Consumer Information

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), the world's largest specialty nursing organization, has been serving the needs of nurses caring for acutely and critically ill patients since 1969. Representing the interests of more than 500,000 nurses who care for acutely and critically ill patients, AACN is dedicated to creating a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families, where acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.

AACN Membership

AACN is a membership organization and as such its primary concern is its members and potential members (all acute and critical care nurses). The membership organization is the link between the individual member/critical care nurse and the profession at large so it will naturally be involved with the myriad issues affecting the profession. Learn more about AACN.

AACN Certification Corporation

AACN Certification Corporation, a separately incorporated company, contributes to consumer health and safety through comprehensive credentialing of nurses to ensure their practice is consistent with established standards of excellence in caring for acutely and critically ill patients and their families. The Certification Corporation is not a membership organization. It is a certifying organization dedicated to consumer protection through certifying and recertifying nurses. Learn more about AACN Certification Corporation.

Certification is a process that measures achievement of a standard of practice as the practice exists at a given point in time and as documented through a formal study of practice or job analysis. Certification is not meant to advance the standard of practice. This is the role of the professional membership organization. As the professional membership organization works to advance the standard, the certifying organization measures the change in practice periodically and then validates through testing that the individual professional is practicing up to the current standard.