Initial ACCNS-AG Certification
Obtaining ACCNS-AG certification demonstrates you have mastered certain skills, knowledge and abilities that distinguish you as an adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist.
Once you have reviewed the information below and are ready to sit for the ACCNS-AG exam, we recommend you submit your application online.
ACCNS-AG Exam Information
The Certification Exam Policy Handbook provides detailed testing and policy information. The ACCNS-AG Exam Handbook includes exam-specific information, including the application/honor statement and test plan.
- The ACCNS-AG exam is a 3.5-hour test consisting of 175 multiple-choice items.
- Of the 175 items, 150 are scored and 25 are used to gather statistical data on item performance for future exams.
- The ACCNS-AG exam focuses on the adult-gerontology patient population (young adults, older adults and frail elderly), covering the spectrum of wellness through acute care.
- Each question on the ACCNS-AG exam assesses one of the nurse characteristics identified in the Synergy Model.
- The 2011 AACN Certification Corporation Study of Practice included Synergy Validated CNS Competencies.
- Within the domain of Clinical Judgment, body systems is used as a second dimension of exam development.
Exam Eligibility Requirements
- Current unencumbered licensure as an RN or APRN in the U.S. is required.
- An unencumbered license is not currently being subjected to formal discipline by any board of nursing and has no provisions or conditions that limit the nurse's practice in any way.
- Candidates and ACCNS-AG-certified nurses must notify AACN Certification Corporation within 30 days if any restriction is placed on their RN or APRN license.
- Completion of a graduate advanced practice education program meeting the following requirements:
- The education program is offered by an accredited college or university that offers a CCNE or ACEN accredited graduate degree in nursing with a concentration as an adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist covering the spectrum of wellness through acute care.
- The program has demonstrated compliance with the Criteria for Evaluation of CNS Graduate Educational Programs.
- Both direct and indirect clinical supervision must be congruent with current AACN and nursing accreditation guidelines.
- The curriculum includes, but is not limited to:
- Biological, behavioral, medical and nursing sciences relevant to practice as an adult-gerontology CNS including advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology and physical assessment.
- Supervised clinical practice relevant to the specialty.
- Legal, ethical and professional responsibilities of the CNS.
- The curriculum meets the following criteria:
- Curriculum is consistent with competencies of adult-gerontology CNS practice.
- Five hundred (500) supervised clinical hours in all roles of the adult-gerontology CNS within the graduate program.
- All clinical hours must be focused on the care of adult-gerontology patients. A portion of the total clinical hours must be focused on wellness and a portion on acute care, in the adult-gerontology patient population (young adults, older adults and frail elderly).
- Supervised clinical experience is directly related to the knowledge and all role components of the adult-gerontology CNS.
- Those making up clinical or didactic coursework to meet ACCNS-AG exam eligibility must complete all make-up courses in a postmaster’s certificate or DNP program.
- Applicants determined to be ineligible for the ACCNS-AG exam will have their application fee refunded.
Payable in U.S. Funds. Fees are subject to change without notice.