Newswise — AACN Certification Corporation — the credentialing arm of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) — announces its board of directors for fiscal year 2018, with terms effective July 1, 2017.

AACN Certification Corporation supports patient health and safety by establishing and maintaining high standards of excellence through comprehensive credentialing of acute and critical care nurses. The organization offers several different nursing certification programs with more than 102,000 active certificants.

Karen Kesten, DNP, APRN, CCRN-K, CCNS, CNE, continues as chair of the AACN Certification Corporation board of directors. This is the final year of her two-year term as chair, which will conclude June 30, 2018.

Kesten is an associate professor at George Washington University School of Nursing, where she teaches graduate and doctoral students in advanced nursing practice programs. She recently served as director of faculty initiatives at American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Washington, and has experience as an educator, policymaker, researcher and bedside nurse in critical care. Kesten served as associate professor and director of the adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist programs at Georgetown University from 1999-2013. 

“More than 100,000 nurses hold certifications through AACN Certification Corporation,” Kesten said. “As healthcare becomes increasingly complex and challenging, the value of certification as a mark of excellence is more important than ever. Achieving certification demonstrates to patients, employers and the public that a nurse’s knowledge, skills and abilities meet rigorous national standards – and reflects a deep commitment to patient safety.”

Lori Cox, MSN, RN, ACNPC, CCRN, FCCM, joins the AACN Certification Corporation board for a three-year term as a director through June 30, 2020. She is a nurse practitioner in the neuroscience critical care unit at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and an instructor at Penn State University College of Nursing, Hershey, Pennsylvania. She serves on the hospital’s Advanced Practice Council (APC) and co-chairs the APC Committee on Professional Development.

Each year, two members of the AACN board of directors are appointed to serve concurrent terms on the AACN Certification Corporation board. Serving this year:

  • Kimberly Curtin, DNP, RN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CCRN, CEN, CNL, clinical administrative director of thoracic and orthopaedic services at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
  • Louise Saladino, DNP, MHA, RN, CCRN-K, director of nursing excellence and patient experience at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans

Also serving on the AACN Certification Corporation board with Dana Woods, MBA, AACN chief executive officer, are the following officers and directors:

  • Chair-Elect Denise Buonocore, MSN, RN, ACNPC, CCNS, CCRN, CHFN, acute care nurse practitioner for heart failure services at St. Vincent’s Multispecialty Group, Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • Director Teresa Jahn, MSN, RN, APRN, CCRN, CCNS, clinical nurse specialist at CentraCare Heart and Vascular Center, St. Cloud, Minnesota, who serves a one-year term as secretary/treasurer
  • Director Lisa Falcón, MSN, RN, TCRN, NE-BC, director of trauma and injury prevention at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick, New Jersey
  • Director Elizabeth Scruth, PhD, MPH, RN, CCNS, CCRN, FCCM, clinical practice consultant, Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland
  • Director and consumer representative Patty Cox, MBA


About AACN Certification Corporation: AACN Certification Corporation, the credentialing arm of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, drives patient health and safety through comprehensive credentialing of acute and critical care nurses, ensuring practice consistent with standards of excellence. Since 1976, AACN Certification Corporation has granted more than 102,000 nursing certifications.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, California, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN represents the interests of more than half a million acute and critical care nurses and has more than 200 chapters throughout the United States. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656-4109;  949-362-2000;;;