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Professional Development Through Volunteering with CCI

By Emily Schenderlein

The Competency and Credentialing Institute (CCI) offers diverse volunteer opportunities for perioperative nurses. You can leverage your expertise as a Certification Coach at your facility, serve on one of CCI’s governing bodies (Certification Council or Board of Directors), build and review a comprehensive professional development program as part of the Recertification Committee, develop the credentialing exams on a Test Development Committee or write practice exam questions with an Educational Product Development Committee. The purpose of this article is a more in-depth look at volunteering with CCI’s Test Development and Educational Product Development committees.

Perioperative nurses volunteer with CCI for a multitude of reasons. These include contributing to the advancement of the perioperative profession, enhancing their knowledge base and expanding their network with colleagues from around the country. Whatever the motivation for becoming involved without the dedication of volunteer contributions and the promoting of professional competency in the perioperative field, CCI could not offer exceptional credentialing services.

Educational Product Development Committees allow credential holders the ability to write, reference and review questions for CCI’s CNOR and CSSM exam preparation. All volunteers are provided with hands-on training to include materials (templates, guidelines, textbooks, etc.) on writing appropriate practice exam questions supporting CCI educational products to include the following:

  • Online practice exam
  • Flashcards
  • Exam prep book

While the focus of our Educational Development Committees is to produce preparatory materials for the CNOR and CSSM exams, CCI’s Test Development Committees give volunteers the opportunity to directly support CCI’s perioperative credentials. The CNOR and CSSM exams undergo rigorous test development processes to ensure current and accurate exam questions. A diverse selection of volunteers is required by our accreditation agencies. CCI must include test development volunteers with a wide range of experience, education levels and demographic ranges to fulfill accreditation requirements. Volunteers who participate on a test development committee incorporate their knowledge and skills gained throughout their perioperative career in constructing a sound exam. Below are few of CCI’s Test Development committees:

  • Job Analysis
  • Form Review
  • Problem Item Notification (PIN) Call

The Job Analysis defines the tasks and knowledge necessary for competent performance by a perioperative registered nurse with the minimum qualifications for the respected credential. The Job Analysis defines essential competent performance and results in an exam blueprint.

The Form Review is the ultimate check and balance to validate the final versions of CCI’s exam forms. Exam questions are reviewed for correctness, geographic bias, clarity and sound reference in the current literature.

The Problem Item Notification (PIN) Call reviews exam questions that performed outside normal parameters and remediates and corrects these items as needed.

Perioperative nurses who have attained a CCI credential (CNOR, CNS-CP or CSSM) must validate professional continued competency through recertification at designated intervals. This encourages certified nurses to engage in lifelong learning in the perioperative field. CCI is excited to facilitate this learning through unique volunteering opportunities. If you are selected to be on a CCI volunteer committee and you complete your service, you will receive points applicable toward the recertification of your respected credential. Finally, CCI covers all travel costs associated with in-person meetings. Interested these opportunities? Applications for 2020 activities will be available in April 2019!

Questions? Please contact for more information.

Emily Schenderlein is the Credentialing Specialist & Volunteer Coordinator for the Competency and Credentialing Institute.



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