CCI Blog

CCI Partners with the U.S. Armed Forces

Posted by Taylor Niss on Jul 3, 2019 1:00:56 PM

CCI and U.S. Military CSSM Partnership

CCI has established a relationship with the U.S. Military to ensure all nurses are given the opportunity to develop professionally while enhancing their perioperative knowledge. CCI’s CEO James Stobinski, a former military OR nurse, has assisted CCI in developing avenues that open opportunities for military nurses. “CCI offers a combination of discounts and test preparation resources for military nurses. The discounted price of the certification examination is $275, and we also offer access to an online, recorded preparation course” says Stobinski. CCI continues to emphasize the importance of offering opportunities to these nurses and is continually looking for ways to bridge the gap. Stobinski says it best by stating, “CCI is proud to maintain a close, productive working relationship with all branches of military to facilitate their ongoing professional development”. We are proud to not only have a member of the U.S. Military as our CEO, but to also have a member on our Board of Directors and many within our community of certified nurses.

Overview of the CSSM Credential

CSSM stands for Certified Surgical Services Manager, a crucial role in the operating room. This accredited certification focuses on the managerial role in the surgical care of patients. Earning this credential involves an exam encompassing the knowledge necessary to perform in this role. The process of recertification provides the nurse with an ongoing course of continuous professional development.

There are seven core subject areas covered on the CSSM examination, all of which directly relate to the necessary competencies of any nurse leader. Those seven subject areas are:

  • Communication & Relationship Management
  • Strategic Management
  • Financial Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Operational Management
  • Leadership
  • Professionalism

The CSSM exam itself is a knowledge-based exam; meaning, you’re tested on the knowledge a surgical services manager should possess, in addition to being tested on the tasks a surgical services manager should be able to perform with two years of managerial experience.

Who is the CSSM Certification For?

The CSSM credential is designed for perioperative leaders interested in improving and validating their managerial knowledge and skills as to advance the performance of their surgical services department. These are the individuals who are tasked with overseeing personnel, and/or a budget, business unit or service line. You may also be eligible if your title is one of the following: director, assistant director, manager, assistant manager, supervisor, coordinator, team leader, service line leader, charge nurse, among others. “CCI realized the unique role of the registered nurse working in a leadership role in the perioperative setting and began providing content in this area” says Stobinski. Today, roughly 300 nurses hold the CSSM credential. 

While the credential is clearly designed for nurses operating in the managerial role, there are additional invested parties. Aside from the CSSM certified nurses, the patients and families who work with the credentialed nurses benefit considerably. “Research evidence is accumulating that a higher ratio of well-educated, certified nurses decreased nursing related complications”, says Stobinski. This has also created the possibility for facilities to adequately recognize and compensate certified nurses.  

How Do the Military and CSSM Work Together?

Obtaining any certification demonstrates a commitment to enhanced competency and professional development. Similarly, the U.S. Military has been known to support nurses investing in professional development throughout their career. As Stobinski explains, “CSSM holders are enrolled in an educational system, through the recertification process, designed to increase their competency over time”. Committing to this process ensures that the nurse will exceed the requirements to maintain licensure and will continue to work throughout their career to enhance their competency. 

CCI also conducts a job analysis in order to ensure the tasks and knowledge being tested on the exam directly correspond to the work performed by surgical services managers. One of our first CSSM certified Army nurses, LTC Christopher H. Stucky, PhD, CNOR, CSSM, NE-BC, NEA-BC, states “The seven core subject areas that comprise the CSSM certification program form a strong foundation for any leader in the perioperative nurse management, civilian or military. The content of the CSSM exam comprises many of the principles taught in military leadership courses and is directly applicable to military perioperative nurse managers.” CCI has recognized the important role surgical services managers have and has focused on providing recognition to these positions. CCI Board Member, Lieutenant Commander Josh Wymer, MSN, MSPM, MA, RN, CSSM, CNOR, LCDR, NC, USN, says “The CSSM credential is a validation of many of the skills and roles already being executed in such an exemplary way by military nurses all around the world every day.” The work being done by a surgical services manager and perioperative nurse leader does not go unnoticed, and the CSSM credential focuses on the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful. 

More from CSSM Military Nurses

WymerLieutenant Commander Josh Wymer, MSN, MSPM, MA, RN, CSSM, CNOR, LCDR, Nurse Corps, United States Navy, Chief Nursing Informatics Officer, Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA.
"As Navy nurses develop into perioperative professionals, the CNOR credential is a benchmark for knowledge development and professional engagement. The CSSM represents the next level of perioperative engagement as it represents a formal way of acknowledging many of the skills and roles already filled by experienced military perioperative professionals every day. At the time I took the CSSM, there were no military nurses who had achieved the credential, but there were hundreds who were eligible. The CSSM represented an opportunity to validate the skills that I knew I possessed and leveraged every day, and it also represented an opportunity to pursue the next level in professional development and engagement with my peers and the broader perioperative nursing community."

stucky_christopherLTC Christopher H. Stucky, PhD, CNOR, CSSM, NE-BC, NEA-BC, recently obtained his CSSM credential. LTC Stucky holds the position of Nurse Scientist at the Center for Nursing Science and Clinical Inquiry (CNSCI), Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, NC.
"The role of a perioperative nurse manager is increasingly complex with growing technological, financial, and administrative demands of the modern health care system. The CSSM certification establishes a standard of excellence for perioperative managers and prepares them with the capacity to adapt to the continually evolving dynamics of the perioperative work setting. As a life-long learner, I recognize that it is my obligation to seek opportunities for continuous professional development. The CSSM certification was a natural progression for me as a leader to enhance and validate my managerial knowledge and competencies. I first read about the CSSM credential in the AORN Journal. I was intrigued to discover that there was now a formal structure for the basic knowledge and competencies required to become a perioperative nurse manager. I also liked that the CNOR and the CSSM certifications were distinctly different. The CNOR exam focuses on individual perioperative nurse proficiency and skills, while the CSSM exam focuses on leader proficiencies such as strategic and financial management, relationship management, and communication. While the CNOR and CSSM certifications are different in scope, they both are potent enablers to the delivery of quality patient care."

If you have any questions about the CSSM credential, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Service Department. They are open 8:00 am – 4:00 pm MT and can be reached at 888.257.2667 or

Topics: CSSM