AACN Develops Online Course and Micro-Credential to Support Nurses Caring for Patients Receiving ECMO

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has developed resources to support healthcare workers caring for patients receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). News

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The employment of ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) has seen a significant surge in recent years, attributed to the growing number of critically ill patients whose lungs fail to sufficiently oxygenate their bodies, despite the use of additional oxygen. This advanced treatment method mechanically oxygenates the patient's blood, allowing their lungs to recover.

"This intricate mode of life support requires specialized training and validation of expertise to implement safely and effectively," said Rachel Sterling, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner at the Methodist Heart and Lung Institute, in a press release from AACN.

In response to the need for specialized training, the AACN and The Institute for Extracorporeal Life Support released an online course aimed at providing clinicians with the knowledge needed to effectively manage the treatment.

Nurses and advanced practice providers who complete the course receive up to eight continuing education (CE) hours of learning, and perfusionists and respiratory therapists earn up to 10 CE hours of learning. The course can be purchased by individuals or institutions to educate their staff.

An ECMO Micro-Credential, which can be added to a resume or CV, has also been developed by AACN, differentiating from a specialty certification in that it validates a focused subset of specialized knowledge, skills, or competencies. Applicants with an unencumbered U.S. healthcare professional license can earn their micro-credential by completing an exam consisting of 38 items randomly selected from a bank of questions. The fee is $35.00 for AACN members and $50.00 for non-members.

Additional resources include a repository of evidence-based research, webinars, podcasts, books, and insights from ECMO clinicians.

ECMO Resources

AACN has been dedicated to acute and critical nursing care for more than 50 years and is the world's largest specialty nursing organization with approximately 130,000 members and nearly 200 chapters in the U.S.

The organization's goal is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families.

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