CSC Introduction

CSC® subspecialty certification was introduced in 2005 for specialty certified nurses providing care to acutely and/or critically ill adult patients during the first 48 hours after cardiac surgery. Nurses interested in this certification may work in such areas as cardiothoracic surgery, cardiovascular surgery or postanesthesia care units.

CSC - A Registered Service Mark

CSC is a registered service mark of AACN Certification Corporation and denotes certification in cardiac surgery nursing as granted by AACN Certification Corporation.

Registered nurses who have not achieved CSC certification, whose CSC has lapsed or whose clinical nursing specialty certification has lapsed or is inactive are not authorized to use the CSC credential.

CSC Job Analysis

Each CSC certification exam is based on a study of practice, also known as a job analysis. The most recent study, completed in 2010, defines the dimensions of acute and critical care practice, identifying what is required of registered nurses practicing in acute and critical care settings and caring for cardiac surgery patients. In the study, acute and critical care nurses across the United States were surveyed to ascertain the significance of the various elements of their practice.

Through an extensive review and evaluation process, the knowledge, skills and abilities crucial to cardiac nursing were defined using the AACN Synergy Model for Patient Care as an organizing framework focusing on the clinical judgment component exclusively. The CSC certification exam is based on these skills and abilities and the knowledge required to perform them.

CSC certification is achieved by those acute/critical care nurses who pass a CSC exam in cardiac surgery nursing. CSC certification denotes to the public those practitioners who possess a distinct and clearly defined body of knowledge called cardiac surgery nursing.

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