CCRN? Help!!!!!

  1. Hi everyone
    I am a new ICU nurse with over 5 years of acute care experience. In the unit I work in the nurses are encouraged to be CCRNs after their first year of Critical Care experience. The problem comes in because I have heard how difficult the test is and I want to start studying now because I think it will improve my knowledge of the critically ill patient. What is the best review? Also I work in a Level One Trauma/Neuro ICU and would like to know if the CCRN certification test reviews all areas of critical care or is it be broken up into specialized areas?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   TI2Grr
    The PASS CCRN! second edition Mosby book by Robin Donohoe Dennison is a great resource and even gives you a lot of the informative info on taking the test and how's, why's and what not's. I found mine at Barnes and Noble for I want to say $30.00 it also has a wonderful Cd-Rom with it that has a pre-test which breaks down all the areas of the actual CCRN test. This is as good a place as any to start looking. Good luck, I am in your same shoes as well, I am hoping to take the test in the next year, I have been working the ICU for 8 months now after working primarily rural nursing in Montana doing everything from OB to ER to PEDS.. heck I find the ICU sometimes more peaceful than what I have done in the past.. but anyhow, good luck with your CCRN, I do feel for you..
  4. by   ssaun1508
    I believe it is too soon to be craming for the CCRN you need to work on your critical thinking skills and your technical skills. There is alot of knowledge needed to pass CCRN The best book I used was BY Laura Gasparis critical care review examination it is a book of just questions but the answers are detailed why the one is right and why the others are wrong. I waited 3 years into ICU to try for the CCRN. I learned time management and critical thinking skills first. THe test covers alot of 12 lead, Hemos and abg's with Vent changes
    GOOD LUCK whenever you take it
  5. by   mattsmom81
    I believe many new ICU nurses want that CCRN for the wrong reasons. Cramming to 'pass a test' is no way to demonstrate critical care expertise. This comes with time and experience. This is not nursing school anymore.

    My advice is take a critical care internship and work ICU for several years and soak up all the knowledge and insights you can. Attend all the critical care seminars you can...network with other critical care nurses....enjoy your job. THEN you will be ready to attempt the CCRN ...and WITHOUT taking a 'course' to pass it.

    If one needs a good review I agree Laura Gasparis Vonfrolio's critical care 'pearls' systems review is the best.
  6. by   2banurse
    Originally posted by Maula, RN
    In the unit I work in the nurses are encouraged to be CCRNs after their first year of Critical Care experience.
    I feel that this has more to do with how hospitals want to look than caring that their patients are well cared for. Mattsmom and Ssaun are giving you great advice, heed them and in a few years, I'm sure that you will have a more at ease feeling when taking the exam.

    Kris
  7. by   Gardengal
    I find it interesting that your hospital encourages nurses to become CCRN certified after the first year. That's a pretty high goal, but certainly not impossible.

    I agree that Robin Dennison's review is thorough and Laura Gasparis Vonfrolio's pearls (and her videos) are memorable. i think your best bet though is learning at this point, as opposed to just studying for the test. The AACN has a core curriculum which you can purchase (see AACN.ORG) and there are many CCRN review classes offered by AACN local chapters and hospitals.

    Remember the CCRN review classes only tell you what to study. You will still need to study on your own. Perhaps the intent of your hospital is to have you increase your knowledge base through study.

    I took my CCRN after 1 year in CCU (prior 5 years in telemetry). I reviewed the core curriculum as preparation, also some review questions. Passed without problems, but I have always been really solid in A&P and I think you really need that as a basis to do the CCRN. I learned a lot in my studying and have always been grateful that i made the effort to learn more. It gave me a far greater understanding of why I do what I do.

    Good luck in your studies. Even if you don't take the test it won't be a waste of time.
    Last edit by Gardengal on Dec 27, '02
  8. by   TraumaNurse
    The CCRN exam will cover much more material than you will likely encounter in a neuro ICU on a daily basis, but you can't be expected to experience everything there is to know about critical care nursing in a lifetime. The Laura Gasparis videos and written material is an excellent review and will give you great insight as to what to expect on the CCRN exam. I used Laura's stuff only and did fine. Good luck to you!
  9. by   nurseinexcellence
    I respectfully disagree with the other comments left below. Certification is the designation given for those nurses that prove knowledge base in evidence based standards for a specific area. Many institutions view this as the very minimum, or "gate-keeper" to practicing as a nurse in the ICU setting. I believe a year is sufficient time, and I do believe in doing a review course and a review book. There are many reasons that hospitals demand their nurses be CCRN certified after a year of work, meaning they set the bar very high for nursing in those units. Now if you were looking to become a CC-NP, or an Acute Care NP, then I would recommend taking time to learn and enroll in fellowships, or internships. I say, go forth and become a CCRN nurse, don't waste time, continue to set the bar high for minimum standards in your institution!

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