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Vol. 23, No. 5, MAY 2006


Celebrating 30 Years of CCRN Certification


As AACN Certification Corporation celebrates the 30th anniversary of the CCRN credential this year, original CCRNs who continue to maintain their certifications were asked to share what certification has meant to them. Here are some of their responses:

Billie Ann Case, RN, CCRN, BSN, MBA
It has given me confidence in my knowledge of the field; thus I could feel comfortable in my practice. I have also received respect through the years because of having the certification.

Olinda P. Spitzer RN, BSN, CCRN
Until recently, it has meant to me that I had gone as far as I could in my career without leaving the bedside. Now I’m working on my CNS to teach at the bedside.

Josette E. Larick, RN, CCRN
I chose to maintain my CCRN through workshops and seminars to keep abreast of new technology, drugs, treatments, etc., rather than going back to school for my BSN. I have been very proud to say I am a CCRN nurse. When families or patients look at my name tag and ask what CCRN means, you can see their faces, and they know I am dedicated to critical care and patients.

Carmen Frye, RN, BS, CCRN
... a source of pride, achievement and confidence.

Karen Ramseyer, RN, BSN, CCRN, CEN
... that my knowledge was solid. I was proud to be able to say I was a CCRN, to be part of a distinguished group of nurses who cared enough to be the best.


CERPs Up

Here’s the Latest Informationon Renewal by Synergy CERPs


Last month, Renewal by Synergy CERPs, a new way CCRNs and PCCNs can renew their credential starting in January 2007, was introduced in AACN News. The program integrates the AACN Synergy Model for Patient Care, which is the framework of our certification process. Beginning in January 2010, Renewal by Synergy CERPs will replace the current Renewal by CERPs program. In the months to come, we will explain more details. This month, we’re highlighting Category A CERPs.

New Category A
Category A CERPs pertain to ongoing learning (CEs, academic courses or inservices) and activities related to clinical judgment and clinical inquiry. These are grouped together because of similarity. The new Synergy CERPs program will require 60 CERPs in Category A. Certificants may also choose an additional 20% of their CERPs in this category during the three-year period; a maximum of 80 CERPs may be accumulated in Category A. Here are definitions and examples of what CERPs fit in Category A:

• Clinical Judgment—Clinical reasoning, which includes clinical decision-making, critical thinking, and a global grasp of the situation, coupled with nursing skills acquired through a process of integrating education, experiential knowledge, and evidence-based guidelines.

Ongoing learning topic examples:
—ABG interpretation
—BCLS, ACLS
—Clinical implications of bioterrorism
—ECG interpretation
—Hemodynamic monitoring
—IV therapy
—Nursing diagnosis
—Nutrition in critical care
—Bariatric surgery
—Pharmacology (including pain management)
—A topic that falls under the Clinical Judgment portion of the CCRN/PCCN Exam Blueprints
—Core review/CCRN and PCCN exam review courses

Activity examples:
—CCRN Self-Assessment Exam
—PCCN Self-Assessment Exam
—AACN Certification Corporation Item Writing Committee

• Clinical Inquiry (or Innovator/Evaluator)—The ongoing process of questioning and evaluating practice and providing informed practice. Creating changes through evidence-based practice, research, utilization and experiential knowledge.

Ongoing learning topic examples:
—Clinical research
—Research process
—Statistics
—Evidence-based practice

Activity examples:
—Auditing/prevalence study activities
—Publishing and editing activities
—Evaluating outcome data
—Developing practice protocols
—Quality improvement

For more information and additional resources, visit www.certcorp.org > What’s New, where you’ll find the Renewal by Synergy CERPs Fact Sheet; a PowerPoint slide show on Synergy CERPs with narration; a handout of nurse characteristic definitions grouped by Synergy CERP categories; draft renewal handbook language; and a reference list of topics and activity examples for all categories.

The new CCRN Renewal Handbook will be posted online in August 2006 and will contain the latest information on renewal by either the current CERPs program or the new Synergy CERPs program. Be sure to check the most current Renewal Handbook prior to renewing.

If you have questions, contact AACN Certification Corporation at (800) 899-2226; certcorp@aacn.org.


Here Are Some Frequently Asked Certification Questions


Do state boards of nursing accept AACN’s ACNP exam?
Statistical performance information is required when AACN Certification Corporation approaches states for approval of its certification exam. We are anticipating that achieving state approval will be a straightforward process, because all states approve the current ACNP exam (which AACN Certification Corporation co-developed) and it is required for practice in all 50 states.

Will ACNPs be able to renew their certification with AACN Certification Corporation?
AACN Certification Corporation plans to have a recertification mechanism available for ACNP certificants who would like to renew with AACN Certification Corporation. This process would not be available until our exam is finalized. We are in discussions with the NCSBN and state boards of nursing regarding the requirements for accomplishing this. We will publicize this opportunity when it is available.

What CE products are available for CSC renewal?
Any CE program or product related to topics on the CSC Exam Blueprint is relevant. The topics are patient problems or nursing interventions related to cardiac surgery. To see what AACN has available, search the AACN Bookstore (www.aacn.org) using keywords like cardiac surgery or any topic in the CSC Blueprint, such as cardiopulmonary bypass, complications of cardiac surgery, tamponade, epicardial pacing, intra-aortic balloon pump and recovery from anesthesia.


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


Seven months remain before the new deadline to have transcripted clinical hours for CNS program deficiencies and be eligible to sit for the CCNS exam. If you plan to sit for 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.


CCNS Exam Development Committee


Members of the 2006 CCNS Exam Development Committee include
(from left, front row) M. Terese Verklan, Laurie S. Finger, Suzan R.
Miller-Hoover and Jeannette Meyer and (from left, back row) Lucia D.
Wocial, Mary A. Stahl, Kevin Reed, Monica C. Simpson and Sue E.
Sendelbach.