AACN Values and Certification

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Exam security is paramount to protecting patients, families and certified nurses. When we compromise the value of certification, we compromise the credentials that validate our knowledge in our specialty.

AACN's values of accountability, integrity and stewardship translate directly into upholding the value of certification. Thus, we will:

Be accountable to uphold and consistently act in concert with ethical values and principles.

  • Sign honor statements with integrity and in good faith, only when we truly meet eligibility.
  • Maintain discretion and honesty by not debriefing any exam content.
  • Report infractions of those who debrief exam content. 
  • Report infractions of those who use AACN credentials in a fraudulent way, such as saying we are certified if our certification has expired. However, in reporting suspected infractions we understand that we may not have a full picture of the other nurse's practice or their intentions to renew certification.
  • Refrain from asking others to divulge exam content.

Act with integrity by communicating openly and honestly, keeping promises, honoring commitments and promoting loyalty in all relationships.

  • Keep promises based on signed honor statements.
  • Ask AACN Certification Corporation about eligibility to apply for or renew certification.
  • Communicate with AACN Certification Corporation if we miss a renewal deadline to discuss potential options.
  • Contact AACN Certification Corporation within 30 days if my RN or APRN license is no longer unencumbered or my State Board of Nursing places restrictions on my license.
  • Follow the law. Do not tamper with documents or forge a signature.

Demonstrate stewardship through fair and responsible management of resources.

  • Do not cheat. This could result in the need to invalidate the entire exam for all who took it.
  • Value AACN Certification Corporation's investment in developing psychometrically sound and legally defensible exam content. Exam development requires a lot of time, expertise and resources and relies on studies of practice.