December 2012 Ambassador Update

Certified Nurses Day. NTI. AACN elections. These key initiatives will be focal points for AACN beginning in the first quarter of 2013. That means, more than ever, we need you — as AACN’s local voice — to DARE TO make a difference in your units: We need you to help heighten awareness of the value of certification, to help colleagues build their cases for attendance at NTI and to encourage all members to exercise their right to vote for AACN’s leadership. 

These are no small tasks; they will take your time, energy and creativity. Therefore, we will focus on one of these key initiatives in December, January and February to provide you with ideas and resources. We’ll start this month with Certified Nurses Day. In January, we’ll highlight NTI, and, in February, we’ll concentrate on the 2013 election. 

Thank you so much for all you have done this past year as AACN’s local leaders — and thank you for all I know you will be doing as we welcome 2013. Wishing you and your families a wonderful holiday season and a healthy and happy New Year. 


Certified Nurses Day 2013: DARE TO Celebrate and Motivate

Certified Nurses Days 2013 will be celebrated on March 19. This nationwide event is an invaluable opportunity for you to trumpet the value of certification. Consider it a two-pronged challenge:

First, dare to celebrate.
Second, dare to motivate.


Certified Nurses Day is a time to celebrate and recognize the nurses in your facility and/or chapter who have taken their careers to the next level of excellence through certification. Dare To make it a real bells-and-whistles celebration. Hands down, certified nurses deserve high-profile recognition for their commitment and achievements (and some fun).

Consult the Certified Nurses Day page on the AACN website for great ideas on how to celebrate.


  • Order your free Certified Nurses Day buttons as soon as they become available in January.
    • These are free (25 per ambassador), but supplies are limited and go quickly.
    • You’ll be alerted by email when the buttons are available.
  • Remember that many certification recognition products are sold in the AACN bookstore with bulk discounts available.
  • Check out the Ambassador Resource Order Form for free items available for your celebration, including certification recognition buttons.
  • Share your new celebration ideas on the Ambassadors Facebook page and on AACN Facebook and Twitter.
  • Send pictures of your celebration to with “Celebrate Certified Nurses” in subject line. 

The Dare To Challenge

Pick just one initiative from the list below to take your celebration to the next level in 2013 (or use a new idea of your own) and then Dare To accomplish it:

  • Dare to ask —and get — your CNO to speak at your celebration.
  • Dare to get your CNO and unit managers to sign congratulation cards for each certified nurses.
  • Dare to get your hospital’s Foundation or another auxiliary support group to underwrite the cost of your celebration if lack of funds is limiting your impact.
  • Dare to work with your hospital’s public relations/marketing department to acknowledge Certified Nurses Day in its publications, listing the names of all certified nurses.
  • Dare to work with your hospital’s public relations/marketing department to get your local newspaper to print a picture and press release on your celebration.
    • Dare to submit a draft press release to make the task easier.
  • Dare to work with your public relations/marketing department to acknowledge Certified Nurses Day with a large banner in the hospital lobby and/or announcement on electronic marquees.


Be the leader/mentor who motivates others to become certified — and use the high profile of Certified Nurses Day to leverage your efforts. Sometimes all a person needs to take on a new challenge is a small nudge of encouragement from someone they trust and respect. You are in a position to give that nudge to your colleagues — and then help them accomplish their certification goals.


The Dare To Challenge

Put some teeth in your efforts to increase the number of certified nurses in your organization by committing to one of these challenges (or one of your own):

  • Dare to set a personal goal for the number of nurses you’ll convince to become certified in 2013.
    • Announce the goal and promise to report your success — just to keep yourself accountable.
  • Dare to work with your colleagues to set a 2013 certification goal for your unit; post the goal and post your progress — and don’t forget to celebrate your success.
  • Dare to challenge another unit in your organization to a certification contest: the unit that records the largest percent of new certifications in 2013 gets a free lunch from the other unit.
  • If you are a chapter member, dare to challenge another AACN chapter (anywhere nationwide) to a certification contest.
    • The chapter that records the largest percentage of new certifications in 2013 is rewarded by the other chapter.
    • Be creative!
  • Dare to set a good example and add a certification to your credentials, if appropriate.
  • Dare to lead a unit study group — or organize group participation in a review course.
  • Dare to get at least one person from your unit to prepare a testimonial on why he/she is proud to be certified — and send it to

Certified Nurses Day was founded by ANCC to honor the birthday of Margretta “Greta” Madden Style, RN, EdD, FAAN, an international pioneer of nursing certification and longtime friend of AACN and AACN Certification Corporation. Styles designed the first comprehensive study of nurse credentialing.

Other News

New PCCN Test Plan

To keep you posted: A new PCCN test plan will be released in February 2013 with the corresponding new PCCN exam form launched in June 2013.

The public release of the new PCCN test plan will be posted under Certification News at Members will be alerted in February when the new test plan is available.

You may, however, get questions about the new test plan as early as January when more NTI information is posted on the AACN website. The description of the NTI PCCN Review Course may refer to the new PCCN test plan.

AACN Certification Corporation conducts formal, evidence-based research at least every five years to update information about the knowledge, skills and abilities required of acute and critical care nurses nationwide. The 2012 Progressive Care Study of Practice was recently completed, resulting in the new PCCN test plan.

Membership Deadline to Vote in 2013 Election

To be eligible to vote in this spring’s AACN Board of Directors and Nominating Committee election, individuals must be current AACN members as of Jan. 22, 2013.

Renewing memberships or joining AACN for the first time is a simple online process. Persons with current Active, Emeritus, International or Lifetime memberships are eligible to vote.

The 2013 election will decide the FY2014-16 Board of Directors and the 2014 Nominating Committee. Candidates will be announced in February with voting slated from March 22 to April 22, 2013.

What you can do:

  • Encourage potential new members to join yet this year so they will not miss the membership deadline and be denied voting privileges.
  • Remind current members to renew their memberships now, if applicable, before the Jan. 22 deadline sneaks up on them.
    • Their right to vote is at stake.

Deadline Near for NTI Guest Emcee

Applications are still needed for a guest emcee for NTI 2013 — and the deadline to apply by submitting a two- to three-minute video is Dec. 31.

If you have attended NTI the past few years, you know how entertaining and inspiring it is to have real nurses — like yourself — share the NTI SuperSession stage.

So, look around. Do you see a colleague with a strong voice, engaging personality and sense of humor?

How You Can Help
  • Personally encourage this “entertaining” colleague to submit an application.
  • Since the deadline is so close, pull together a group from your unit to help the applicant prepare his/her video.
  • Consider applying yourself — come on, you can do it!

All the details you need are available on the Guest Emcee page of the website. Don’t forget: Guest emcee receives complimentary registration, airfare to Boston and lodging during NTI.

Right. Get those video cameras rolling.

Dates to Remember

Dec. 31: Final day to submit request to be Guest Emcee at NTI 2013.
Mid-Jan: NTI registration opens online.
Jan. 22: Membership deadline to be eligible to vote in 2013 election.
Feb. 15: Nominations close for AACN President’s Award for Chapters.

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