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A speciality nursing association


The AACN was established in 1969 as a non-profit making organisation, designed to help educate nurses. It is the world's largest speciality nursing association. AACN online is described as the premier comprehensive critical care website designed to provide members with the latest resources in clinical practice, continuing education and professional development.


The AACN has over 270 chapters throughout the USA and two international chapters (Germany and China). From the homepage you can find your nearest chapter, enter chapter discussion groups and look at chapter events and links. The interactive calendar lists any AACN or chapter events by date and by topic.

The online bookstore permits online purchasing of publications (listed by topic such as ethics, clinical practice and certification resources).

The Infolink discussion forum asks the user to chose a topic (out of a list of 28 including respiratory, ethics and monitoring) and then post a question relating to that topic.

A large part of the site is dedicated to the AACN Certification Corporation's WebSite. This site within a site gives information relating to AACN certification programs (CCRN, CCNS and ACNP).

An entire section of the site is dedicated to the needs of advanced practitioners. The Best Practice Network is designed to help address practice issues by connecting users with relevant information, providing opportunities to network with colleagues and helping users work more effectively with technology. There are clinical practice links, ethics on web resource sites, AACN fact sheets and position statements, FAQs and clinical reference and resource materials.

The AACN homepage links to the National Teaching Institute which gives information on upcoming events and program highlights. The homepage also has links to AACN publications, including Critical Care Nurse and the American Journal of Critical Care.

Other features of the site include a careers listing of all job opportunities in the USA and a voluntary work list.


The sheer size of this site means some users may have trouble navigating the plethora of information. However, the site is highly organised, easing the difficulty of the task. The site is fully searchable and many areas can also be searched individually. The 'send this page to a friend' feature adds a nice touch to the website. There is a clickable icon (on every page) that brings up an email containing the URL of the page ready to be sent to whoever you wish. Another pleasing feature is the AACN announcements, which allows regular users to see, at a glance, any new features within the site. All in all, this site is a must for critical care nurses.

Information in the site is updated every day.


Everything described in this web report is free and requires no membership or registration. Membership to AACN costs $78. This gives you free access to the American Journal of Critical Care and Critical Care Nurse, discounts on CEs, enhanced online services, readily available clinical information, and bookstore discounts.


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    AACN American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Online. []

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Platt, R. A speciality nursing association . Crit Care 4, webreport1342 (2000).

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  • Critical Care
  • Certification Program
  • Resource Site
  • Work List
  • Practice Network