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CMC is the designation for Cardiac Medicine Certification; CSC is the designation for Cardiac Surgery Certification. These three-letter credentials may only be displayed with a clinical nursing specialty certification attached with a dash, such as CCRN-CMC or CCNS-CSC. If a nurse were to obtain both subspecialty credentials they could be attached to the same clinical nursing specialty certification, such as CCRN-CMC-CSC.
The CMC exam is designed for certified nurses currently practicing in areas such as CCU, combined ICU/CCU, medical ICU, telemetry, progressive care, heart failure clinics/home care, interventional cardiology, cardiac catheterization labs and/or electrophysiology units.
The CSC exam is designed for certified nurses currently working in areas such as cardiovascular surgery, cardiothoracic surgery or postanesthesia care units, caring for cardiac surgery patients in the first 48 hours postoperatively.
The eligibility requirements for both subspecialty certification exams are:
No, the CMC and CSC exams are Adult focused.
Candidates for the CMC and CSC exams must hold a current clinical nursing specialty certification that is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and/or the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS).
Examples of eligible specialty certifications include, but are not limited to: CCRN, PCCN, CCRN-E, CCNS, CEN, RN-BC, CPAN, CRNA, CNOR, CRNFA, ACNPC, APRN-BC, ACNP-BC.
Since all eligible candidates must hold a clinical nursing specialty certification, the 90-item subspecialty exams concentrate solely on the Synergy Model component of Clinical Judgment. Although components such as patient teaching and collaboration are very important in providing patient care, eligibility for the CMC and CSC subspecialty credentials assumes that the nursing licensure exam and the clinical nursing specialty certification exam tested these elements.
Refer to the CMC and CSC Test Plans for more specific information about exam content.
Referring to your CMC or CSC exam score report and the exam Test Plan, identify the topic areas in which you have the most room for improvement. For additional information, refer to the Prepare to Take Your Exam page.
Candidates may sit for the CMC and/or CSC exam up to four times in a 12-month period. A discounted retest fee is available to candidates who do not pass the exam and is available until the exam is passed.
Renewal requirements include:
In order to be eligible for the CMC or CSC subspecialty exam, the clinical nursing specialty certification to which it will be tied must be current for 90 days after the scheduled CMC or CSC renewal date. This applies to both AACN and non-AACN specialty certifications.
If the specialty certification (e.g., CCRN, PCCN, CCRN-E, CCNS, ACNPC) tied to your subspecialty certification (CMC and/or CSC) expires, your CMC and/or CSC will automatically be placed on Inactive status. To request that your CMC and/or CSC be tied to a different clinical nursing specialty certification, contact AACN. Documentation must be submitted for non-AACN credentials.
The CMC/CSC Exam Handbook includes detailed testing information and a paper application. You may also apply online.
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