New Certification for Critical Care Nurses

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New Certification for Critical Care Nurses

K is for Knowledge

By Elizabeth Hanink, RN, BSN, PHN
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We all know that nurses’ work isn’t limited to the bedside. Nurses have also made enormous contributions to healthcare in non-clinical arenas like research, education and policy. However, many specialty certification programs are only open to nurses actively working in clinical roles.

Seeking to redress that imbalance, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN), the largest professional organization in nursing, has added a new certification option for nurses who have acute and critical care expertise and practice excellence, but who have moved away from the bedside.

Healthcare Evolves

The new certification recognizes the eligible nurse as an acute/critical care knowledge professional (CCRN-K). Certification is obtained by completing an initial exam and is also a new renewal option for nurses with current CCRN or CCRN-E (tele-monitoring) certifications.

The CCRN-K has its own distinct practice hour requirements, so not all professionals in educational, managerial or administrative roles will be eligible. The exam is available in adult, pediatric and neonatal versions.

“The new CCRN-K certification reflects the continued evolution of nursing within an ever-changing healthcare landscape,” says AACN Chief Clinical Officer Connie Barden, RN, MSN, CCRN-ECCNS. “It acknowledges the crucial role nursing knowledge professionals have in optimizing the quality, safety and outcomes of care for acutely and critically ill patients.”

You can find complete CCRN-K application requirements, test plans, practice exam questions and other resources on the AACN website.

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