Bold Voices - August 2017 - 6

CERTIFICATION CORNER

PCCN or CCRN: Which Certification
Is Right for You?
Following are considerations for
understanding which specialty nursing
certification best aligns with your practice.

I

dentifying which AACN certification best aligns with your
practice can sometimes be confusing. Most often, this confusion arises with PCCN (progressive care) and CCRN (critical
care) certifications, especially since patients can move back and
forth along the acutely ill-critically ill continuum, even within the
same unit/setting.
To help prospective PCCN and CCRN certificants better
understand their eligibility, we've compiled introductory information and some considerations to guide your thinking.

* Hold a current, unencumbered U.S. RN or APRN license
* Engage in direct care, with a minimum number of overall
and recent clinical practice hours
* Hours must focus on the care of a single patient population - PCCN hours focus on adults; CCRN hours focus on
the adult, pediatric or neonatal patient populations

The Key Difference: Patient Acuity
You've confirmed that you meet all basic eligibility requirements - now what?
The primary difference between eligibility for PCCN or
CCRN is the acuity of the patients a nurse typically cares for -
along with the associated patient problems and nursing actions.

Basic Eligibility Requirements
Whether pursuing PCCN or CCRN certification, candidates
must meet the following basic eligibility requirements:

www.aacnboldvoicesonline.org

6

PCCN or CCRN: Clinical Practice Examples
The following composite personas of nurses in clinical practice help illustrate differences between PCCN and CCRN
eligibility. They represent general examples only. Please
see each certification's exam handbook and test plan for
detailed eligibility requirements, or contact us at
certification@aacn.org.
"Alex"
* Works on an adult intermediate care unit, with 90 percent
of patients on a cardiac monitor
* Typically cares for three or four patients at a time, most
of whom are relatively stable but require a vigilant eye for
critical status changes
* Checks patients' vital signs every four to eight hours and
implements periodic treatment adjustments
* Has accrued more than 1,900 hours working with acutely
ill adult patients in the last two years
Based on Alex's patient population of acutely ill adults and
his accumulated clinical hours, he meets the eligibility criteria
for PCCN certification.
"Susan"
* Floats between her hospital's ICU and step-down units
* Primarily cares for unstable patients in the ICU who require
near-constant attention and frequent lifesaving treatment
adjustments

* Cares for one or two patients at a time in the ICU; her
step-down unit practice is similar to Alex's
* Within the last two years, has accrued 1,500 hours in
direct care of critically ill adult patients in the ICU and 900
hours in direct care of acutely ill adult patients on the stepdown unit
With the majority of Susan's practice focused on direct care
of critically ill patients and her accumulated clinical hours, she
meets the eligibility criteria for CCRN certification.
"Beverly"
* Worked on a general medical floor for three years; moved
to a telemetry unit one year ago
* Typically cares for a group of four or five monitored
patients who are relatively stable
* Assesses her patients every four to eight hours, with occasional treatment adjustments
* Within the past year, has worked almost 1,800 hours,
about half of which involved caring for acutely ill adult
patients on continuous cardiac monitoring
Beverly is on her way toward PCCN certification. Based on
her limited hours caring for acutely ill adult patients, she does
not currently meet PCCN eligibility criteria - but will accumulate the required hours in about a year if she continues in
the same capacity.


http://www.aacnboldvoicesonline.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Bold Voices - August 2017

Another Angle
Pres Note Front Teaser
Masthead
New Online Toolkit Shows Crucial Roles of Nurses in Serious Illness Communication
Oct. 31 Deadline to Apply for AACN Research Grants
PCCN or CCRN: Which Certification Is Right for You?
Failed Resuscitations May Increase Stress for Nurses
Updated Cardiac Nursing Course and CMC Review Course Online
New Behavior-Based Pain Assessment Tool
Hospital Rooftop Is a Hive of Activity
Former ICU Nurse Collects 100K Objects for Medical Mosaic
Interventions Reduce Wrong-Patient Orders in NICUs
Increasing Acceptance of Pediatric Telemedicine
The Privilege of Nursing
Effects of Dexmedetomidine
Seizure Risk Much Higher for Sepsis Survivors
Studies Provide Insights Into Reducing Opioid Use
Short-Term Oral Corticosteroids Increase Risk of Adverse Effects
Hospital Staff Becoming Product Innovators
Addressing Barriers to APRN Practice
Survival Rates Higher During Joint Commission Surveys
Effect of Rudeness on Pediatric Team Performance
Glasgow Coma Scale Stands the Test of Time
ECRI Introduces Patient Identification Tools
Reducing Risk Factors in Pediatric Delirium
Bundle Compliance Increases Survival, Reduces Delirium
Fostering Resilience in Healthcare Professionals Who Are Also Moms
Members: Enhance Your Career With an AACN Scholarship
In Our Journals
Transitions
President’s Note
Bold Voices - August 2017 - Cover1
Bold Voices - August 2017 - Cover2
Bold Voices - August 2017 - Pres Note Front Teaser
Bold Voices - August 2017 - Masthead
Bold Voices - August 2017 - Oct. 31 Deadline to Apply for AACN Research Grants
Bold Voices - August 2017 - PCCN or CCRN: Which Certification Is Right for You?
Bold Voices - August 2017 - 7
Bold Voices - August 2017 - Updated Cardiac Nursing Course and CMC Review Course Online
Bold Voices - August 2017 - New Behavior-Based Pain Assessment Tool
Bold Voices - August 2017 - Former ICU Nurse Collects 100K Objects for Medical Mosaic
Bold Voices - August 2017 - Increasing Acceptance of Pediatric Telemedicine
Bold Voices - August 2017 - The Privilege of Nursing
Bold Voices - August 2017 - 13
Bold Voices - August 2017 - Seizure Risk Much Higher for Sepsis Survivors
Bold Voices - August 2017 - Short-Term Oral Corticosteroids Increase Risk of Adverse Effects
Bold Voices - August 2017 - Addressing Barriers to APRN Practice
Bold Voices - August 2017 - Effect of Rudeness on Pediatric Team Performance
Bold Voices - August 2017 - ECRI Introduces Patient Identification Tools
Bold Voices - August 2017 - Bundle Compliance Increases Survival, Reduces Delirium
Bold Voices - August 2017 - Members: Enhance Your Career With an AACN Scholarship
Bold Voices - August 2017 - Transitions
Bold Voices - August 2017 - President’s Note
Bold Voices - August 2017 - Cover3
Bold Voices - August 2017 - Cover4
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