PCCN - Progressive Care Certified Nurse

  • Cost $200-$305
  • Renews every 3 years

COURSE FORMAT

Online
In Person

About

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) offers the Progressive Care Certified Nurse (PCCN) credential by exam.

Registered Nurses (RNs) who work in inpatient progressive care units can become certified in their specialty with the Progressive Care Certified Nurse (PCCN) credential. This certification is designed for RNs providing direct care to acutely ill patients with an elevated risk of instability. PCCNs work in telemetry, observation, and transitional or step-down units.

Course Format

Test Format:

The PCCN examination is a timed (2.5 hours), computer-based exam consisting of 125 multiple-choice items. Only 100 items are scored. The remaining 25 are unscored pretest questions used to gather statistical data for future exams. The minimum passing score is 68 correct out of 125.

Candidates have three options for testing:

  1. In-Person - Candidates may test at a PSI Testing Center year-round, Monday through Saturday, excluding holidays.

  2. Live Remote Proctoring (LRP)- Candidates can test remotely from anywhere with a virtual proctor and a secure computer connection

  3. Paper-and-Pencil 

Test Fees

  • Computer-Based exam: $200 for AACN Members, $305 for Non-members

  • Retest or renewal by exam: $140 for AACN Members, $220 for Non-members

Results

Pass/Fail results are provided immediately for computer-based exams, and score reports are emailed within 24 hours. Paper-and-pencil test results arrive within 6-8 weeks after testing. Certificates are mailed within 3-4 weeks of successful completion. Candidates who do not pass may retest up to four times in 12 months.

AACN conducts job analysis at least every five years to validate the PCCN exam and update test content when needed. The test was last updated on January 31, 2019.

In Person

Candidates may test at a PSI Testing Center year-round, Monday through Saturday, excluding holidays.

Online

Candidates can test remotely from anywhere with a virtual proctor and a secure computer connection

Certification

Prerequisites:

  • Current, unrestricted RN license in the US

  • A minimum of clinical practice hours: 1,750 hours in two years with 875 of those accrued in the past year, OR at least five years experience with a minimum of 2,000 hours, with 144 of those hours accrued in the past year

  • Practice verification from a supervisor or colleague (RN or MD)

Applications can be submitted:

  • Online for same-day processing

  • Via mail for processing within 2-4 weeks

Once a candidate applies they must receive a confirmation email before scheduling their test.

Renewal

Renewal requirements include:

  • Active, unrestricted RN license

  • A minimum of 432 hours of direct care in an acute setting in three years

  • Completion of the required CE hours or retake the PCCN exam.

Nurses must renew their PCCN certification every three years. 

Renewal Options 

PCCN Nurses may recertify via Synergy CERPs (continuing education credits) or by retaking the exam. They can also choose Inactive, Retired, or Alumni status.

  • Recertification by continuing education contact hours requires 100 contact hours through the Continuing Education Recognition Point (CERP) Program.

  • Recertification by exam requires nurses to successfully re-apply, retest, and pass the PCCN exam.

  • An inactive status allows PCCN nurses who do not meet requirements to extend up to three years rather than losing the certification.

Renewal Fees

  • Nonmembers: $230 

  • AACN Members: $150

Recertification by exam: $140 for AACN Members, $220 for Non-members

Other Resources

The AACN offers resources for exam candidates, including:

Related Certifications

The AACN also offers the following:

  • Progressive Care Knowledge Professional (PCCN-K)

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

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

  • CNS Wellness through Acute Care Adult-Gero (ACCNS-AG)

  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Adult-Gero (ACNPC-AG)

Was this page helpful?

Related Jobs

View job details for Travel Nurse RN - PCU - Progressive Care Unit
Travel Contract

Travel Nurse RN - PCU - Progressive Care Unit

  • Lebanon, NH
  • Genie Healthcare
  • 4x12 hrs, Days, Nights, Flexible

$3,714/week

Estimated pay package
Posted Today
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - PCU - Progressive Care Unit
Travel Contract

Travel Nurse RN - PCU - Progressive Care Unit

  • Dayton, OH
  • OneStaff Medical
  • 4x12 hrs, Nights
  • Referral Bonus

$3,572/week

Posted Today
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - PCU - Progressive Care Unit
Travel Contract

Travel Nurse RN - PCU - Progressive Care Unit

  • Dayton, OH
  • PRIDE Health
  • 4x12 hrs, Nights
  • Referral Bonus

$3,349/week

Posted 9 days ago
 Verified
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - PCU - Progressive Care Unit
Travel Contract

Travel Nurse RN - PCU - Progressive Care Unit

  • Santa Fe, NM
  • ADEX Healthcare Staffing LLC
  • 4x12 hrs, Days

$3,521/week

Posted 2 days ago
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - PCU - Progressive Care Unit
Travel Contract

Travel Nurse RN - PCU - Progressive Care Unit

  • Grand Forks, ND
  • ADEX Healthcare Staffing LLC
  • 4x12 hrs, Nights

$3,502/week

Posted 2 days ago

Frequently asked questions

How many nurses hold the PCCN certification?

As of January 2022, there were 21,008 PCCN certified nurses.

What are some certifications I can pursue after obtaining Progressive Care Certified Nurse certification?

You can pursue Certification in Acute/Critical Care Nursing (CCRN) or NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS), among others.

What other certifications does the AACN offer besides the PCCN?

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

  • Progressive Care Knowledge Professional (PCCN-K)

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

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

  • CNS Wellness through Acute Care Adult-Gero (ACCNS-AG)

  • Acute Care NP Adult-Gero (ACNPC-AG)

The Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist (CCNS) is only available for renewal.

Can I earn a PCCN online?

Yes you can earn a PCCN online.

What organization offers the PCCN?

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) offers the PCCN.