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  • 1. American Association of Critical Care Nurses & AACN Certification Corporation Standards and Certification of the Clinical Nurse Specialist in Acute and Critical Care; the Evolution of a Specialty
  • 2. Regulation
    • Regulation of advanced practice nursing is accomplished through statutes, the rules and regulations of state nurse practice acts, certification, peer review and self-regulation. Nurse practice acts are administered under the authority of state governments to assure public safety.
  • 3. Educational Preparation
    • Education of the CNS is at the graduate level in nursing. The education program assists the CNS to integrate the collaborative model of care into a coordinated patient management plan and develop competencies within each of the spheres of influence of the CNS. The curriculum requirements are delineated in The Essentials of Master’s Education for Advanced Practice Nursing
  • 4. Educational Preparation
    • The advanced practice nursing student prepared in a direct care provider role must receive sufficient clinical experience to provide depth and breadth in a given specialty or with designated populations. The acute and critical care CNS program should provide sufficient clinical experiences to prepare the graduate to provide for public safety.
  • 5. Educational Preparation
    • When preparing a graduate who will provide direct client care, make diagnoses, prescribe, and assume accountability for clinical care, the educational program should provide the student with opportunity to master knowledge of healthcare problems and to apply these skills in extensive clinical practice. They should have a minimum of 500 hours in direct clinical practice during the educational program.
  • 6. Certification
    • Certification of the CNS is recognition of competence made by the profession. One component of certification is eligibility , related to successful completion of the program of study, course content, and specified amount of supervised clinical practice. The other component of certification is knowledge determined by passing a written examination that tests the knowledge base for the selected area of advanced practice.
  • 7. Certification
    • Through use of a consistent definition for the acute and critical care CNS, criteria to review and assess competence for CNS practice, and CNS educational requirements, certification will assure the public that the acute and critical care CNS meets consistent standards of quality.
  • 8. Licensure
    • The CNS is licensed to practice as a registered nurse in the state in which the nurse practices and is subject to the state’s legal constraints and regulations. Many states have additional requirements that the CNS must satisfy to practice or be recognized.
  • 9. Advanced Practice Licensure
    • State Boards of Nursing which utilize the CCNS examination as one criterion for advanced practice licensure or designation include: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin .
  • 10. Specialization
    • The acute and critical care CNS practices in any setting in which patient care requirements include complex monitoring and therapies, high-intensity nursing intervention, or continuous nursing vigilance within the full range of high acuity care.
  • 11. Prescriptive Authority
    • The CNS provides direct patient care, such as assessing, diagnosing, planning and intervening, which includes prescribing pharmacologic as well as non-pharmacologic treatment of health problems.
  • 12. Nurse Competency CNS ACNP
    • Clinical Judgment
    • Advocacy/Moral Agency
    • Caring Practices
    • Collaboration
    • Systems Thinking
    • Response to Diversity
    • Clinical Inquiry
    • Facilitation of Learning
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  • 13. Evolution of a Specialty
    • Early 1960s - cardiac units open, patient outcomes improve
    • Mid-1960s – nurses take over care of critical patients
    • 1969 – American Association of Cardiovascular Nurses (AACN) formed
    • 1971 – name changed to American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
  • 14. Evolution of a Specialty
    • 1975 – AACN Certification Corporation is established
    • 1976 – First administration of the CCRN certification examination
    • 1984 – First role delineation study conducted by a nursing certification organization to validate CCRN exam
    • 1989 - Competence Statements for Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialists developed by AACN CNS special interest group and adopted by AACN Board of Directors
  • 15. Evolution of a Specialty
    • 1993 – AACN Synergy Model for Patient Care introduced
    • 1995 - ACNP Scope and Standards jointly developed by AACN and ANA
    • 1996 - Acute Care Nurse Practitioner certification examination jointly developed by AACN and ANCC
  • 16. Evolution of a Specialty
    • 1997 – CCRN job analysis indicates 40% of CCRNs are practicing outside of the traditional four walls of the ICU
    • 1998 – Job analysis conducted to study the role of the CNS in acute and critical care.
    • 1999 – AACN Certification Corporation launches Acute and Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist certification examination
  • 17. Evolution of a Specialty
    • 2002 – AACN publishes Scope of Practice and Standards of Professional Performance for the Acute and Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • 2003 – Comprehensive study of critical care nursing practice compares CNS and ACNP practice, identifies entry-level critical care competencies, and defines nursing competencies for care of the progressive care patient
  • 18. Evolution of a Specialty
    • 2004 – Progressive Care generalist certification examination launched
    • 2004 – Job analyses begin on Cardiovascular and Cardiology subspecialty certification examinations
    • 2005 – Plan development of Nurse Practitioner certification examination and Interventional Cardiology subspecialty certification examination
    • 2006 – Plan development of Entry-level Critical Care certification examination.