LTAC nurse of 2 yrs. Am I eligible to take CCRN? - page 2

by Sachan 6,461 Views | 16 Comments

Can please someone tell me if I can sit for CCRN certification exam? I have worked in LTAC unit almost 2 yrs, and have taken care of high acuity patiens. But never worked in ICU or stepdown units. I would love to get some... Read More


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    I know this is an old post, but I wanted to respond with information that I have. I work for a LTACH and we were in touch with the AACN and were told that our time does count toward the CCRN because our patients are chronically critically ill.
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    I wanted to add my 2 cents too. I called the AACN today. I've worked two years in PCU and just finished my ECCO, as I'm starting in MICU. I asked the representative if my PCU experience fulfilled the "acute" part of "acute and/or critically ill" requirement. She said, and I quote, "We don't care where you worked. Units change all the time. As long as you can pass the test.​"
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    This is so encouraging to hear. I'm a current Stepdown nurse at a Level I Trauma Center, looking to get into the ICU in a few more months. I was going to study for the PCCN, but it seems that not too many employers care for it. I'm going to go ahead and study for the CCRN and hopefully that separates me from the pack when I start applying for ICU positions.
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    Quote from itrust
    I'm going to go ahead and study for the CCRN and hopefully that separates me from the pack when I start applying for ICU positions.
    Be careful on this one. I've had some nurses (including my assistant manager) tell me I'm not eligible with PCU experience, even though AACN says I am.

    The reason they're saying this, and I understand why they feel this way, is that CCRN is supposed to demonstrate your expertise in critical care. Which we all know is ICU, even though the rules say acute care too. Basically you would be studying for and hopefully passing a test, on something you didn't have any hands-on knowledge of. If you are smart enough to do that, I say, good for you, you deserve it. But you can understand why some nurses, who have worked critical care for years and don't have CCRN, for whatever reason, might feel you don't deserve it?
    itrust likes this.
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    I took the CCRN exam ten years ago. The exam blueprint stated it was designed for the nurse working at the level of a community hospital. There were four questions on balloon pumps and a few questions on pulmonary artery catheters. LTAC ( not to be confused with long term acute rehab) hospital nurses, who do some amazing work, do work with pts recovering from or having a setback of a critical illness, such as sepsis, resp failure, shock states. In my opinion if they are experienced and knowledgeable, then they are well qualified to take the exam.

    No LVADS CRRT or ECMO questions.

    The exam was extremely challenging. Study Pass CCRN by Robin Denihoe. It will make you a better nurse.
  6. 1
    Quote from delphine22
    some nurses, who have worked critical care for years and don't have CCRN, for whatever reason, might feel you don't deserve it?
    This is the biggest trepidation that I have. My CNS said the same thing about "not qualifying". Although my job pays for the certification and pays you extra for having it, the biggest motivating factor me is to simply land an ICU position. I'm also concerned that if I have my CCRN, and if I do finally land an ICU position, orientation will be less than fun b/c the level of expectation may be higher. Good point delphine 22. I think I'm just going to take the PCCN and then take the the CMC-subspecialty. All my patients are cardiac monitor patients anyway, and my ideal ICU job would be in the CTICU.
    Last edit by itrust on Sep 7
    icuRNmaggie likes this.
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    I don't think it would affect your orientation, but basically, take the certification for the specialty you're in. If you work PCU now, take PCCN. If you plan to make the leap to ICU in less than 6 months, then it's up to you to wait on PCCN and just take CCRN when you hit the unit.

    My point is, I don't think a hiring manager (though if there are any on here, please correct me!) will give you extra points in an interview for having CCRN before having any ICU experience. And taking it too early in your ICU career might get you (and me) dirty looks from coworkers once it's printed on the badge. HOWEVER I'm motivated to take it bc they reimburse for a passing test, and pay $3 an hour, which is a nice car payment for me. So to hell with dirty looks. :-P


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