Planning Your Program
Q: Why is AACN changing CE Program Approval?
A: As part of our commitment to continuing education, AACN has instituted a more robust program approval policy that is more closely aligned with established educational design standards. This continuing educational policy includes, but is not limited to standards for program planning, assessment of learners’ needs and professional practice gaps, identification of learning outcomes, and utilization of teaching strategies that engage the learner. The educational design process also includes procedures for protecting content from bias and providing learners appropriate information and documentation related to their participation. The nurse planner (RN with a BSN) takes an active role in these activities. They are responsible for conducting and appropriately documenting a needs assessment for the target audience as well as developing, planning, implementing and evaluating the educational activity.
Q: What are the requirements for program presenter(s)?
A: All program presenter(s) credentials must be carefully considered and evaluated by the nurse planner. The presenters’ credentials and content expertise should be documented in the online application and CE Program Approval Application Supplement.
Q: I have multiple presenters. What information do I need to provide when I submit my online application?
A: We require the content title, date, time, presenter(s), content description and teaching method for each individual presentation in the program. The presenter(s) are to provide a Conflict of Interest form as well. This will allow us to validate the requested contact hours, program content and presenter(s) expertise.
Submitting Your Application
Q: Should I submit any other documentation in addition to the application and the CE Program Approval Supplement?
A: Please email the following documents to firstname.lastname@example.org to complete your application:
- Flyer or Agenda
- Conflict of Interest Form
- Commercial Support Agreement
Q: So that I can meet the submission deadline, can I submit an online application but mail my check payment separately?
A: Yes. However, your application will not be reviewed or approved until your payment has been received.
Q: Can I submit an online application after a program has been held?
A: No, we do not award CE contact hours retroactively.
Q: How will I be notified of the results of my application?
A: We 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, clicking on MyAACN and then Submissions.
Q: How will I know if there are any problems with my submission?
A: We will email the contact person noted on the online application if there are any questions or concerns. The individual submitting the online application is now able to check on the status of their application by signing in to AACN’s website, clicking on MyAACN and then Submissions.
Awarding Synergy CERPs
Q: Can a chapter award Synergy CERPs for educational offerings that do not qualify for continuing education contact hours?
A: Yes, chapters may offer CERPs for educational programs via a certificate of attendance. We have a CERP certificate of attendance template available on the Chapter program approval webpage located under "Resources".
Q: How does Synergy CERP differ from CE?
A: Synergy CERP is a program exclusive to AACN for nurses wishing to recertify through AACN. Please visit our Certification webpage for more information.
Q. What documentation am I required to keep for my program?
A. For each program, the following documentation must be maintained in a secure and confidential manner for four years:
- Title, location and date of the presentation
- All evaluation tools used
- Participant names and addresses
- Copy of the presentation
- Sample certificate of completion
- CV of each presenter
Q: Why are the contact hours on my approval letter different than what I requested in my online application?
A: We calculate the contact hours based on information provided in your online application and the CE Program Approval Application Supplement. Check to be sure that all of your eligible content and contact hours have been submitted.
Q: Can I award CE contact hours if an attendee does not stay for the complete program?
A: Participants are required to attend a complete program in order to be eligible for CE. Criteria for awarding contact hours should be indicated on the CE Program Approval Application Supplement.
Q: Can we award contact hours for ACLS, BLS and PALS courses?
A: Yes, per the following:
- ACLS, PALS and BLS Provider Courses
- Contact hours can be awarded for advanced provider courses such as ACLS and PALS for initial certification and recertification.
- AACN does not award CE for the BLS overview portion of the provider courses or for Basic Life Support, according to the Program Approval Policy.
- ACLS, PALS and BLS Instructor Courses
- Contact hours can be awarded for instructor courses including ACLS, PALS, BLS or similar courses.