CCRN...so close!!!

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    So I had been reading areas of this website for the past couple weeks prior to taking a review course through med-ed, which was pretty good, alot of info in two days! I had also been reviewing questions on the AACN core review cd (which is also good, and is pretty close to the actual test questions). I have been a nurse for about 3 years and I have been in the ICU for a little over a year. I have learned alot and I still have alot more too learn. I took my CCRN exam today, I finished in plenty of time 25 mins left. So I went back to review questions that I wasn't sure about and changed a few answers (which I probably shouldn't have). I got an 87 (needed a 89 as many of you are aware). I felt ok going in but I defiantly need to improve in the cardiac section (56%). I should have better known more of the signs and symptoms, and the ionotropic and chronotropic drugs. But not too bad being that I'm only a one year ICU nurse, right!?! I will be relocating from VA to Birmingham AL. I will be working at UAB's CTICU. I thought having my CCRN would prepare me for going into this new job (nervous and excited) . Anyways I felt as though I was pretty close, just looking for some reassurance and any advice anyone would be willing to share.
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  4. 7 Comments so far...

  5. 1
    You are going to be just fine. The CCRN is very cardiac heavy. Just because you did not pass once doesn't mean you won't pass the next test. Take the test a few months into you new job for in reality the job will prepare you for the test. Having taken the CCRN myself (and many other certification exams) I recommend Laura Gasparis Vonfrolio.......Great Nurses

    I saw her first lecture live in 1986 and I have never forgotten her lecture. I have no personal involvement in her company and I recommend her review books courses highly.......they can't be beat.

    Good Luck in your new job!
    RNforLongTime likes this.
  6. 0
    Don't think that I'm giving any offense in this, because I am not. I just want to let you know that as an ICU nurse, it is impiortant to know alot about the different dips and how they function. For example if someone has dopamine and levo going and they have a high heart rate and still low bp, you should know to increase levo and not dop. Also having a CCRN doesnt make you a better nurse. It just is a certification that you can explain and rationalize how critical procceses procede. I took my test a month ago and got 112/125 with a 96% in cardio and a 94% resp, but I absolutely gassed the hematological at 48%. Its all about the questions they ask and what kind of exp you have gotten.
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    I too recommend Laura Gasparis Vonfrolio's materials. I saw her live and used her review book & tapes. I got 85% on cardiac & 100% on Neuro.
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    "I just want to let you know that as an ICU nurse, it is impiortant to know alot about the different dips and how they function. For example if someone has dopamine and levo going and they have a high heart rate and still low bp, you should know to increase levo and not dop."

    I have to disagree with this one. Norepinephrine is naturally found catecholamine within the body with primary role as a neurotransmitter. It also acts on the sympathetic nervous system, along with epinephrine, during the body's fight or flight response and has positive chronotropic effect. As a drug, It acts primarily on alpha 1 & 2 receptors causing vasoconstriction but maintains some beta agonistic effects.
    That being said, if I have a hypotensive & tachycardic patient on dopamine and norepi gtts, I would NOT increase the norepi as this would increase the tachycardia. Now high-dose dopamine has similar effects and not a good choice as a vasopressor. I would look for adding a Neo or vasopressin gtt. Increasing the tachycardia shortens diastole and reduces coronary filling time, reduces cardiac output, and increases the risk of cardiac ischemia. If you need blood pressure now, do what you have to do but for an entire shift I would look at other options.
  9. 0
    Quote from ryguyRN
    So I had been reading areas of this website for the past couple weeks prior to taking a review course through med-ed, which was pretty good, alot of info in two days! I had also been reviewing questions on the AACN core review cd (which is also good, and is pretty close to the actual test questions). I have been a nurse for about 3 years and I have been in the ICU for a little over a year. I have learned alot and I still have alot more too learn. I took my CCRN exam today, I finished in plenty of time 25 mins left. So I went back to review questions that I wasn't sure about and changed a few answers (which I probably shouldn't have). I got an 87 (needed a 89 as many of you are aware). I felt ok going in but I defiantly need to improve in the cardiac section (56%). I should have better known more of the signs and symptoms, and the ionotropic and chronotropic drugs. But not too bad being that I'm only a one year ICU nurse, right!?! I will be relocating from VA to Birmingham AL. I will be working at UAB's CTICU. I thought having my CCRN would prepare me for going into this new job (nervous and excited) . Anyways I felt as though I was pretty close, just looking for some reassurance and any advice anyone would be willing to share.

    I just sat for a CCRN exam two days ago in San Jose CA and since it was computer-based I got the result right after I closed my computer. I passed and scored 115/125. For the most part, it was a difficult exam, it made the NCLEX-RN like a walk in the park. I started my "intensive" review 5 weeks before the scheduled date and it afforded me look at different review materials. The podcast CCRN review by camie really helped, I have seen a couple of gasparis' DVDs, but the bulk of my study came from the accn audio-visual review materials and on the last week I downloaded for free an iPad called AACN2go. I can safely say, this app says a lot about the exam. There's a 10-day free review of the whole content and after that it costs $7.00 for each content (the 5-minute ICU is excellent). Good luck to the exam, passing it gives you an added confidence to your practice and people look at you differently and in high regard. A
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    I sat for my CCRN 10 years ago and my CMC 8 years ago and still remember both exams like it was yesterday. I also did review courses but what really helped me was my clinical experiences... I remember a question about reversing Ativan and had just had a patient who needed it reversed a week before... I would say 80% of the test was directly related to patients I had cared for. Otherwise I found the pass CCRN book to be very helpful. GOOD LUCK!!! and let us know WHEN you passed!!!
  11. 0
    Hi I just took the exam 2 weeks ago and passed. I studied for a about 5 weeks straight, on and off a little bit before that. I did listen to Laura G. Cram CCRN, which helped me understand the material a lot. It helped me when I was stuck on a question. I also practiced with the PASS CCRN cd only. When I first started I got 89/150, right before my test I got a 104/150. I feel it's a great study tool and under guessed my score. When I took the CCRN I had 101/125. This prep really help with the Behavioral/Psycho/Synergy, because that was harder or as hard as the Cardio. In hindsight, I wish I had taken the AACN blueprint and looked up each condition in the PASS CCRN book but oh well. A lot of people have used the Laura G./Pass CCRN combo on this site and highly recommend it. It helped me, hope this helps you to. Don't give up and sign back up to retake it, while you still have a lot of review on your mind.


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