CMC - Cardiac Medicine Certification

  • Cost $140-$230
  • Renews every 3 years

COURSE FORMAT

Online
In Person

About

The Cardiac Medicine Certification (CMC) certification is offered by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). If you are an experienced nurse interested in working in cardiac care units, medical ICUs, telemetry units, progressive care units, heart failure clinics, cardiac catheterization labs, or in electrophysiology, then the Cardiac Medicine Certification (CMC) should be a consideration.

Obtaining a CMC is a rigorous goal, with either a two-year or five-year option to pursue. Registered nurses (RNs) or Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) located in the United States, with unencumbered licenses, may apply. The CMC is a nationally accredited clinical nursing specialty certification.

Course Format

Certification Exam:

To obtain the CMC certification, you must pass the CMC proctored exam. Practice questions and study guides are also available from the AANC and other private vendors. Several webinars and online courses are available as well. 

Application and Test Fees

The AACN gives a discount for members of their organization, both for the application fee and the CMC exam.  

To apply, AACN members will pay $140, and nonmembers will pay $230. Once the requirements are verified and met, you will be given an authorization to test. The re-examination fee is $115 for members and $160 for non-members.

Certification

Two-Year Option

To obtain a CMC in two years, you will need to have practiced as an RN or APRN for 1,750 hours in the direct care of acutely/critically ill adult patients during the previous two years. This would include care settings like Emergency Departments and Critical Care Units. Of those 1,750 hours, 875 of them must have been worked during the year prior to application. Also, of the 1750 hours worked, 875 of them must be in the care of acute/critically ill adult cardiac patients.  

Five-Year Option

For the five-year CMC option, you must practice as an RN or APRN for at least five years with a minimum of 2,000 hours in direct care of acutely/critically ill patients. 144 of those hours must be accrued in the most recent year preceding application. Of those 2,000 hours, 1,000 must be spent in the care of acutely/critically ill adult cardiac patients.  

Eligible Clinical Practice Hours

To be considered eligible hours for either the two-year or five-year CMC option, those hours must be completed in a U.S.-based or Canada-based facility or in a facility determined to be comparable to the U.S. standard of acute/critical care nursing practice.  

Those hours must be either spent actively providing direct patient care to critically ill adult patients. If you are a manager, educator, preceptor, or APRN, the hours must be spent supervising nurses or nursing students at the bedside of critically ill adults. Your clinical supervisor or professional colleague must verify the hours spent, such as an RN or physician. Contact information must be provided for verification of eligibility related to clinical hours to be used if you are selected for audit.

Renewal

A CMC-certified nurse must continue to meet certain requirements to renew every three years. The RN or APRN license must remain unencumbered. Twenty-five continuing education credits pertaining to cardiology, and in the Clinical Judgment category must be completed in the three year period. Also, within the three-year period, you must have completed 432 direct care hours, with 144 of those hours accrued in the 12 month period preceding the scheduled renewal date and in the care of acutely/critically ill adult cardiac patients.

Renewal Fees:

  • Renewing by Continuing Education Recognition Points (CERPs) - $75 for AACN members and $130 for non-members

  • Renewing by Examination - $115 for AACN members and $160 for non-members

Other Resources

The AACN offers resources for exam candidates, including:

Related Certifications

Nurses seeking additional verification of skills in the cardiovascular specialty may also review the following certifications:

  • Cardiac Vascular Nursing Certification (CV-BC): Offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). It validates the knowledge and skills of nurses working in a cardiovascular setting.

  • Cardiac Surgery (CSC-Adult): Offered by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). Specific to nurses providing direct care to acutely/critically ill adult patients in the first 48 hours following cardiac surgery.

  • Cardiovascular Nurse-Board Certified (CVRN-BC): Offered by the American Board of Cardiovascular Medical Accreditation (ABCM). Validates the knowledge and skills of non-acute cardiovascular nurses.

  • Cardiovascular Nurse Practitioner (CVNP-BC): Offered by the American Board of Cardiovascular Medical Accreditation (ABCM).

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Frequently asked questions

What are some certifications I can pursue after obtaining Cardiac Medicine Certification (CMC) certification?

You can pursue Cardiovascular Nurse-Board Certified (CVRN-BC), among others.

Can I earn a Cardiac Medicine Certification (CMC) online?

Yes you can earn a Cardiac Medicine Certification (CMC) online.

What organization offers the Cardiac Medicine Certification (CMC)?

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) offers the Cardiac Medicine Certification (CMC).

What other certifications does the AACN offer besides the Cardiac Medicine Certification (CMC)?

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) also offers the following:

  • Certification in Acute/Critical Care Nursing - Adult (CCRN-Adult)

  • Acute/Critical Care Knowledge Professional (CCRN-K Adult)

  • TeleICU Acute/Critical Care Nursing (CCRN-E Adult)

  • Cardiac Surgery (CSC-Adult)

  • Progressive Care Certified Nurse (PCCN)

  • Progressive Care Knowledge Professional (PCCN-K)

Who would benefit from obtaining the Cardiac Medicine Certification (CMC) certification?

Registered nurses (RNs) and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) would benefit from obtaining the Cardiac Medicine Certification (CMC) certification. If you're an experienced nurse interested in working in cardiac care units, medical ICUs, telemetry units, progressive care units, heart failure clinics, cardiac catheterization labs or electrophysiology, the Cardiac Medicine Certification should be a consideration.