New PCCN Exam Launched June 26, 2013

The Progressive Care Certified Nurse (PCCN) certification has been promoting continuing excellence in progressive care nursing since 2004. Our fasting growing credential, PCCN currently validates the knowledge and skills of nearly 10,000 nurses working in areas typically referred to as intermediate care units, direct observation units, stepdown units, telemetry units or transitional care units.

As one of those PCCN-certified nurses — Alice Manuel, RN, BSN, PCCN-CSC, RN-BC, a staff nurse in the CVIU, East Carolina Heart Institute at Vidant Medical Center, Greenville, N.C. — said about her certification:

“Due to advances in technology, pharmaceuticals and the aging population, patients in hospitals are sicker than ever before. Many years ago, patients who are now cared for in Intermediate Units used to be in Intensive Care settings. Today’s acutely and critically ill patients require heightened vigilance and extraordinary and intricate care from a team of skilled expert nurses. Our patients and families truly deserve to receive excellent nursing care. These were the driving philosophies that led me to obtain my first certification — PCCN in 2009.”

Below are links to the new PCCN certification test plan, sample questions and study references to help you on your journey to nursing excellence.

New PCCN Test Plan

AACN Certification Corporation periodically conducts national surveys of practice to update and refresh certification exam test plans. This assures our exams are based on evidence and that the content of each exam is directly tied to relevant practice.

The most recent study of practice for PCCN® was conducted in 2012, resulting in minor changes to the PCCN Test Plan. This page will provide you with links to the new test plan that goes into effect for exams taken on and after June 26, 2013, sample questions and study references.

Test Plan – This detailed content outline shows the content and percentage weight that provides the structure of the exam. The test plan is based on the national study of practice, goes through a 100% consensus process involving a national panel of experts (Practice Analysis Task Force), is analyzed by our AMP psychometrician, and is ultimately approved by the AACN Certification Corporation Board of Directors.

Sample Questions – These sample exam questions with correct answers are designed to give you an idea of the style of exam items, to assist in your exam preparation. AACN Certification Corporation exams use mostly application- and analysis-level items; each has one (1) stem (question) and four (4) options (answers).

Study Bibliography – This is a list of the references (books/guidelines) the item writers used to validate the answers to the exam questions.


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