CCRN: Pass your first time.

What actually is the CCRN Certification?

CCRN® (Adult) is a specialty certification for nurses who provide direct care to acutely/critically ill adult patients regardless of their physical location. Nurses interested in this certification may work in areas such as intensive care units, cardiac care units, combined ICU/CCUs, medical/surgical ICUs, trauma units or critical care transport/flight.

You can learn more about the CCRN here.

The CCRN is a 3-hour timed exam, consisting of 150 questions; 125 of the questions are scored and the remaining 25 questions are used to gather statistical data for future exams. The exam questions are based on AACN Synergy’s Model for Patient care. For details, please refer to the CCRN exam handbook. (Source)

Why would one obtain their CCRN Certification?

  • Some hospital systems will pay you a little bit extra for having this certification.
  •     It is now becoming a popular requirement for CRNA programs, if you’re looking to go the anesthesia route.
  • It shows that you are dedicated to critical care and find importance in giving your patients the best care possible.
  • Finally, who doesn’t want to add a few more letters to the end of their name?

How long should I study for the CCRN?

Depending on where you read, some people spend 1 week to 6 months studying for the exam. It all depends on the type of student you are and how serious you are with your studying schedule. Personally, I studied every day for 14 days and passed on the first try.

How should I study for the CCRN?

Everyone online has their own way to study but the way I studied for the CCRN was the same way I studied for the NCLEX.

Materials: Pass CCRN! and AACN CCRN Practice Test

The PASS CCRN program seems to be the most recommended program for the CCRN and the AACN is a practice exam is made from the people who make the actual CCRN exam.  I only used the PASS CCRN online questions and never touched the book. However, the book is a great resource.

For 14 days (give or take a day or two) I did a 150, timed, practice test. After each test, I reviewed the questions I got wrong and finished for the day. That took about 3 hours to complete.

A week before my scheduled exam, I took the AACN practice exam to gauge where I was and reviewed the exam after. Then, the next day I was back to completing a 150 question exam daily.

The day of the exam:

  • Get a good night’s sleep. If you work nightshift, obviously don’t schedule the exam the morning after a shift.
  • Get there early.
  • Check your email to confirm the address, date, and required documents (Photo ID, etc.)
  • Pass your CCRN!

Drop a comment and let us know how you studied and how well it worked for you. 


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