Initial Eligibility Requirements & Fees

A current, unencumbered U.S. RN or APRN license is required.
An unencumbered license is not currently being subjected to formal discipline by the board of nursing in the state(s) in which the nurse is practicing and has no provisions or conditions that limit the nurse’s practice. Provisions or conditions may include, but are not limited to, direct supervision of practice, drug administration limitations and/or practice area exclusions.

Candidates must meet the following practice requirement. 
Practice as an RN or APRN for 1,040 hours during the previous two years, with 260 of those hours accrued in the most recent year preceding application. Practice hours for PCCN-K are those in which you apply knowledge in a way that influences patients, nurses and/or organizations to have a positive impact on the care delivered to acutely ill adult patients and families.

Eligible Practice Hours:
  • Must be completed in a U.S.-based or Canada-based facility or in a facility determined to be comparable to the U.S. standard of progressive care nursing practice.
  • May be a combination of role practice and direct care. Nurses who exclusively or primarily provide direct patient care are not eligible for PCCN-K; PCCN is the appropriate credential for direct care of acutely ill adults.
  • Are verifiable by your clinical supervisor or professional colleague (RN or physician). Contact information must be provided for verification of eligibility related to practice hours, to be used if you are selected for audit.
  • Nurses eligible for PCCN-K certification may work in the following roles; academic faculty, case manager, clinical director, clinical or patient educator, manager/supervisor, nursing administrator or transitional care coordinator. This is not an all-inclusive list, and not all nurses working in these roles are eligible for PCCN-K.
  • For complete eligibility requirements, refer to the PCCN-K Exam Handbook.

AACN Members





How to Prepare

PCCN-K (Adult) Exam Resources


Validate that you meet eligibility requirements detailed in the PCCN-K Exam Handbook and apply now.


Is your renewal date approaching? Be prepared – explore PCCN-K renewal options.