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CCRN specialty certification was introduced in 1976 for nurses providing care to acutely and/or critically ill adult, pediatric and neonatal patients. Nurses interested in this certification may work in specialty areas such as intensive care units, cardiac care units, combined ICU/CCUs, medical/surgical ICUs, trauma units or critical care transport/flight.
CCRN® is a registered service mark of AACN Certification Corporation and denotes certification in critical care nursing as granted by AACN Certification Corporation. Registered nurses who have not achieved CCRN certification status, whose CCRN status has lapsed or who have chosen Inactive status are not authorized to use the CCRN credential.
Each CCRN certification exam is based on a practice analysis (also known as a job analysis or study of practice).
The most recent study, completed in 2008, defines the dimensions of critical care practice, identifying what is required of registered nurses practicing in acute and critical care settings. In the study, critical care nurses across the United States were surveyed to ascertain the frequency and significance of the various elements of their practice.
Through an extensive review and evaluation process, the knowledge, skills and abilities crucial to critical care nursing were defined using the AACN Synergy Model for Patient Care as an organizing framework. CCRN certification exams are based on these skills and abilities and the knowledge required to perform them.
CCRN certification is achieved by those acute and critical care nurses who pass a CCRN exam in neonatal, pediatric and/or adult critical care nursing. CCRN certification denotes to the public those practitioners who possess a distinct and clearly defined body of knowledge called critical care nursing.
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