CNA May Retire the Cardiovascular Nursing Exam After December 31, 2029

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CNA May Retire the Cardiovascular Nursing Exam After December 31, 2029

Background: In 2021, the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) undertook a review of all their nursing certification programs to determine the criteria for sustainability, and to identify any gaps and areas for improvement. Based on this review, a minimum of 90 new exam writers per year for each of the specialty nursing groups are needed for the CNA to recoup their investment in the exam. Certification exams for specialty programs not achieving this minimum will be retired.

Specific to cardiovascular nursing certification, over the past three years, the number of initial exam writers were: 38 in 2019, 31 in 2020, and 37 in 2021. Based on this data, the CNA will retire the cardiovascular nursing specialty exam as of December 31, 2029.  However, the CNA will reconsider this decision if the number of yearly writers reaches their minimum requirement of 90 new exam writers/year. It is important to note that nurses will still be able to maintain their certification by the renewal process of submitting 100 hours of continuous learning hours every five years.

Where Does CCCN Go From Here? The CNA has assured us that they will continue to advocate for additional support for our certified nurses and those wanting to become certified from employers and governments. The CCCN will continue to work, in partnership, promoting nursing specialty certification to the nurses and stakeholders across the country. However, as time is of the essence to sustain the CNA cardiovascular nursing certification program, we encourage cardiovascular nurses across the country to consider writing this exam as soon as possible!

In addition, the CCCN Board of Directors is taking steps to increase our deliverables for professional development and continuing education, with cost-effective, accessible strategies that will meet the learning needs of cardiovascular nurses. To this end, we are developing an on-line, micro-credentialling program, based on our cardiovascular nursing standards. Phase one is a 12-lead  EKG interpretation program that we hope to launch before the end of 2022.

The CCCN also plans to consult with our members regarding these and additional strategies that will support the professional development and the pursuit of cardiovascular nursing excellence in Canada. Accordingly, we will be conducting a survey of our membership in the coming months.

Any comments or questions about CNA’s decision or CCCN’s planned strategies can be directed to the National CCCN Office, and CCCN’s Executive Director David Miriguay at

The CCCN Board of Directors

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