PCCN Renewal Options and Eligibility Information

The Continuing Education Recognition Point (CERP) program encompasses a wide spectrum of continuing education activities performed by acute and critical care nurses. The program also addresses the need for formal and informal educational experiences for acute and critical care nurses.

Acceptable topics and activities along with guidance on how to calculate CERPs can be found in the Renewal by Synergy CERPs brochure.

Eligibility Requirements for Renewal

  • Current unencumbered licensure as an RN or APRN in the United States is required.
    • An unencumbered license has not been subjected to formal discipline by any board of nursing during the 3-year certification renewal period and has no provisions or conditions that limit the nurse's practice in any way.
    • Candidates and PCCN-certified nurses must notify AACN Certification Corporation within 30 days if any restriction is placed on their RN or APRN license.
  • Have passed the PCCN certification exam.
  • Practice as an RN or APRN is required for 432 hours in direct bedside care of acutely ill patients during the 3-year certification renewal period, with 144 of those hours completed in the 12-month period preceding the scheduled renewal date.
    • Eligible clinical practice hours are those completed in a U.S.-based or Canada-based facility or in a facility determined to be comparable by verifiable evidence to the U.S. standard of acute and critical care nursing practice, as evidenced by Magnet Status or Joint Commission International accreditation.
  • For more details, view the PCCN renewal policy or the PCCN Renewal Handbook.

Option 1: Renewal by Synergy CERPs

  • Meet the eligibility requirements for certification renewal.
  • Renewal by Synergy CERPs is obtained by accumulating a total of 100 CERPs with a minimum of 60 CERPs in Category A and a minimum of 10 CERPs each in Categories B & C (plus 20 CERPs in the category of your choice).
  • All CERPs must be accrued during the 3-year certification renewal period.

Option 2: Renewal by Exam

  • Meet the eligibility requirements for certification renewal and successfully complete the exam before your scheduled renewal date.
  • The PCCN Exam Handbook provides exam policies and an application.

Do not apply for more than one option.

  • It is not permissible to take the exam early and then attempt to renew by CERPs if you fail.
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