Med/Surg Nursing Certification

  1. The nurses at my hospital are being offered the opportunity to sit for the national Med/Surg certification exam in October. Of course, being something of an overachiever I signed up for this, but without knowing much about either the certification process or what it will mean for my career (other than a "significant" pay differential, according to our NM). The 20 or so of us who've signed up are planning to take review courses and study together, but I'm wondering if any of you have taken this exam.......and if so, what it was like, how hard it was, what sort of preparation was needed, and whether being a CMSRN has helped you advance in your career.

    The hospital is paying only a part of the $325 testing fee, but money isn't really the issue.......I just think it would be beneficial to update my knowledge base, and yeah, I've gotta admit that certification would add a certain "cachet" to my job title. But before I put myself through the rigors of preparing for it, I'd like to know what I'm getting myself into, and what to expect.

    Thanks!
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    I've taken it twice, passing both times. (I let the first one expire because I didn't get the renewal notice having moved twice in the meantime).

    To me it was about the same as taking NCLEX which is hard. So studying ahead of time is a big plus.

    The last test was very big on pain control so bone up on that. But basically it covers all areas of disease and illness, including gyn and legal issues and trends, research methods etc.

    Springhouse makes an excellent book that I highly recommend : http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846
    if you aren't already using it. It has practice questions and covers all the topics you'll need to know. (If you choose to buy it from amazon, follow links from this site so they get credit for it. )

    Don't sweat it. Your experience will help you. Also reading nursing journals like AJN, RN and Nursing2004 helps.

    Good luck. Glad to hear you get a substantial diff. I forget what I get, but it upped my salary a little.
  4. by   VivaLasViejas
    Thanks, Tweety! I'll definitely order the book you recommended.......sounds like a good way to prepare.

    I'm actually glad for this opportunity to get some education; I've been precepting nursing students recently, and some of the stuff they know is totally foreign to me......and I thought I was catching up with the times! Sometimes I learn more from THEM than they do from me :chuckle

    I once had an instructor who told me, "In five years, you won't even recognize your own profession---that's how quickly things change in nursing". She was, of course, right on target. These students, with today's electronic wizardry at their fingertips, can spit out the meaning of an obscure lab value or the effects of a new drug I haven't even heard of yet in the time it takes to push a button. Only time will tell if technology makes better nurses, but for now this grizzled veteran (of only seven years) is feeling pretty rusty.........time to update! :chuckle
  5. by   nightingale
    I took the Board Certification through the ANCC. It was a lot like the NCLEX; lots of tubes, drains, management and next level or advanced level of knowledge type questions.

    I am certain, if you study, you will do fine. To be honest, I was sure I flunked when I walked out. I have a bad habit of remembering what I did wrong etc.. but I passed! I felt the same way with the NCLX 6 years ago.

    The Springhouse Book mentioned is great. I also love listening to tapes and ordered (through the ANCC) the med/surg nursing review tapes of 10 tapes. YOu will see them with study aide info on the ANCC website.

    Good Luck and let us know how you did!

    night
  6. by   Tweety
    Quote from mjlrn97
    Thanks, Tweety! I'll definitely order the book you recommended.......sounds like a good way to prepare.

    I'm actually glad for this opportunity to get some education; I've been precepting nursing students recently, and some of the stuff they know is totally foreign to me......and I thought I was catching up with the times! Sometimes I learn more from THEM than they do from me :chuckle

    I once had an instructor who told me, "In five years, you won't even recognize your own profession---that's how quickly things change in nursing". She was, of course, right on target. These students, with today's electronic wizardry at their fingertips, can spit out the meaning of an obscure lab value or the effects of a new drug I haven't even heard of yet in the time it takes to push a button. Only time will tell if technology makes better nurses, but for now this grizzled veteran (of only seven years) is feeling pretty rusty.........time to update! :chuckle

    From one grizzled rusty veteran to another, good luck!

    It's also good to have because to renew you need a lot of CEU's, so that in retrun keeps you educated. I know what you mean about the new kids. If I want to know something, I always ask a new grad, it's fresh to them and they have the latest up to date book knowledge I lack.

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