PCCN Introduction

PCCN® specialty certification was introduced in 2004 for nurses who provide care for acutely ill adult patients who are moderately stable with an elevated risk of instability. These patients require a high intensity of care and vigilance, and are commonly found in progressive care units, which can be very specialized with care focused on a specific system such as cardiac, or more generalized, as in the care of patients with multisystem problems. Specialty nurses interested in this certification may work in areas such as intermediate care, direct observation, step-down, telemetry and transitional care units.

PCCN — A Registered Service Mark

PCCN is a registered service mark of AACN Certification Corporation and denotes certification in acute care nursing as granted by AACN Certification Corporation. Registered nurses who have not achieved PCCN certification, whose PCCN has lapsed or who have chosen Inactive status are not authorized to use the PCCN credential.

PCCN Job Analysis

The PCCN certification exam is based on a study of practice, also known as a job analysis.

The most recent study, completed in 2012, defines the dimensions of progressive care practice, identifying what is required of registered nurses practicing in progressive care settings, caring for acutely ill patients. In the study, progressive care nurses across the United States were surveyed to ascertain the significance of the various elements of their practice.

Through an extensive review and evaluation process, the knowledge, skills and abilities crucial to progressive care nursing were defined using the AACN Synergy Model for Patient Care as an organizing framework. The PCCN exam is based on these skills and abilities and the knowledge required to perform them.

PCCN certification is achieved by those nurses who pass the PCCN exam for progressive care nursing in the care of acutely ill adult patients. PCCN certification denotes to the public those practitioners who possess a distinct and clearly defined body of knowledge called progressive care nursing.

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