August Ambassador Update: Resources Abound

This spring and summer, ACCN launched three new clinical resources that will support you and your colleagues as you address new national alarm fatigue and pain, agitation and delirium (PAD) guidelines.

This Update outlines those new tools, knowing that you — as an ambassador — are in an influential position to urge your units and facilities to tap into these resources to address the new guidelines and improve patient safety and satisfaction.

Because you are champions of certification, this Update also brings you the latest certification news to share with colleagues.

As always, we appreciate the contributions you make to the AACN community as volunteer leaders.We will soon be conducting our annual Volunteer Satisfaction Survey to receive your invaluable input and ideas. Watch for it in your email.

In the past, we also have annually sent you an Ambassador Satisfaction Survey; this year, to save you a few steps, we will not send a separate Ambassador survey but instead will include a special Ambassador section within the Volunteer Satisfaction Survey. 

Wishing you all a great end of summer, 


New Clinical Resources Address Patient Safety, Satisfaction

New Alarm Management Tools. AACN has introduced a new free clinical toolkit to address alarm fatigue — a major patient safety issue.

NTI ActionPak: Strategies for Managing Alarm Fatigue is a one-stop, online collection of evidence-based tactics, resources and best practices for reducing the negative impact of environmental alarms.

Developed earlier this year in collaboration with leading subject experts and based on learning from the AACN 2013 National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, NTI ActionPak is now available to all AACN members.

The issue of alarm safety gained additional urgency this summer when The Joint Commission approved a new National Patient Safety Goal, requiring hospitals to take specific actions to better manage clinical alarms beginning in January 2014.

As an Ambassador, you can play a crucial role in addressing alarm fatigue by introducing this new tool within your unit and throughout your facility. Please share it with your manager and colleagues to help support implementation of new alarm safety practices. We have a new poster available to help you with your efforts and you can order yours today through the Ambassador Resource Order Form.

Delirium Webinar Sept. 19. Could your unit use help implementing strategies to more effectively monitor and manage delirium? If so, organize a group educational session on Sept. 19 when AACN hosts a 30-minute webinar on "Delirium Challenge: Assessing and Managing in Acute/Critical Care". The webinar is also ideal for individual viewing, and an on-demand version also will be available online after the webinar.

Presenter will be Leanne Boehm of Vanderbilt University. The event is the second session in a three-part webinar miniseries devoted to interpreting new pain, agitation and delirium (PAD) guidelines issued by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and is part of AACN’s new monthly AACN Critical Care Webinar Series. Learn more and register.

New Practice Alert. AACN has issued a new Practice Alert, Assessing Pain in the Critically Ill Adult.” Practice Alerts are evidence-based clinical resources that support standardization of nursing practices.

Certification Update

Limited Time Remaining to Take Initial ACNPC or CCNS Exam. Please help spread the word that anyone wishing to take either the initial ACNPC or initial CCNS exam must apply in time and pass the exam before Dec. 31, 2014. AACN Certification Corporation will not offer the ACNPC and CCNS (adult, pediatric and neonatal) exams for initial certification after that date.

Current ACNPCs and CCNSs may continue to renew their certification in the future, as long as it does not lapse and renewal requirements are met.

The new Consensus Model-based ACNPC-AG exam has been available since January, 2013. New exams for ACCNS-AG and ACCNS-P launched in July, and a new exam for ACCNS-N is scheduled to launch in 2014. To learn more, visit the ACCNS exam section of the website.

Results of New PCCN Study of Practice Available Online. The executive summary of the results of the most recent PCCN study of practice (also known as a job analysis) conducted by Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc., for AACN Certified Corporation is now posted online. The new PCCN exam (launched in June 2013) is based on the 2012 national study of practice, an in-depth snapshot of current progressive care nursing practice. 

New Eligibility Option. An additional exam eligibility option is available for candidates applying for CCRN, CCRN-E, PCCN, CMC or CSC exams. The new option will benefit nurses who have extensive practice backgrounds (at least five years) caring directly for acutely and/or critically ill patients, but who do not meet the current practice eligibility requirement. Current requirements continue as a second option; candidates must meet one of the two options to apply for certification.

CMC and CSC Certification Review Courses. Review courses for AACN’s CMC (cardiac medicine) and CSC (cardiac surgery) subspecialty certifications are available online. Fully aligned with the CMC and CSC test plans adopted in 2012, the courses provide comprehensive content review and practice questions. Visit our CMC-CSC review course page to purchase a course or learn more.

Poll Shows Importance of Lifelong Learning and Certification. Looking for new data to build a strong case for certification among your colleagues? This may help:

A new poll conducted on behalf of The National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) and Citizen Advocacy Center (CAC) by Harris Interactive, a leading market research firm, illustrates clearly how important Americans regard lifelong learning and regular skill evaluation for the healthcare providers who treat them.

Results include:

  • 91 percent of U.S. adults think it is very important/important that a healthcare professional who is going to treat them has passed an examination on their profession’s specific knowledge.
  • 89 percent believe it is very important/important that healthcare professionals who are going to treat them attend educational programs throughout their career to refresh knowledge and learn about the latest scientific evidence and new technologies.
  • 85 percent believe it is important that healthcare professionals who are going to treat them have an independent body of health professionals evaluate their skills/knowledge to certify them as competent.
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