Documents and Handbooks

Certification Exam Policy Handbook

This handbook outlines rules and policies for all AACN certification exam programs and includes such information as testing site and scheduling information, day of exam rules, recognition and use of credentials, obtaining a duplicate score report and name or address changes.

Details about individual certification programs can be found in the corresponding handbook listed below.

Initial Exam Handbooks

The exam handbooks are resources for nurses interested in obtaining an AACN certification. They feature detailed information about each certification exam, including everything nurses need to apply: eligibility requirements, application guidelines, application forms, honor statements, test plans, exam bibliographies, sample questions and fees.

Renewal Handbooks

The renewal handbooks are a valuable source of information for nurses preparing to renew their certification. They contain details about eligibility, renewal options and fees, as well as renewal applications.

Renewal Brochures

The renewal brochures provide details about Renewal by Synergy CERPs (Categories A, B & C), examples of topics and activities for each category, how to calculate and document CERPs, as well as renewal eligibility requirements.

Certification Discount Forms

Group Discount

AACN provides discounted exam fees to hospitals, AACN chapters or individual nurses who submit 10 or more certification exam applications together in one envelope. Learn more about the Certification Group Discount program.

Organization Discount

AACN offers substantial savings – and free review courses – to hospital-based employers through a prepaid certification exam voucher program. A minimum purchase of 30 vouchers is required for any combination of CCRN, PCCN, CMC or CSC exams. Learn more about the Certification Organization Discount program.

Status Change Applications – Alumnus and Retired

Alumnus and Retired Status Applications are for CCRNs, and PCCNs who are retiring or no longer meet the practice hour requirements for active certification. Detailed information about these alternate designations can be found in the applicable renewal handbook, above.