ACRN Recertification Information

ACRN Recertification Policy and Procedures 


HANCB has developed protocols for recertification requirements to ensure ACRNs have continued to maintain competence and/or expand their HIV/AIDS knowledge base within the four (4) year certification/recertification period. There are two (2) ways a nurse may recertify as an ACRN. The first is by re-examination. The second is by continuing education credits. Recertification protocols will be reviewed by the Recertification Committee at least once a year to determine if the requirements are complete and meet the goals of maintaining competence and/or enhancing HIV/AIDS nursing practice. 


A.        Certification Renewal by Re-Examination      
ACRN certification renewal by re-examination is obtained by sitting for the Certification Examination in HIV/AIDS Nursing and receiving a passing test score.  To register for recertification by re-examination, please click here

B.        Certification Renewal by Continuing Education Points (CEPs) :
The Continuing Education Points (CEPs) option includes a wide spectrum of continuing education activities performed by the HIV/AIDS nurse.  It includes both formal and informal education experiences for the HIV/AIDS nurse.  CEPs are also granted for other activities such as HIV/AIDS publications, presentations, and volunteer/leadership responsibilities.  To download a printable recertification packet, please click here.

ACRN certification renewal by CEPs is obtained by accumulating a total of 70 CEPs within a 4 year period.  A minimum of 35 CEPs in Category I is required.  The remaining 35 CEPs can be accumulated in categories I – VI, although there are limits to the number of CEPs accepted in each of the remaining catergories (II through VI).  CEPs must be accumulated during the 4 year recertification period. CEPs obtained prior to taking the ACRN examination cannot be applied towards recertification.  Only CEPs obtained after the date the examination was taken or since the last recertification date can be applied towards your current recertification.  A description of the acceptable continuing education activities can be found in Appendix A.

HANCB will randomly audit a certain percentage of ACRN recertification applications.  If audited, you will be asked to submit copies of certificates and other documents, as described in Appendix A, verifying your CEP activities with your renewal application.  During each 4 year period, all ACRNs are encouraged to keep all documentation and be prepared to submit it upon request if audited. All applications are subject to audit at the discretion of the HANCB.

If you have been selected for random audit, you will be notified in a special letter that will accompany your first renewal notice.  This first renewal notice is sent approximately 120 days prior to renewal.  Therefore, it is important to notify the HANCB of any change in address and/or name.  It is the responsibility of the renewing ACRN to submit all required documentation at the time of renewal.  Failure to submit documentation as required may delay recertification.   Furthermore, a percentage of ACRNs not audited at the time of initial notice will be selected for audit as a part of the on-going performance improvement program of the HIV/AIDS Nursing Certification Board.  Finally, non-audited ACRNs may be required to submit supporting evidence of recertification requirements at any time. 

The process for recertification by CEs is:

  • A total of 70 CEs are required for recertification.
  • Eighty percent (80%) of the CEs must be in HIV/AIDS care. The remaining twenty percent (20%) may be in any other CE.  ACRNs have the option of recertifying with 100% of CE in HIV/AIDS.
  • A maximum of 35 continuing education credits can be earned in medicine or other allied health professions only if they are directly related to HIV/AIDS care.
  • CEs must be approved by any one of the following nursing organizations:
    • Any state board of nursing
    • American Nurses Credentialing Center
    • Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
    • The international equivalent of the above organizations
    • CEs via home study are acceptable as long as the course is certified by one of the above organizations. ACRNs may acquire all (100%) credit for recertification via home study.
    • CE credits earned after the certification exam was taken are applicable towards the subsequent recertification.
    • One educational contact hour (50 minutes of actual classroom time) equals one CEP.
    • If audited, a photocopy of the each continuing education certificate is required.  The certificate must include the name, date(s) of attendance, title of course, number of contact hours granted and accrediting agency.
    • Late applications will be accepted within a 30 day grace period with an additional fee of $50.00.


All recertification payments are payable to the HIV/AIDS Nursing Certification Board.  The recertification fee for the ACRN is:

Continuing Education Activities Approved for CEPs

Category I - HIV/AIDS Nursing Continuing Education:

Description of Activities:

This category includes HIV and AIDS nursing programs granting contact hours or CEUs.  These programs must address topics that have direct application to the nursing care needs of persons living with HIV/ AIDS or their significant others and their family members.

Category II - Academic Credit Courses:

Description of Activities:

This category includes formal academic courses offered by an accredited college or university.  These courses should address the biopsychosocial knowledge required to practice HIV/AIDS professional nursing.  Courses should have clear applicability to HIV/AIDS practice.

Examples of academic courses applicable to this category include immunology, virology, cell biology, pathophysiology, epidemiology, research methods, statistics, mental health, addictions and substance use.  Undergraduate/graduate nursing courses related to HIV/AIDS, physical assessment, differential diagnosis, or pharmacology are also applicable.

Pre-requisite nursing education courses are not acceptable.  Examples of courses which are NOT acceptable include but are not limited to the following:  history, math, art, music, English, psychology, sociology, philosophy, chemistry, biology, human anatomy and physiology, health care management.

Category III - AIDS Education and Training Center (AETC) Clinical Practicum:

Description of Activities: 

This category includes CEPs obtained from AETC officially sponsored clinical practicum, rotations or training experiences.

Category IV - Continuing Medical Education (CME) and other Allied Health Professional Education:

Description of Activities:

This category includes courses in continuing medical education or other allied health professions which are related to HIV/AIDS care.  Courses must be accredited by the American Medical Association, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, or other approved providers.  Accrediting agencies must be listed on the application form.  Courses taken must clearly be related to HIV/AIDS care.

Category V - Other Continuing Education in Nursing:

Description of Activities:

This category includes continuing education credits in nursing that are not HIV/AIDS related. 

Category VI - Professional Activities:

Description of Activities:

This category includes a variety of professional activities in which HIV/AIDS nurses are involved.  Acceptable activities in Category VI include publications, presentations, and volunteer activities.  These professional activities should have clear applicability to HIV/AIDS nursing.  A maximum of 15 CEPs can be earned per four (4) year renewal period.


Publications include professional nursing articles for which the ACRN was author, co-author or editor.  CEPs for joint authorship are determined by dividing the number of CEPs to be awarded by the number of authors.  A maximum of 15 CEPS per renewal period can be earned for publications.  Examples of activities and maximum CEPs related to publications include:


Presentations include professional nursing presentations where the ACRN delivered HIV/AIDS information to nurses, other health care professionals, or the public.  The presentation must be delivered within the context of a teaching/learning setting.  A presentation includes an inservice, seminar, workshop, or conference.  CEPs for joint presentations are determined by dividing the number of CEPs to be awarded by the number of presenters.  A maximum of 6 CEPs per renewal period will be granted for professional presentations.  Examples of activities and maximum CEPs allowed for presentations include:

Volunteer Activities:

Recognizing the leadership role many ACRNs have in HIV/AIDS nursing, CEPs can be earned through volunteer activities with an established HIV/AIDS volunteer service or non-profit organization.  These activities may include committee or taskforce involvement at the local or national level.  A maximum of 7 CEPs per renewal period can be earned in category VI for volunteer activities. 


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