Heart Failure Certification 2013

Frequently Asked Questions

Re-Certification Eligibility Clarification – Option 1 – Professional Development


1. Would a Residents Lecture on heart failure count towards recertification?
If this was a CE course and CHFN has official paperwork of the content (outline) used for CEs, and official paperwork showing the CHFN actually delivered the class, then it would count.

2. Would a physician reference tool guide for a CHF Clinic qualify?
This would count as long as CHFN has evidence from an administrator (or her/his name is on the document) that indeed, she/he is the creator.

3. Would lectures presented to cardiac floors during their routine meetings:
Example use of heart failure teaching book , how to obtain free scales, medication planners, heart failure zones use. there are no CEU's involved. does this count for recertification credit?

No, must be a CE course since CE courses require objectives, outline and have been vetted by a review committee.

4. Can this inservice/presentation/lecture be shared with another presenter?
Only if one can show evidence that they actually DID speak. Often, there are multiple names on an abstract, BUT only 1 really speaks.

5. What is considered a local,state,national conference?
Local = in your city and even in your hospital; state = the state in which you live and national means anything in US that is not local or in your state.

6. Does a poster presentation for the public at a Hospital sponsored community events count as a local conference?
MUST be CE conferences that you present at; not OK to include presentations that did not give out CEs for the poster presentation

7. How do you obtain where these conference will be held?
Each organization (like AAHFN) has their own website. You need to go surfing through web sites of organizations that provide annual conferences and offer poster presentations (Like AAHFN does).

8. Is there a web site listing conferences and deadlines to submit abstracts or posters?
Not that we are aware of. Usually people choose organizations they are members of. If you do not belong to any organizations, you should ask your colleagues, or go surfing thru the Internet.

9. What does it mean to "Develop a program, service, or tool that is used in the management of patients with heart failure"?

  • You initiated, developed and implemented a program (some examples: 7-day follow-up; early ambulation; shared appointments; group education….), service (some examples: dietary counseling; telephone follow-up; care coordination, cardiac rehab…), or tool (examples: readiness for discharge checkbox; cardiac rehab readiness checklist; …) used for patients with HF
  • You must be able to show that you were a developer; not just someone who facilitated the process for someone else or implemented the plan on your unit.
  • To verify requirements, if audited, you will need to (1) provide the finished document (program or tool) if applicable, (2) briefly describe the program, service, or tool and how it is used, (3) provide explicit information about your role in the development process (copies of official meeting minutes with you listed in attendance and your role(s) can suffice), and (4) provide a brief timeline that includes the date the development started and date of implementation. If development involved a group, provide your role and the role of other group members. If you were not the leader, please list the group leader's name and job title. Finally, provide the amount of hours that you personally provided to complete the development process of the program, service, or tool.


10. What does it mean to "Actively participated in a quality improvement project related to heart failure care"?
You would need to be part of a HF quality improvement team and be able to state how you "actively participated"

  • It is not enough to say you are a team member.
  • You must be able to show how you actively participated; did you develop the improvement plan? complete audits of adherence to the plan? educate teams in program expectations? make changes to the program based on current quality results? ....


11. Submission of Professional Development for Recertification

  • For the application deadline if selecting Option 2, refer to the initial Certification examination timeline. Processing of applications received after the deadline for the test examination cannot be guaranteed.
    • CHFNs that took the Pen and Paper exam and are renewing through Option 2, can renew via Computer Based Testing in March or Pen and Paper exam the year of expiration. Same deadlines apply accordingly to all exam applicants.
    • The application deadline for those selecting Option 1 of continuing education is 45 days before the expiration date of the current valid certificate.
    • Late applications will be processed in order of receipt; however, issuance of the notice of recertification may be delayed beyond the expiration date of the currently valid certificate.
    • It is the applicant’s professional responsibility to maintain certification by monitoring dates and submitting the application for recertification by the stipulated deadlines.
    • Renewal applications for Option 1 are due to AAHFN-CB no sooner than 4 months prior to certification expiration


12. Do the continuing education courses have to be accredited?

Yes, AAHFN-Certification Board only accepts CEs that are by an approved accredited organization.


13. How do I know if a continuing education course is offered by "an approved accredited organization"?

There should be a statement on the certificate that is similar to this: "ABC Hospital is approved as a provider of continuing education by..." Usually the approved provider is the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the state nurses association.


It is the responsibility of the CHFN to remember their expiration date. These are courtesy reminders.


1120 Rt 73, Ste 200,
Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054

888.45.AAHFN / 888-452-2436


For questions concerning exam educational resources, contact Gail Haas 888-452-2436

For questions concerning the exam for certification questions, contact Cindy Tavormina 888-452-2436 ext. 2 

Need Leadership support for obtaining your CHFN? Click here for letter and flyer.