The AORN House of Delegates of the 1978 Congress voted to provide a voluntary certification program for OR nurses. From this vote, a Certification Council was appointed by the AORN Board of Directors. The Council consisted of five AORN members and four members from associated professional nursing organizations.

The Certification Council was charged with the development, direction, implementation and evaluation of the entire certification process. In 1979, the AORN Board of Directors approved incorporation of the Council in order to protect the assets of AORN from any potential litigation and to separate certification activities from educational endeavors, thereby lessening any conflict of interest. The Council became incorporated in January 1980. At that time, the membership of the Council was changed to six AORN members and four members from associated professional nursing organizations.

In 1985, the council’s name was changed to the National Certification Board: Perioperative Nursing, Inc. (NCB:PNI). In 1990, the composition of the Board was revised once again and consisted of ten CNOR members.

In 1997, a consumer member was added and the organization’s name was changed to Certification Board Perioperative Nursing (CBPN). In 1999, the certificant-based election process was implemented. In 2002, the composition of the Board was revised and consisted of eight CNOR members (one of which is a CRNFA) and a Public Member.

In 2003 and 2004, our Board embarked on a journey to define the next evolution of our mission and impact in healthcare. We developed a strategic plan that encompassed embracing and building on the past, providing a broader breadth of education to our core audience the perioperative nurse, reaching out to other nurses and healthcare professionals with our education and positioning our selves as thought leaders relative to nursing competency education and patient safety.

In 2005, the organization’s name was changed to its current name - Competency & Credentialing Institute. We also embodied our passion in the statement “A Personal Commitment to Extraordinary Care.” This was a natural progression for us because for several years we have been working in the broader nursing competency and credentialing arena. Our name now encompasses all of our core services within healthcare – credentialing, nursing competency assessment and education and consulting on nursing competency solutions.

What started as a body to award a credential has evolved into a holistic competency solution for the perioperative nurse, hospitals and educational institutions. In 2009, CCI prepared to launch its second certificate program for Surgical Services Educators, a follow up to the successful Certificate Program for Surgical Services Management.

CCI is also an active leader in the specialty nursing community, specifically with the American Board for Nursing Specialties (ABNS).  CCI and ABNS partnered in 2009 to host the Nursing Certification and Competency Summit.  The goal was to obtain consensus on research priorities that focus on nursing certification, competency and competency assessment and consider future research opportunities. 

In addition, CCI supports research initiatives to help the healthcare industry undercover the key influencers and drivers of patient safety outcomes.  CCI has helped fund a large research study being conducted by NDNQI, the results of which are available now.