Due to current restrictions, we are planning a virtual/online event rather than an in person event. What's different when applying for Contact Hours?
When planning a virtual event, it's important to ensure the program planning committee takes into account the learning environment. Most importantly, Learner Engagement Strategies, Criteria for Successful Completion, and Evaluation Method. Other than noting those adjustments, no other changes are required for the application or planning process.
I’m a first time applicant, any tips on where to start?
Our recommendation is to first read the Continuing Education Policy to best understand the requirements:
If you are an AACN Chapter, review the Fees for Individual Activity Applicants-AACN Chapters. For a step by step guide through the online process refer to Training Guide AACN Chapter.
For all other organizations, review the Fees for Individual Activity Applicants-Non-Chapter. For a step by step guide through the online process, refer to the Training Guide Non-Chapter.
When and why was the Continuing Education Policy updated?
In order to provide our customers with the best service, the Continuing Education Policy was updated, effective April 15, 2022. This was done to ensure all processes adhered to ANCC guidelines, and reformatting was done to improve the flow of the document for applicants.
Where can I find the new Continuing Education Policy?
You can view the new Continuing Education Policy on the Program Approval website after selecting your organization type, or by clicking on Continuing Education Policy.
The prices and application deadlines are no longer in the Continuing Education Policy, where are they located?
Fees and deadlines are now in a new separate fee policy. This change was made to allow periodic reevaluation of deadlines and fee structure without amending the entire Continuing Education Policy. There are two separate fee policies: Fees for Individual Activity Applicant AACN Chapters and Fees for Individual Activity Applicant Non-Chapters, each can be found in the Resource section of our website after selecting your organization type. There have also been updates to the review process including possible additional $50 fee for lack of response from applicant, see page 10 of revised Continuing Education Policy.
What statements do I have to use when advertising my program?
The required statements now include an endorsement statement that MUST be used as outlined on page 3 of the revised Continuing Education Policy.
I have multiple presenters for multiple individual presentations. What information do I need to provide when I submit my online application?
We require the content title, date, time, presenter(s), content description, and teaching method for each individual presentation in the program.
What type of documentation will I need to submit with my online application?
Can I submit an online application after a program has been held?
No, we do not award CE contact hours retroactively.
How will I be notified of the results of my application?
Program Approval Department will notify the contact person noted on the online application of their approval status via email. The individual submitting the online application is now able to check on the status of their application by signing in to AACN’s website, directly from your submission dashboard.
How will I know if there are any problems with my submission?
Program Approval Department will email the contact person noted on the online application if there are any questions, concerns and/or additional information is required. The individual submitting the online application is now able to check on the status of their application by signing in to AACN’s website, directly from your submissions dashboard. There have also been updates to the review process including possible additional $50 fee for lack of response from applicant, see page 10 of revised Continuing Education Policy.
After Submitting Your Application
What does a certificate of completion for participants have to look like? Do you have a template?
See the Continuing Education Policy for details. A template is available on the Resource page of each type of application (Chapter or Organization)
What are my responsibilities after submission of my program?
The only data point collected will be number of attendees receiving certificates. This will be an automated email process to the contact person. *Additional requirements for the California Chapters can be found in the Supplement for California.
Can an AACN chapter award Synergy CERPs for educational offerings that do not qualify for continuing education contact hours?
Yes, AACN chapters may offer CERPs for educational programs via a certificate of attendance. We have a CERP Certificate Template available on the Chapter program approval webpage located under Resources. Organizations that are not AACN Chapters, may NOT offer CERPs through AACN. Medical Device Companies may apply for CERPs via a separate procedure here.
How does Synergy CERP differ from CE?
Continuing Education Recognition Points (CERPs) are recognized by the AACN Certification Corporation, our credentialing arm, to encompass a wide spectrum of continuing education activities performed by nurses in high acuity and critical care and fulfill educational requirements for certification. Synergy CERP is a program exclusive to AACN for nurses wishing to recertify through AACN. Please review the Synergy CERP Brochure or our Certification Website for more details. State boards of nursing and other certification organizations may recognize CERPs as meeting CE Contact Hour requirements. We recommend consulting with the state board or credentialing organization before submitting CERPs to fulfill CE Contact Hour requirements. By awarding CERPs instead of traditional CE Contact Hours, AACN chapters can offer a wider range of educational programs that do not qualify for CE Contact Hours.
What documentation am I required to keep for my program?
Updates have been made to the Record Keeping Requirements, see page 13 of the revised Continuing Education Policy for details.
Programs Presented in California
My chapter/organization is located in California, what’s different for me?
Chapters are an integral part of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses; therefore, AACN approves AACN Chapter programs presented in California. Non AACN Chapters are not eligible for California approval. There are additional requirements outlined in the California policy supplement. We strongly encourage non AACN chapters offering education within the state of California to obtain their own provider approval via the California BRN in order to offer CE for nurses who reside in and hold a California RN license. Details on this process can be found on the California BRN website.
Why are the contact hours on my approval letter different than what I requested in my online application?
Contact hours are awarded for those portions of the CE activity devoted to the learning experience and time spent evaluating the activity. We calculate the Contact Hours based on information provided in your online application. Check to be sure that all of your eligible content and contact hours have been submitted.
Can I award CE contact hours if an attendee does not stay for the complete program?
The Nurse Planner may determine if partial credit is available for each program. If so, the option “Credit awarded commensurate with participation” should be selected during the application process under Criteria for Awarding Contact Hours. As long as this option is selected, the Nurse Planner can than award a certificate that reflects the individual’s participation.
Our program has pharmacotherapeutic content for ACNPs, how do I calculate and award this?
Pharmacotherapeutic time is assigned by the Nurse Planner, per the Guidelines for Pharmacotherapeutic Credit.
Our program has another organization who would like to be a Joint Provider, what paperwork is required?
The good news is less paperwork is now required, see page 6 of the revised Continuing Education Policy for details.
We have a vendor interested in financially supporting our event. What paperwork is required?
We strongly recommend AACN Chapters contact Chapters@aacn.org to ensure the correct business contracts are in place, these contracts protect the Chapter financially. For AACN Chapters and other organizations to apply for Program Approval, a Commercial Support Agreement will be required with the submission of your application. Details on this process are on page 8 of the revised Continuing Education Policy.
I have a question that isn’t answered by the policy or the FAQs, how and when can I reach a member of the Program Approval Department?
The best method is to email firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone is in the office Monday-Thursday 8:00am to 4:00pm PT. We are closed on federal holidays, but no longer have a blackout period surrounding our annual National Teaching Institute (NTI). For more details see page 10 of the revised Continuing Education Policy.