The Associate of the American College of Cardiology (AACC) designation was created in 2009 to recognize Cardiovascular Team professionals who, through advanced education, training, and professional development, have dedicated themselves to providing the highest-level of cardiovascular care.

"The AACC exemplifies professionalism among nurses, physician assistants and pharmacists, and other CV Team professionals, to highlight those who are experts in their field and hold national board certifications in their specialty."
Margo Minissian, PhD, ACNP, CLS, AACC

Successful AACC candidates must hold an ACC-recognized national board certification, have completed continuing education in cardiovascular medicine and demonstrate a commitment to professional development with the ACC. The AACC designation emphasizes the importance of thinking about the cardiovascular care experience in a holistic, team-based way.

Applications to become an Associate are welcomed throughout the year on a rolling basis. New Associates are recognized, along with other distinguished College leaders, at the ACC’s Convocation during the Annual Scientific Session.

  Criteria for AACC
  Criteria for AACC

To apply for AACC, you must meet the following criteria;

  • Hold a current state licensure
  • Hold a nationally recognized Board certification**
  • Spend the majority of your professional time on the field of cardiology
  • Present two letters of recommendation
    • Letters must be from current FACC or AACC members of the College
    • Sponsors must be well-acquainted with the applicant’s current professional activities.
    • Relatives may not sponsor applicants
    • Letters must be original in content (no form letters)
  • Be employed in a practice that is primarily cardiovascular focused—at least 75%
  • Have been committed to CV practice for five years or more

**Note: The national board certifications for AACC designation were selected by the CCA Designation Working Group and approved by the ACC's CV Team Section Membership Committee. Selection of these national board certifications was based on the amount of cardiology-specific content on the board examination. Applicants that hold a national board certification that is not currently on the approved list are still invited to apply for the designation and will be approved for AACC by the CV Team Section Membership Committee, on a case by case basis.

  What You Need Before You Apply
  What You Need Before You Apply

Before you begin the online application, be sure you have the following ready:

  1. Two letters of sponsorship from current FACC or AACC members
  2. Proof of Board certification
  3. Payment of $25 application fee

Questions regarding the application process? Contact Kelli Bohannon at kbohanno@acc.org

  Frequently Asked Questions
  Frequently Asked Questions
  What is the Associate of the American College of Cardiology (AACC)?
  What is the Associate of the American College of Cardiology (AACC)?

The Associate of the American College of Cardiology (AACC) is a professional designation that was created by the College to recognize cardiovascular team members who, through advanced training, professional development and service to the ACC, have proven their commitment to providing quality cardiovascular care.

  How was the Associate of the American College of Cardiology (AACC) designation developed?
  How was the Associate of the American College of Cardiology (AACC) designation developed?

The American College of Cardiology worked with a select group of cardiovascular team member volunteers and the ACC’s Credentialing and Member Services Subcommittee to develop the designation. The criteria for the AACC designation were approved by the ACC’s Board of Trustees.

  What are the criteria for Associate of the American College of Cardiology?
  What are the criteria for Associate of the American College of Cardiology?

The criteria for Cardiovascular Team members to apply for Associate of the American College of Cardiology (AACC) are as follows:

  1. State Licensure
  2. Nationally recognized board certification
  3. Majority of professional activities must be devoted to the field of cardiovascular disease.
  4. Two (2) Letters of Recommendation. Letters must be from FACC or AACC members that are well acquainted with the applicant’s current professional activities. Relatives may not sponsor applicants.
  5. Employed in a practice that is primarily cardiovascular focused – at least 75%.
  6. Commitment to CV practice for five years or more.
  How were the national board certifications for AACC designation selected?
  How were the national board certifications for AACC designation selected?

Selection of the AACC-approved national board certifications was based on the amount of cardiology-specific content on the board examination. An effort was made to include the most common board certifications for cardiac care team members.

  What national board certifications are recognized for applying for AACC?
  What national board certifications are recognized for applying for AACC?

The following credentialing bodies are deemed acceptable for AACC. Each of the following bodies provides board examinations that are nationally recognized:

  • Accreditation Council for Clinical Lipidology
  • American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
  • Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties
  • National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
  • Heart Rhythm Society (formerly NASPE)
  • Pediatric Nursing Certification Board
  • American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work
  • American Board of Genetic Counseling
  • American Board of Professional Psychology
  • American College of Clinical Pharmacy
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • Commission on Dietetic Registration
  My national board certification is not on the list of AACC-approved certifications. May I still apply for AACC?
  My national board certification is not on the list of AACC-approved certifications. May I still apply for AACC?

Yes. While the national board certifications selected and approved by the College are among the most common for care team members, other national board certifications will be considered on a case by case basis by the CV Team Section Membership Committee.

  Does the ACC have a form letter that AACC applicants can provide to their sponsors? If not, what information should the letters of the recommendation include?
  Does the ACC have a form letter that AACC applicants can provide to their sponsors? If not, what information should the letters of the recommendation include?

No. Applicants should request letters of recommendation from AACC or FACC members of the College that are well acquainted with the applicant’s professional activities. The letters should be originally written, on the sponsor’s business letterhead and highlight the applicant’s professional accomplishments and why the applicant should advance to AACC.