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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 plans to prepare for the exam. Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc., Olathe, Kansas, designed and conducted the 2010 CSC Practice Analysis to ensure the CSC subspecialty exam in cardiac surgery represents the current practice of cardiac surgery nurses.
AACN Certification Corporation selected a CSC Practice Analysis Task Force (PATF) with diversity that reflected practice areas within cardiac surgery nursing in the United States. The PATF met in June 2010 to begin to identify cardiac surgery nurses’ responsibilities within the first 48 hours after surgery and develop possible test specifications. A Web-based survey to a total of 2,058 cardiac surgery nurses resulted in a 25.8% usable response rate.
The task force analyzed the survey results to determine which cardiovascular patient care problems, other patient problems, interventions and monitoring and diagnostics would be used in the CSC test plan. Only patient care problems, other patient problems, interventions and monitoring and diagnostics that were 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, other patient problems, interventions and monitoring and diagnostics.
The CSC 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 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 and number of items in each area.
©2011 AACN Certification Corporation Cardiac Surgery Nurse Practice Analysis Report
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