Is Your Nurse Certified?

Eligibility requirements for recertification and the rationales for those requirements are publicly available.
At the time that the CPSN, and later the CANS, were created, the PSNCB Board met and considered what would be required for test candidates, and used the ABSNC requirements as a basis for developing the application. They also looked within the specialty, to determine the specific rationale of what should be required for a candidate to sit for their initial examination, as well as what should be required for a candidate to recertify.

For training and number of hours required, the Board looked at the type of activities which a nurse would be required to perform in order to become proficient, considering the number of hours of activity per year. The criteria which were set was determined to be necessary to achieve the level of competency in order to sit for a certification examination. The practice analysis also was used in making determinations of criteria.

Rationale: This requirement assures that the applicant meets current legal requirements for full unencumbered practice as a registered nurse (RN) in the jurisdiction of practice.

Rationale: To maintain competence and prevent professional obsolescence, the PSNCB Board requires that both CPSN and CANS candidates for recertification participate in continuing education to refresh existing knowledge and skills and to acquire knowledge and proficiency pertaining to new advances in plastic surgical/aesthetic nursing. Lifelong learning, a critical component of nursing practice, enables professionals to be up to date on new health care developments and emerging knowledge in their specific area of practice. (Hirst, S., LeNavenec, C.L., & Stares, R. (2017). Lifelong learning, certification, and registered nursing practice: Their interrelationship. Papers on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching: Proceedings of the University of Calgary Conference on Learning and Teaching, V 2, pages 10-15.)

The requirement of a minimum of two contact hours focused on patient safety reflects the understanding that one purpose of certification, like licensure, is to protect the public. This is accomplished by identifying persons who have mastered the essential knowledge and skills required for a particular practice and by excluding persons who have not achieved the required knowledge and skills. It is also accomplished by learning new knowledge directly related to patient safety. (AERA, APA, & NCME. 2014. Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, page 175).

Rationale: The 1,500 hours of practice required over 3 years represents a minimum of about 500 hours per year of practice. Requiring validation of ongoing clinical practice helps to assure that the certificant has the required psychomotor skills, as well as clinical judgement in the assessment of patients and performance of essential activities. The validation of practice hours helps to ensure continuing competency since healthcare organizations/workplaces play a large role in assuring the competence of its workers. While continuing competency is a responsibility shared by many others, including the nurses themselves, healthcare organizations/workplaces have responsibility for measuring, documenting, and supporting competency, and for addressing any deficiencies in staff members’ competency. (Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center (HPCC). (2011). Statement on Continuing Competence for Nursing: A Call to Action, page 4)

Rationale: To maintain competence and prevent professional obsolescence, the PSNCB Board requires that both CPSN and CANS candidates for recertification participate in continuing education to refresh existing knowledge and skills and to acquire knowledge and proficiency pertaining to new advances in plastic surgical/aesthetic nursing. Lifelong learning, a critical component of nursing practice, enables professionals to be up to date on new health care developments and emerging knowledge in their specific area of practice. (Hirst, S., LeNavenec, C.L., & Stares, R. (2017). Lifelong learning, certification, and registered nursing practice: Their interrelationship. Papers on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching: Proceedings of the University of Calgary Conference on Learning and Teaching, V 2, pages 10-15.)

The requirement of a minimum of two contact hours focused on patient safety reflects the understanding that one purpose of certification, like licensure, is to protect the public. This is accomplished by identifying persons who have mastered the essential knowledge and skills required for a particular practice and by excluding persons who have not achieved the required knowledge and skills. It is also accomplished by learning new knowledge directly related to patient safety. (AERA, APA, & NCME. 2014. Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, page 175).

The rationale for offering recertification by examination is to allow those nurses who may have missed the recertification deadline, or not met the requisite criteria to recertify, to rectify any deficiencies (i.e. loss of a supervising physician, loss of a job – time out of practice, etc.) – and then seek to become recertified. As the standards for both certification and recertification and rigorous, and similar, the PSNCB wants to keep the path open to those who have lost their original certification to again certify if they meet all the requisite criteria. Additionally, some nurses may have met all the other recertification criteria but failed to obtain the necessary number of educational credits to recertify via online application; in that case, re-testing would ensure they retain the competency to maintain certification. The PSNCB wishes to make recertification available to those who meet the criteria, and not put up barriers to access if the nurse is qualified, competent, and meets the requirements.

Rationale: To maintain competence and prevent professional obsolescence, the PSNCB Board requires that both CPSN and CANS candidates for recertification participate in continuing education to refresh existing knowledge and skills and to acquire knowledge and proficiency pertaining to new advances in plastic surgical/aesthetic nursing. Lifelong learning, a critical component of nursing practice, enables professionals to be up to date on new health care developments and emerging knowledge in their specific area of practice. (Hirst, S., LeNavenec, C.L., & Stares, R. (2017). Lifelong learning, certification, and registered nursing practice: Their interrelationship. Papers on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching: Proceedings of the University of Calgary Conference on Learning and Teaching, V 2, pages 10-15.)

The requirement of a minimum of two contact hours focused on patient safety reflects the understanding that one purpose of certification, like licensure, is to protect the public. This is accomplished by identifying persons who have mastered the essential knowledge and skills required for a particular practice and by excluding persons who have not achieved the required knowledge and skills. It is also accomplished by learning new knowledge directly related to patient safety. (AERA, APA, & NCME. 2014. Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, page 175)