Commonly Asked Questions Related to Earning "Points"
CRRNs may earn "points" through professional development activites. These activities include continuing education, presentation, academic coursework, professional publication, and community service.
Continuing education is defined as learning activities intended to build upon the educational bases of the professional nurse for the enhancement of practice, education, administration, research, or theory development and that have the goal of improving the health of the public.
Examples of continuing education include conferences, workshops, seminars, or independent-study activities such as journal articles, videotape, audiotape, or CD-ROM programs. Please note:
Nursing Organization Approval
The nursing education approval system can seem complex. Most organizations that meet our definition of a national or state nursing organization have the words "nurse" or "nursing" in their titles. In most cases, the name of the organization that approved the program will be listed on the certificate.
The following definitions might be helpful in preparing your points-of-credit renewal application:
American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation
If the program provider is accredited as a provider by ANCC-COA, the program's certificate of attendance will contain wording to that effect. One example might be, "Pine Valley General Hospital is accredited as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation." These hours are acceptable as approved by a state or national nursing organization for CRRN renewal. If you attend a program in which the accredited provider is a nursing organization, that nursing organization is considered to be the approver, and the hours are acceptable for CRRN renewal.
Consider the following scenarios:
Remember that renewal criteria for continuing education require that two-thirds of the contact hours submitted must be approved by a national or state nursing organization; ANCC-COA accreditation is not specifically required. Not all nursing organizations are accredited by ANCC-COA. Many state boards of nursing have their own approval systems for educational programming. If you attend a program that is approved by a state board of nursing, such approval should be noted on the certificate of attendance, and the state board of nursing should be considered the national or state nursing organization that approved the program. Often, certificates of attendance for programs that have been approved by state boards of nursing will list the acronym, "BRN," which stands for board of registered nursing, followed by a provider number.
If the contact hours earned through these organizations were not approved by a nursing organization, the contact hours cannot be considered "approved by a national or state nursing organization."
Programs that are designed to meet the continuing education requirements of a board of nursing but are not specifically provided, approved, or accredited by a national or state nursing organization are not considered nursing-approved.
Related to Rehabilitation Nursing
What does "related to rehabilitation nursing" mean? This is a broader category than most people realize. Consider the following definition:
Rehabilitation nursing is a specialty practice area within the scope of professional nursing. It involves the diagnosis and treatment of human responses of individuals and groups to actual or potential health problems resulting from altered functional ability and altered lifestyle.
The goal of rehabilitation nursing is to assist individuals with disabilities and chronic illness in the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of optimal health. The rehabilitation nurse is skilled at treating alterations in functional ability and lifestyle resulting from injury, disability, and chronic illness.
Rehabilitation nurses provide comfort, therapy and education, promote health-conducive adjustments, support adaptive capabilities, and promote achievable independence. Rehabilitation nurses provide holistic, comprehensive, and compassionate end-of-life care, including promotion of comfort and relief of pain.
Rehabilitation nursing practice occurs in many settings and involves a variety of roles.
Beginning in 2014, renewing CRRNs will be required to validate that the content or topic of each professional development activity is related to rehabilitation nursing by identifying the corresponding domain. The domains are:
These domains are based on the content outline for the CRRN examination and cover the scope of rehabilitation nursing.
You may earn points by participating in presentations as an instructor delivering rehabilitation nursing content to nurses and other healthcare professionals. The presentation must be delivered within a structured framework of teaching and learning for which national or state nursing organization-approved contact hours have been awarded. In other words, if the presentation was not approved by a national or state nursing organization to offer nursing contact hours, it cannot be used toward CRRN renewal.
A presentation can be used only once for points of credit. One point is granted for each contact hour (60 minutes) of presentation. A maximum of 12 points of credit will be accepted.
Participation as a presenter may be as a primary instructor, guest lecturer, or panel participant. If the program has other instructors or is a panel presentation, the number of points of credit is equal to the amount of time that you are speaking as the primary presenter.
Presentations as part of a college-level course do not generally meet these criteria and cannot be used toward CRRN renewal.
Academic coursework is defined as work for which one receives postsecondary academic credit at the college level that is related to rehabilitation nursing practice. Please refer to the definition of rehabilitation nursing to determine if a course can be consider related to rehabilitation nursing.
Coursework can be at the graduate or undergraduate level. Each credit hour is equal to 4 points of credit (e.g. a 3-credit hour course is equal to 12 points of credit). Up to 48 points will be accepted.
You will receive 12 points of credit for each original manuscript (journal article or text chapter) published or accepted for publication in a healthcare professional publication. A journal article or text chapter may only be used once for points of credit (i.e. you may not earn points for both the acceptance and publication of the same manuscript). Up to 36 points will be accepted.
Volunteer activities in which you participate that are intended to educate the public, improve the quality of life for physically disabled or chronically ill people, or improve the practice of professional rehabilitation nursing. The following are acceptable activities and their point values:
A maximum of 10 points will be accepted. You may not receive credit for activities for which you receive payment for your services in excess of $75 or activities that are considered part of your employment.
It is helpful to organize your records as you earn points, so that you know how many more points you need, as well as to save time when applying for renewal. Be sure to keep your certificates of attendance. It is an unfortunate event when, after collecting points for 5 years, a CRRN is unable to locate his or her certificates of attendance and does not know how many points he or she has accumulated!
Refer to the list of nursing organizations and categorize your certificates as being issued by nursing-approved programs or non-nursing-approved programs. Keep in mind that as you review your certificates you are looking for phrases such as "approved by," "accredited by," or "BRN provider." (Important note for CRRNs living outside of the United States: Because of differences in continuing education approval systems in other countries, you are not required to earn points that have been approved by a national or state nursing organization while you are not a U.S. resident.)