CCTN Transplant Nurse Certification Study Advice

  1. Calling all transplant nurses who passed their CCTN test. I have the Core Curriculum for Transplant Nurses book I am studying from, although this book isn't in the recommended list with ABTC. Rather they have listed over 20 books that are outdated more than 15 years ago.

    Any advice on how you passed, what you used to study, and what Transplant specialty you came from?

    Thanks!

    (Also AllNurses, why isn't there a transplant nurse speciality board!)
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   NurseKatie08
    Quote from msdaniwagner
    Calling all transplant nurses who passed their CCTN test. I have the Core Curriculum for Transplant Nurses book I am studying from, although this book isn't in the recommended list with ABTC. Rather they have listed over 20 books that are outdated more than 15 years ago.

    Any advice on how you passed, what you used to study, and what Transplant specialty you came from?

    Thanks!

    (Also AllNurses, why isn't there a transplant nurse speciality board!)
    I can't offer any advice about the CCTN exam as I haven't taken it myself (thinking about doing it soon though!) Just wanted to reply to second your request for a transplant nurse speciality board--liver/kidney transplant nurse here!
  4. by   ghillbert
    I did CCTC. It was the hardest certification I have done, including CCRN, subspecialty CC certs AND my NP cert lol. Mostly because it covers every organ transplant including pediatrics so it was a lot of "not my specialty" that I had to learn. And to be honest, I did not study a LOT. I read the core curriculum a lot and went over bullet point stuff.

    -I recall a lot of what would you tell the patients if they called and told you XXX which was meant to assess your understand of the disease process and the transplant management and meds.
    -Know the meds back and forth, classes, common side effects and what the patients will notice especially
    -Know signs and symptoms of rejection for all organs very well, esp the organs you don't work with
    -I remember for kidney and pancreas there was a lot about checking urine versus serum labs and how you tell if the organ is failing
    -Resist the temptation to study what you know; focus on all the organs you are unfamiliar with.

    Good luck - it really was very educational to study for, and I learned a ton. I agree re the specialty board!
  5. by   thebionicbride
    Hello,

    I am a pre-nursing student working on my last 2 prereq's at the moment. I am wanting to specialize in transplants (Hearts to be exact). I have a bit of history myself which has also led me into this mind set. I am a 2 time Heart Transplant recipient (6years). My surgeon and and transplant team are a huge support in my endeavor.

    My question for ya'll, after nursing school what are the steps to get there? I know I would like to work bedside for a bit bit I would also like to make my way into to OR.
  6. by   NurseKatie08
    Quote from thebionicbride
    Hello,

    I am a pre-nursing student working on my last 2 prereq's at the moment. I am wanting to specialize in transplants (Hearts to be exact). I have a bit of history myself which has also led me into this mind set. I am a 2 time Heart Transplant recipient (6years). My surgeon and and transplant team are a huge support in my endeavor.

    My question for ya'll, after nursing school what are the steps to get there? I know I would like to work bedside for a bit bit I would also like to make my way into to OR.
    I got into transplant on a whim & loved it from day one. I simply applied to a posting for a transplant focused med/surg unit at my hospital. My unit takes newly licensed nurses as well. I did have four years of experience at the time, but not in transplant. I would learn about the hospitals you are interested in when the time comes and find out which unit(s) are their transplant units and go from there! Make sure you take a good personal inventory though, especially as you are a recipient because sometimes things can hit a bit too close to home. Though also your experience as a recipient gives you unique perspective, just make sure you are emotionally ready to deal with the hard times for your patients.
  7. by   thebionicbride
    Quote from NurseKatie08
    I got into transplant on a whim & loved it from day one. I simply applied to a posting for a transplant focused med/surg unit at my hospital. My unit takes newly licensed nurses as well. I did have four years of experience at the time, but not in transplant. I would learn about the hospitals you are interested in when the time comes and find out which unit(s) are their transplant units and go from there! Make sure you take a good personal inventory though, especially as you are a recipient because sometimes things can hit a bit too close to home. Though also your experience as a recipient gives you unique perspective, just make sure you are emotionally ready to deal with the hard times for your patients.
    The one thing I have been worried about are in fact things hitting close to home. I was very curious how I would take things i.e. would I have empathy or not and even sympathy. I decided to follow a cardiologist and surgeon (away from my "home hospital") in a different state even to test myself and see how I would be with patients and heart failure. While I shadowed for a week, I met 16 pts and watched a surgery. I was really surprised with myself that I really just wanted to soak in all the knowledge (pt history, meds given, why given, etc etc). I saw them in Heart Failure clinic, ICU, CCU, CVRR, and OR.

    At my Residency Hospital (where I got my LVAD and Heart Transplants) I Volunteer and visit the patients who are waiting for LVAD implantation or HTx to answer any questions they might have to help settle any nerves.


    I can never thank ALL of you Transplant Nurses enough for doing what you do!!!!! I cannot wait to join you one day!

    Xxo
  8. by   SoCal Nurse
    Congrats on finishing nursing school soon!
    Out of school I started on a medsurg unit, two years later went to our stepdown ICU (PCU) lvad/heart transplant/ctsurgery unit. We do more heart t/x than any place in the world, so it was a very busy place. Lots of joy, and sorrow too on the unit. I now work in our outpt advanced heart disease clinic so I get to see the HF pts, MCS pts, as well as the post t/x follow up pts. While you might be able to get into a transplant unit as a new grad the learning curve would be steep and I think if you get your "basic training" done on a medsurg floor, then transfer to a stepdown transplant unit that would be best. From there you could go to the CSICU if you want to care for the "fresh" transplant pts.
    Feel free to contact me at anytime to discuss, especially if you are in the Los Angeles area.
    661-972-8564

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