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CMC®/CSC® Exam Review

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Course Description

This two-day seminar is designed to prepare the cardiac medical and cardiac surgical nurse to take the AACN certification exam for Cardiac Medicine and/or Surgery Exam. The course focuses on adult cardiac abnormalities with a concentration on nursing assessment and medical/surgical interventions. Coronary artery disease, acute coronary syndrome, heart failure and endocarditis will be the major topics of discussion, with related medical and surgical interventions. The review will also include a brief review of pulmonary, hematology, neurology and gastrointestinal and renal systems as they pertain to the cardiac patient.

Program Learning Outcomes

This program prepares the learner to:

  • Discuss and practice test-taking skills.
  • Review critical anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology of the cardiac system.
  • Discuss significant assessment and diagnostic findings relevant to the cardiac adult patient.
  • Discuss clinical presentation as well as specific patient management of the cardiac medical and surgical patient.


Sign-in begins at 7:30 am. Each day includes a one-hour lunch (on your own), as well as a morning and afternoon break of 15 minutes each. The order of lectures presented and break times may vary according to speaker preference.

Day 1, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

  • Introduction to the CMC/CSC Examination
    Test-Taking Strategies
  • Cardiac Anatomy and Physiology Review
    The Heart | Coronary Arteries | Perfusion | The Essentials
  • Hemodynamics: The Essentials of Flow
    Definitions of Cardiac Output and BP | Cardiac Pharmacology
  • Coronary Artery Disease
    Pathophysiology | Identification | Medical Treatment | Medications
  • Heart Failure
    Identification | Definitions | Medical/Surgical Treatment

Day 2, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

  • Introduction to Cardiac Surgery
    Indications for Surgery | Risks | Comorbidities
  • Pre and Intraoperative Considerations
  • Operative Procedures
    CABG | MAZE | Valve Repair and Replacement | Aorta Surgery
  • Postoperative Considerations and Complications
    Anesthesia | Immediate Postoperative Period: First 12 Hours | Fluids | Electrolytes | Ventilator Management | Glycemic Control | Pain Management | Incision Care | Epicardial Pacing | IABP | Goals of Therapy
  • Non-Cardiac Complications
    Hematology | Neurology | Pulmonary | Renal | Gastrointestinal