CSC subspecialty certification, introduced in 2005, is for specialty certified nurses who provide direct care to acutely/critically ill adult cardiac surgery patients in the first 48 hours postoperatively. Nurses interested in CSC certification may work in areas such as cardiothoracic surgery, cardiovascular surgery or post-anesthesia care units.
Updated Study of Practice
AACN Certification Corporation regularly conducts national studies of practice, also known as practice analyses, to update and refresh certification test plans. These studies ensure that our exams are based on evidence and the content of each exam is tied directly to relevant practice.
The most recent study of practice for the CSC certification program was completed in 2020, resulting in minor changes to the CSC exam and test plan.
Following is a link to the new test plan that goes into effect for CSC exams taken on and after Jan. 31, 2022, along with additional resources that were revised with the 2020 study of practice changes.
CSC Test Plan – This detailed outline shows the content and percentage weight that provide the structure of the exam. The test plan is based on a national study of practice, goes through a 100% consensus process involving numerous subject matter experts, is analyzed by our PSI psychometrician, and is ultimately approved by the AACN Certification Corporation board of directors.
CSC Exam Bibliography – This bibliography is a list of the references/resources the item writers and exam developers used to validate the correct answers to each exam question.
Study of Practice Executive Summary – This brief report provides the purpose, process, response rate, and the outcomes and analysis of the national study of practice, along with the exam development process.
NEW! CSC Practice Exam and Questions – This subscription-based product is designed to meet your individual learning needs on an easy-to-use platform, putting randomized practice questions and exams at your fingertips for anytime, anywhere access. This tool can help gauge your level of knowledge, identify your strengths and uncover areas for further study.