviews
Doctoral dissertation

2-10 pages


Max 30
Professional PresentationPresentations
12 CERPs per year
Minimum 8 hours/year
10 CERPs per year
Minimum 80 hours/year
Max 30 for renewal period under
Category B
May have been typo n previous
Professional MembershipAdded committee leadership responsibilities
Volunteer ActivitiesAdded volunteer activity with AACN
or equivalent national committees
Deleted all volunteer activities
except those that utilize nursing
clinical judgment
Max 40 CERPs in renewal cycle Max 5 CERPS per yearMade groups more congruent with
volunteer database

Reflecting on the Past and Looking Ahead; Certified Nurses Celebrate at NTI


This year’s Certification Celebration at NTI celebrated and recognized nurses certified in critical care, including newly certified CSCs and CMCs, as well as PCCNs, CCNSs, ACNPs and CCRNs.

In welcoming attendees, 2005-06 AACN Certification Corporation Chair Judy Verger, RN, MSN, CCRN, CRNP, noted that the event was particularly special because CCRN certification is marking its 30th anniversary this year.

“CCRN certification is a credential that revolutionized nurses’ ability to further their professional development and validate their specialty knowledge in caring for the most vulnerable patients,” she said.

Beginning with 100 CCRN-certified nurses in 1976, more than 42,000 nurses now hold at least one of AACN Certification Corporation’s credentials.

Changing Profession
In the 30 years since CCRN certification was introduced, the nursing profession has changed significantly, according to the 30-year certificants who were honored as a highlight of the evening. Eileen Frame, RN, CCRN, remembers working in an ICU that was originally a storeroom, with one RN and one aide caring for eight to 10 patients.

Other 30-year certificants offered predictions about the future of nursing. Billie Ann Case, RN, BSN, MBA, CCRN, sees genomics greatly affecting the profession, and Ellen Prewitt, RN, MSN, CCRN, ACNP-C, expects invasive monitoring to become noninvasive with ultrasound.

Verger encouraged other nurses to become certified.

“Becoming certified is a concrete way to validate that we have the knowledge and expertise required to take excellent care of acutely and critically ill patients,” Verger said. She concluded by thanking attendees for “your dedication, your expertise and your willingness to grow, to learn, to be one of the elite.”

Co-sponsors of the Certification Celebration were Children’s Hospital Orange County, Hill-Rom and AACN Certification Corporation. Attendees again received memento mugs sponsored by Atrium Medical Corp.

Dec. 31, 2006, Is New Deadline to Make Up Transcripted Hours for CCNS Exam

Five months remain before the new deadline to have transcripted clinical hours for CNS program deficiencies and to be eligible to sit for the CCNS exam.
If you plan to take the exam, please evaluate your eligibility now. If your transcript is deficient when the window closes on Dec. 31, 2006, you will not be able to make up the hours; consequently, you will not be eligible to sit for the exam.

The Certification Oasis at NTI provided a wealth of information. National Office staff was
on hand to talk with nurses who are certified or interested in becoming certified. Displays
highlighted some activities.
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