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Renewal by Synergy CERPs. Aligning Certification Renewal with Clinical Practice. Completion of Renewal Transition . January 2007 – December 2009: dual renewal process Renewal by CERPs Renewal by Synergy CERPs January 2010 - renewal by Synergy CERPs Purpose

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Renewal by Synergy CERPs

Aligning Certification Renewal

with Clinical Practice

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Completion ofRenewal Transition

  • January 2007 – December 2009: dual renewal process

    • Renewal by CERPs

    • Renewal by Synergy CERPs

  • January 2010 - renewal by Synergy CERPs

  • Purpose

    • Synergy Model used as exam framework for CCRN since 1999 and for development of PCCN

    • Synergy CERP renewal matches the competency practice of today’s acute and critical care nurse

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Reasons for Changes

  • Consistency between certification and certification renewal in terms of:

    • Framework - AACN Synergy Model for Patient Care (Synergy Model)

    • Emphasis on clinical judgment

      • 80% on exam (CCRN and PCCN)

      • 25% required for current Renewal by CERPs

  • To better prepare nurses for the future

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Synergy CERP Facts

  • Applies to CCRN and PCCN Renewal by CERPs programs

  • CCNS, CMC, CSC will have changes in renewal language, but it will not change the actual requirements

  • Actual number of CERPs will remain the same (100 in 3 years)

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Application of Model to Renewal

  • The 8 categories of the Synergy Model was grouped into 3 Cerp Categories (A, B, C)

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Renewal by Synergy Categories
















Response to



Of Learning

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CERPs Requirement

100 CERPs total

Category A – 60

Category B – 10

Category C – 10

Additional 20 in any of the 3 categories

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Examples of topics




  • Clinical Judgment/Inquiry

  • Education

  • Evidence Based Practice

  • Pathophysiology

  • Diagnostics

  • Treatments

  • Research

  • Activities

  • Audits

  • Publishing/editing


  • Clinical QI/PI Activities

  • Caring/Diversity/ Advocacy/Learning

  • Education

  • Therapeutic Communication

  • Palliative Care

  • Spirituality

  • Safety

  • Ethics

  • Activities

  • Precepting

  • Support Groups

  • Ethics Committee

  • Care Conferences

  • Systems/ Collaboration

  • Education

  • Disaster Planning Team building

  • Healthy Work Environments Crucial Conversations

  • Activities

  • Professional Membership

  • Hospital Committee

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FAQ #1

  • Q: I looked at my CE certificates and they all don’t say Synergy CERPs. Was all that education a waste of time?

  • A: No, renewal by Synergy CERPs is the name of the renewal process. Certificates, transcripts, rosters, etc do not have to specifically say “synergy CERPs”. You may use appropriate CE hours, contact hours, CME, etc.

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FAQ #2

  • Q: My CE certificate does not say whether it is category A, B, or C. How do I know how the course will count?

  • A: The category is determined from the course objectives and content. AACN approved courses offered through the website, journals, NTI, etc will identify the category. If it is not identified, you will identify it if you should be audited.

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FAQ #3

  • Q: Is there any other way to acquire CERPs besides education?

  • A: Yes, go to the renewal handbook for a complete list of options for Category A, B, C CERP acquisition which includes recognition for specific examples:

    • Committee work, audits, QI activities, volunteering, membership, presentations, editing, writing, safety, precepting/mentoring, etc.

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FAQ #4

  • Q: I am missing a few more CERPs for category C. How can I fill this gap?

  • A: A quick option is to go to the AACN website –

    • Under education tab click “continuing education”

    • Find the “Synergy CERP” drop down box and click the letter for the category of choice.

    • Complete the course and print the certificate

    • And it’s FREE to members!

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100 CERPs required for renewal

  • Category A = 60-80 CERPs

    • clinical judgment and clinical inquiry

  • Category B = 10-30 CERPs

    • caring practices, response to diversity, advocacy and moral agency, facilitation of learning

  • Category C = 10-30 CERPs

    • collaboration and systems thinking

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Need more help?

  • Website -

  • Renewal handbook -

  • E-mail -

  • Phone - (800) 899-2226

  • NTI

    • Certification Oasis

    • Certification Best Practice Sessions

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Facilitator Activity

  • Resources:

    • 3 poster boards or 3 pages from a flip chart. Label one A, the next one B, the last one C

    • 2 packs of sticky notes or 3x5 cards – 2 different colors (will need tape if you use cards)

  • Activity

    • Use the renewal handbook to identify specific topics, courses, or activities from each of the 3 categories (as many or as little as you’d like for your activity and time allotted)

    • Write the topic twice – one on each color

    • At the conclusion of the presentation, divide the audience in 2 groups and hand one stack of cards/notes to a captain on each team. Ask the teams to place the card on the correct category. The team that finishes first, wins.

    • Great way to evaluate audience understanding and group discussion.