AACN News—March 2008—Certification

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Vol. 25, No. 3, MARCH 2008


AACN and AONE Announce Plans for Nurse Manager Certification Exam

Partnership Follows Launch of Nurse Manager Orientation Program

AACN and the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) have expanded their partnership to develop the first certification exam designed exclusively for nurse managers.

This latest partnership effort is rooted in AACN’s and AONE’s six-year collaboration to provide education and development resources for nurse managers. Development of a nurse manager certification program is a logical next step following the highly successful release last year of the Essentials of Nurse Manager Orientation, a comprehensive e-learning program on which the two organizations collaborated. Providing tools to support and validate the knowledge, skills and abilities of nurse managers is of vital importance given the high influence they have on the quality of patient care and the work environment in which nurses deliver that care.

AACN Certification Corporation completed a study of nurse manager practices which found that frontline nurse managers are generally prepared for their leadership roles through on-the-job training. This certification will provide a way for nurse managers to validate that they have acquired the essential knowledge and skills to be effective in their role.

The relationship between AACN and AONE began in 2002 when the two organizations, in collaboration with the Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), developed the Leadership Learning Domain Framework for nurse managers and the resulting Nurse Manager Inventory Tool. The Inventory Tool and the Essentials of Nurse Manager Orientation fill a previously unaddressed need organizations and individuals had for assessing and developing nurse manager leadership skills.

“We are extremely pleased to expand our strong and highly valued partnership with AONE to provide essential resources for nurse managers,” said Wanda Johanson, RN, MN, chief executive officer of AACN. “The development of this certification exam will give nurse managers a way to develop and validate their knowledge as they strive to excel in their demanding roles, carrying out complex leadership responsibilities that directly affect the quality of patient and family care.”

“As an organization dedicated to shaping the future of healthcare through innovative nursing leadership, AONE is proud to offer a certification exam for nurse managers, which will significantly add to our depth of nurse leader resources,” said Pamela Thompson, MS, RN, FAAN, chief executive officer for AONE. “Our continued partnership with AACN makes it possible to fill this need in a comprehensive and expedient manner.”

More information on the Leadership Learning Domain Framework, Nurse Manager Inventory Tool and the Essentials of Nurse Manager Orientation is available on both organizations’ Web sites at www.aacn.org and at www.aone.org.
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program Meets NCSBN Criteria

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) APRN Committee has notified AACN Certification Corporation that the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification Program meets the NCSBN’s APRN certification program criteria. The exam is still being approved on a state-by-state basis. To date, Utah, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Maryland, Missouri and Alabama have accepted the exam. State approvals are added to the certification Web site (www.certcorp.org). Check with your state board of nursing for the latest approval information.

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NTI Paper and Pencil Exam Application Deadline Quickly Approaching

Paper and pencil exams for the CCRN, PCCN, CCNS, ACNPC, CMC and CSC will be given at NTI 2008 in Chicago on May 5. NTI exam applications are due to AACN by Tuesday, March 18, 2008. Handbooks and applications for the exams are posted at www.certcorp.org > What’s New. If you cannot access the online material, call (800) 899-2226 to request an application via e-mail.

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AACN Certification Corporation Value of Certification Award


Critical Care Unit Medical Center of Plano
Medical Center of Plano
Plano, TX

“Achieving excellence through certification” is the motto of our 26-bed medical-surgical Critical Care Unit (CCU). Our management team, committed to excellent patient care, executed a plan that now allows us to boast a rate of 42% CCRNs who practice in our unit! What better way to serve our medically and culturally diverse patient population than through a large group of certified nurses who focus on delivering quality care, while helping to mentor the novice nurses!

Through the support of hospital leadership, we were able to achieve our goal. At the beginning of our journey, nurses were awarded a five percent pay differential for achieving certification. Committed to certification, hospital leadership increased the incentive to reimbursement for the cost of the exam, allowing our unit to conduct CCRN review courses free of charge to our employees, supplying study materials and adding the CCRN credential on the nurses’ name badges.

To celebrate our accomplishments and demonstrate how we truly value certification, the management team formed a CCRN Certification Wall of Fame in the main hallway of our unit for all staff, physicians and visitors to see. Each nurse’s certificate hangs proudly next to a wall plaque with the nurse’s name and date of certification. These are displayed under a banner that reads, “CCU Salutes Our Certified Critical Care Nurses.” The management team also has a celebration for each nurse who becomes certified and gives that nurse a special “CCRN Angel” pin.

Our highly successful campaign continues today. In conjunction with the AACN mission of establishing work and care environments that are respectful, healing and humane, we strive to continue to increase and maintain the number of certified nurses in order to continue delivering quality care to our patients.

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