Mission & Values


AACN Certification Corporation 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.


As the undisputed leader in credentialing nurses, AACN Certification Corporation has demonstrated that certification contributes to achieving optimal outcomes that are consistent with the goals and values of acutely and critically ill patients and their families.


As AACN works to promote its mission and vision, it is guided by values that are rooted in, and arise from, the Association’s history, traditions and culture. AACN, its members, volunteers and staff will honor the following:

  • Ethical accountability and integrity in relationships, organizational decisions and stewardship of resources.
  • Leadership to enable individuals to make their optimal contribution through lifelong learning, critical thinking and inquiry.
  • Excellence and innovation at every level of the organization to advance the profession.
  • Collaboration to ensure quality patient-and family-focused care.


AACN and AACN Certification Corporation consider the American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics for Nurses foundational for nursing practice, providing a framework for making ethical decisions and fulfilling responsibilities to the public, colleagues and the profession.

AACN Certification Corporation’s mission of public protection supports a standard of excellence that certified nurses have a responsibility to read, understand and act in a manner congruent with the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses.

Code of Ethics for Nurses - 2001 Approved Provisions*

  1. The nurse, in all professional relationships, practices with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth and uniqueness of every individual, unrestricted by considerations of social or economic  status, personal attributes or the nature of health problems.
  2. The nurse's primary commitment is to the patient, whether an individual, family, group or community.
  3. The nurse promotes, advocates for and strives to protect the health, safety and rights of the patient.
  4. The nurse is responsible and accountable for individual nursing practice and determines the appropriate delegation of tasks consistent with the nurse's obligation to provide optimum patient care.
  5. The nurse owes the same duties to self as to others, including the responsibility to preserve integrity and safety, to maintain competence and to continue personal and professional growth.
  6. The nurse participates in establishing, maintaining and improving healthcare environments and conditions of employment conducive to the provision of quality healthcare and consistent with the values of the profession through individual and collective action.
  7. The nurse participates in the advancement of the profession through contributions to practice, education, administration and knowledge development.
  8. The nurse collaborates with other health professionals and the public in promoting community, national and international efforts to meet health needs.
  9. The profession of nursing, as represented by associations and their members, is responsible for articulating nursing values, for maintaining the integrity of the profession and its practice and for shaping social policy.

*©2001 By American Nurses Association. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.


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