ccrn exam prep

  1. Hi I am a critical care stepdown nurse for 6yrs. i have decided to take the CCRn exam opposed to the pccn because i feel that most institutions prefer the ccrn cert. I also do not want to retake exam in future if i decide to ever do icu nursing. could anyone tell me how long my study prep time should be prior to taking exam?
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   moonischasingme1
    You need to have direct bedside care in the icu to take the CCRN. Go to the AACN site for further eligibility questions.
  4. by   deemo21
    You do not need to be a bedside ICU nurse to take the CCRN. According to the AACN you need:
    "Practice as an RN or APRN is required for 1,750 hours in direct bedside care of acutely or critically ill patients during the previous two years, with 875 of those hours accrued in the most recent year preceding application. Eligible hours are those spent caring for the patient population (adult, pediatric or neonatal) of the exam for which you are applying."

    A stepdown patient is most definitely acutely ill. I took the exam as an ER nurse. I used the Laura Gasparis DVD's found at Other people also suggested using the CD-ROM from the Pass CCRN book. I didn't get a chance to really go through it due to time constraints. The questions though seemed a little harder than what was actually on the exam. I believe 1-2 months of studying, depending on your knowledge base and time commitment, is adequate. Good luck!
  5. by   labcat01
    Quote from moonischasingme1
    You need to have direct bedside care in the icu to take the CCRN. Go to the AACN site for further eligibility questions.
    This is correct- according to the website:

    CCRN certification is for RNs working at the bedside of acutely and/or critically ill patients. The clinical setting may include, but is not limited to ICUs, CCUs, Emergency Departments, Trauma Units, Interventional Radiology/Cardiology Units, or Critical Care Transport/Flight. Separate exams are offered for nurses who care for adult, pediatric or neonatal patients.

    PCCN certification is for progressive care nurses working at the bedside of acutely ill adult patients. Progressive care is how AACN collectively describes areas such as Intermediate Care Units, Direct Observation Units, Stepdown Units, Telemetry Units and Transitional Care Units. PCCN certification is also appropriate for nurses who practice in Cardiac Catheterization Labs and Emergency Departments.
    AACN Certification Corporation

    I agree that hospitals do tend to favor the CCRN exam and fear that you may be ineligible if you are audited.

    It will take you more time to study depending on your experience with swans, vents, drips, etc. I'm not sure how your current unit is- some step down units are pretty hard core and some are just Tele units. It all depends on how much experience you have with.