Clinical Nurse Specialist Certification Examinations: Legal and Ethical Considerations

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Certification examinations for clinical nurse specialists' (CNSs') entry into practice have 1 primary goal: consumer and patient safety.1,2 Consumer and patient safety are the driving forces for the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) Certification Corporation's examination development process.2 This article will describe the psychometrically sound and legally defensible process for development of CNS certification examinations. The AACN Certification Corporation provides advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) certification examinations for CNSs; adult-gerontology, pediatric, and neonatal populations; and adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioners.3 A certification program for CNSs was developed by the AACN Certification Corporation in 1999 with the first Consensus Model examinations offered in 2013–2014.
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