2010 National Practice Analysis of Cardiac Medicine Nurses

Executive Summary 

AACN Certification Corporation periodically conducts national practice analyses as the basis for development of certification exam test plans grounded in current clinical practice. Candidates also use the test plan to prepare for the exam. Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc., Olathe, Kansas, designed and conducted the 2010 CMC Practice Analysis to ensure the CMC subspecialty exam in cardiac medicine represents the current practice of cardiac medicine nurses.

AACN Certification Corporation selected a CMC Practice Analysis Task Force (PATF) with diversity that reflected practice areas within cardiac medicine nursing in the United States. The PATF met in June 2010 to begin to identify cardiac medicine nurses’ responsibilities and develop possible test specifications. A Web-based survey to a total of 1,509 cardiac medicine nurses resulted in a 24.7% usable response rate.

The task force analyzed the survey to determine which patient care problems, therapeutic interventions and monitoring and diagnostic activities would be used in the CMC test plan. Only patient care problems, therapeutic interventions and monitoring and diagnostic activities significant to practice were included in the test plan. A total of 75 scored multiple-choice items were identified as statistically sufficient to assess the patient care problems, therapeutic interventions and monitoring and diagnostic activities.

A CMC Exam Development Committee selected by AACN Certification Corporation will use the new test plan to develop forms that will be used for testing beginning June 2012. The committee will link every exam item to the test plan and unanimously agree to every item.

The test plan will be available to exam candidates, review course educators and other interested individuals and organizations. Here is a summary of the new test plan content areas and number of items in each area.

Content Area Allocation for CMC Exam

Content Area Number of Scored Items
Cardiovascular Patient Care Problems 35
Other Patient Problems 16
Therapeutic Interventions 12
Monitoring and Diagnostics 12

 ©2011 AACN Certification Corporation Cardiac Medicine Nurse Practice Analysis Report