The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is implementing new requirements for the certification programs accepted for the Magnet Recognition Program®. Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, the Magnet program will only accept nursing and healthcare board certifications accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC), National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), ISO 17-024 (ANSI) or another recognized accreditor.
The CCRN-E, CCRN-K and PCCN-K exams are not accredited; however, the exams were developed with the same level of rigor as the CCRN and PCCN exams using the same test plans and item banks to validate a candidate’s specialty knowledge. These separate -E and -K credentials were introduced to enable nurses in non-direct care roles to earn critical care and progressive care specialty certification. While AACN Certification Corporation and its stakeholders found the role distinctions valuable, the inclusion of the roles in the credential titles impacted the ability to achieve accreditation for these programs. Therefore, it is necessary to change the credentials to meet the evolving needs of our community.
Important note: In a previous email communication sent to some certificants, AACN misstated that “... ANA will be discontinuing its Demographic Data Collection Tool (DDCT), which lists all approved certification programs.” Please disregard this erroneous information.
What Does This Mean for Your Certification?
- Effective Nov. 14, 2023, CCRN-E and CCRN-K will change to CCRN, and PCCN-K will change to PCCN. The -E and -K credentials will no longer be valid.
- The CCRN Adult certification program will continue to have three initial exam and renewal eligibility pathways: Direct Care, Tele-Critical Care and Knowledge Professional. All certificants will be awarded the CCRN credential regardless of the pathway selected.
- The CCRN Pediatric and Neonatal certification programs will continue to have two initial exam and renewal eligibility pathways: Direct Care and Knowledge Professional. All certificants will be awarded the CCRN credential regardless of the pathway selected.
- The PCCN Adult certification program will continue to have two initial exam and renewal eligibility pathways: Direct Care and Knowledge Professional. All certificants will be awarded the PCCN credential regardless of the pathway selected.
- Your renewal period and renewal requirements will remain the same. Please refer to the FAQ below for further information.
What Are My Next Steps as a CCRN-E, CCRN-K or PCCN-K Certificant?
- Immediately update all of your internal and public-facing communications, including, but not limited to, your email signature, name badge, employment records, social media pages, etc.
- Watch for your new certificate to arrive by mail within the next two to three weeks. Access your AACN account through your AACN customer dashboard to verify or update your current mailing address.
- For verification of your updated credential or to provide documentation to your employer, visit AACN’s online certification verification system.
- Please share this information about the -E and -K credential transition with your employer so they are aware of the change. If you or your employer have questions or concerns, please email AACN Certification Corporation at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our team members will be happy to assist you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I receive a new certificate?
Yes. All former CCRN-E, CCRN-K and PCCN-K certificants will receive a new certificate by mail within two to three weeks after receiving your email notification of the credential change. Please verify that we have your correct mailing address by accessing your account information via your AACN customer dashboard.
Do my certification dates change?
No. Your certification start and end dates will remain the same. Only your credential will change.
Can I continue to use my CCRN-E, CCRN-K or PCCN-K credential in my signature line or name badge?
No. You must immediately update all of your internal and public-facing communications that include your credential — for example, your email signature, name badge, employment records, social media pages, etc.
Does my certification meet the requirements for the Magnet Recognition Program®?
Yes. AACN’s CCRN and PCCN credentials (as well as the CMC, CSC, ACNPC-AG, ACCNS-AG, ACCNS-P and ACCNS-N credentials) meet the requirements for Magnet recognition.
Can I maintain my CMC and/or CSC certification if I meet the eligibility requirements for the Knowledge Professional Pathway?
Generally, no. CMC and/or CSC subspecialty certifications require that certificants meet AACN’s clinically focused Direct Care Pathway or Tele-critical Care Pathway eligibility requirements. However, if you hold another clinical nursing specialty credential to which you can attach the CMC and/or CSC credential, you may be eligible.
What if my practice has changed since I became certified or renewed my certification?
During your next renewal period, please refer to the available renewal pathways outlined in the CCRN or PCCN renewal handbooks to identify the renewal pathway that aligns with your practice.