The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has announced they will provide scholarships to more than 80 critical and progressive care nurses who are AACN members ready to pursue CCRN or PCCN specialty nursing certification, thanks to financial support from two groups of professional baseball healthcare providers.
Initial funding for the scholarships was contributed by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) in recognition of nurses’ dedication during the COVID-19 pandemic. Colleagues from the Major League Baseball (MLB) Team Physicians Association (MLBTPA) matched the donation, doubling its impact.
Thanks to PBATS’ and MLBTPA’s generosity, this is the first time AACN professional development scholarships have been available to support its nursing certification programs.
PBATS represents athletic trainers at all 30 MLB clubs and their Minor League affiliates. “Nurses have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are inspired by their dedication and resilience. We wanted to recognize their hard work while helping them advance professionally at the same time,” said PBATS President Ron Porterfield, director of player health with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Sports medicine surgeon Steve Cohen is the head team physician for the Philadelphia Phillies and a member of the MLBTPA executive committee. “Throughout the pandemic, our nurse colleagues have continually demonstrated their commitment to patients and their communities, risking their own well-being to save others. This donation is a reflection of our respect and our gratitude for their vital role as key members of the healthcare team,” he said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a spotlight on the complex and challenging nature of healthcare and the irreplaceable contributions of certified nurses. Specialty certifications reaffirm nurses’ commitment to excellence and using the latest evidence to provide the best care for patients and families. Achieving certification demonstrates to patients, employers and the public that a nurse’s knowledge reflects national standards and a strong personal dedication to patient safety.
“Interdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork have been a hallmark of care during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this recognition underscores the value of those relationships,” said AACN President Beth Wathen. “These scholarships will help dozens of critical and progressive care nurses earn their specialty nursing certification, which will have a lasting impact for the recipients, their colleagues and their patients.”
Each scholarship will cover a one-time certification exam registration fee, as well as access to one of AACN’s online certification review courses.
AACN members who are first-time CCRN or PCCN certification candidates can apply online for the scholarships through Oct. 18, 2021. Recipients will be notified in December 2021 and must register for and schedule their exam within six months of notification.