June Update: Certification Opportunities and More

Now that we have all caught our breath from the activities surrounding the AACN’s amazing National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition in Boston last month (it was great to see so many of you there) and we are settling into the somewhat calmer summer months, this could be a great time consider your next professional development steps.

To that end, we will be highlighting key certification news in this month’s newsletter. We hope having all this certification information in one spot will make it easier for you to review and to share with your colleagues—and easier to act on.

In addition to considering certification options, AACN also is offering two conferences in Las Vegas this fall (check out the details below) that you will want to consider if you work in progressive care or are a nurse manager.

AACN also is offering another live, evidence-based webinar this summer and releasing two new Practice Alerts to provide free, easy-to-access learning opportunities.

So, I suggest you pour a tall, cool drink and head to your porch or patio to think about your next professional development step while you enjoy a perfect summer day. 


Certification News and Notes

New Eligibility Option Available for CCRN, CCRN-E, PCCN, CMC & CSC effective July 1. Check the AACN website under Certification News this month for information about the new exam eligibility option available for candidates applying for one of AACN’s specialty or subspecialty certifications. The new eligibility 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. The current practice eligibility requirement will remain an option; qualified candidates must meet one of the two practice eligibility options.

Study Tools Available for New PCCN Exam. The following study tools are available for the new PCCN exam, which launches June 26:

  • Practice PCCN Exam Questions, 120 items with answer key; available from AACN’s online bookstore.
  • The new PCCN Self-Assessment Exam (SAE), which was increased to 75 items, offers 18 CERPs if passing with a score of at least 70 percent and provides the test-taker immediate feedback with rationale. The PCCN SAE can be used as either a study tool or as a review resource once a renewal period for CERPs.

Change to CCNS and ACNPC Initial Exams. CNSs who are eligible for the initial CCNS exam and ACNPs who are eligible for the initial ACNPC must apply for their exam in time to take and pass the exam before Dec. 31, 2014, as these initial exams will not be offered after December 2014. Certified CCNSs and ACNPCs will be able to renew their credentials in the future, provided they meet renewal requirements and do not let their credential lapse. For more information, visit www.aacn.org/aprnresources.

Certified Volunteers Needed. Every year AACN partners with more than 1,000 nurses who share their expert knowledge to enhance AACN’s products and services. Many of the volunteer opportunities available are for certified nurses of all levels of experience with various certifications and roles. However, in some cases, we do not have enough volunteers in our database to fill our needs. Therefore, we would like to ask you to encourage the certified nurses in your facility to consider filling out a volunteer profile. We particularly need more volunteers who are certified and work in pediatric, neonatal and progressive care. Please direct anyone interested to our Volunteer Page on the website.

2013 Certified Nurses Day Photos. Certified Nurses Day was a huge success this year in terms of educating the public about the importance of certification and providing recognition to certified nurses. Thank you to all the hospitals and medical facilities that have shared images of their celebrations with us. If you would like to share your photos, please send them to certification@aacn.org with "Celebrate Certified Nurses" in the subject line. View a slideshow of this year’s photos. Preparations will begin soon for Certified Nurses Day 2014. Start making plans for your hospital or medical facility to participate!

2013 ABNS Award for Nursing Certification Advocacy Announced. Methodist Hospital in Houston is the recipient of the 2013 Award for Nursing Certification Advocacy awarded by the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS), of which AACN Certification Corporation is a member. The award recognizes healthcare organizations, facilities and departments that are strong advocates of specialty nursing certification. Congratulations to Methodist Hospital for their commitment to specialty nursing certification!

AACN Fall Conferences

AACN Progressive Care Pathways, Sept. 17-20, MGM Grand, Las Vegas. Looking for professional development in the progressive care area? This fall’s AACN progressive care conference could be the perfect fit for you and/or a colleague. With faculty experts who understand firsthand the challenges of caring for “not quite ICU” patients, the evidence-based content at this conference will address a wide range of progressive care patients’ needs and provide direct clinical application of the evidence. The conference is ideal for nurses practicing in stepdown, intermediate, telemetry, transitional, high acuity, direct observation or med-surg units, who treat patients who are moderately stable with a high risk of becoming unstable. Register by Aug. 20 for a discounted rate.

AACN Nurse Manager Priorities, Sept. 18-20, MGM Grand, Las Vegas. If you are a nurse manager, take advantage of this beyond-the-basics conference where learning will be led by forward-thinking influential leaders—and, if you are not a nurse manager, be sure to share this great professional development opportunity with your manager or charge nurse. The conference content focuses on nurse managers’ three critical responsibilities — managing the business, managing the people and managing yourself. Join interactive case studies and lively presentations on management issues fundamental to nurse leaders in critical care. Register by Aug. 20 for a discounted rate.

Evidence-Based Practice Resources

AACN Practice Alerts™. A new AACN Practice Alert™ on alarm management will be available later this month. Prepared by subject matter experts Sue Sendelbach and Stacy Jepsen, the Practice Alert provides quick, free access to new evidence-based guidelines recommended by AACN to reduce alarm fatigue, a major patient safety concern. The Practice Alert outlines seven expected nursing practices to better manage alarms for improved patient care and a quieter, more effective work environment.

Later this summer, AACN will release a Practice Alert on pain assessment.

AACN Critical Care Webinar Series. Another live, evidence-based practice webinar has been scheduled this summer as part of AACN’s new critical care webinar series.

Managing Alarm Fatigue: New Approaches and Best Practices” is scheduled Thursday, June 20 at 10 a.m. PDT. Expert presenters Marjorie Funk, Maria Cvach and Sue Sendelbach will discuss the scope of this growing problem, management of environmental alarms for improved patient safety and strategies for creating a more effective, quieter workplace.

Developed with the needs and busy schedules of nurses in mind, the webinar series offers monthly 30-minute presentations by nationally recognized speakers on evidence-based clinical topics, all free of charge and accompanied by ready-to-use implementation tools.

Ideal for groups of nurses as well as individuals, each webinar offers 0.5 hour of CNE credit and unlimited access to recorded webcasts.

How you can help

  • Highlight the Practice Alert and webinar educational opportunities to nurse educators, nurse managers and Clinical Nurse Specialists in your facility.
  • Promote these opportunities directly to your unit colleagues.
  • Organize a group yourself to participate in a webinar.
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