How long did you study for CCRN?

  1. How long did you actually study to pass the CCRN?

    I was thinking a solid month. I work my 3 12s and of course, on my days off do the studying. 2 weeks content and 2 weeks pure practice questions and then take it.

    What do you think/suggest?
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   pecanpies
    I think you might be putting the cart before the horse a little, unless there's more information you haven't included in your question. Have you taken a practice test yet? How did you score? What were your weakest areas? How long have you been a practicing RN and what kind of unit are you on/what kind of patients do you see?

    In my case, I started by taking a practice exam. I just barely received a passing score. My weakest area was Cardiovascular, in large part because my hospital does not do open hearts and we rarely see a Swan. We also have a dedicated CCU, so the heart patients we do get typically go there. Since Cardiovascular is 20% of the exam, I knew I would need to dedicate a lot of time studying, especially in this area. Based on the results of my practice exam, I developed a study plan that focused on my weakest areas. I spent about 8 weeks studying and I did practice questions every day. In the last couple of weeks, I took 3 more full-length practice exams.

    It worked for me - I just passed yesterday! Good luck to you.
  4. by   Esme12
    Congrats pecanpies!! It's a tough test. I took it after a few years of CTICU nursing and being an ICU nurse. I studied a couple of weeks with practice exams then tested.

    OP....you have been in the ICU for only a short while on an intership. The CCRN is a heavy practice type test that really focuses on cardiac monitoring PA/Swan, IABP and drug intervention. Cardiovascular is a big part of that exam.

    Take the practice test...see where you are...then practice practice practice. I would say probably 6-8 weeks of studying would be minimal.
  5. by   Yammar
    Our hospital had someone come in an do a 2 day review. We all signed up for the test without any study time and all but one passed (the one had test anxiety). I think the statistics state that 70% of first time testers pass. That is a pretty good number and the test is broad and if you have practiced for 3-4 years you should be pretty good, providing you keep up with learning on the job and take advantage of those around you who can share their wisdom! Good luck1
  6. by   ICUNurseG
    I studied for a lot longer. The most helpful things were a Laura gasparis lecture and practice questions from the AACN. Laura's lectures were great... I'd go see her even though I've passed the exam. She's hilarious!!
  7. by   Fumanchuesday
    I was a critical care nurse for a year and a half. I watched the Laura Gasparis DVDs at work one week, then I watched them again over the course of 3 days that I was off work (the last 3 days before my scheduled exam). I spent the whole 3 days studying... when I wasnt watching the videos, I was doing the PASS CCRN online questions.
  8. by   pmb04
    I took and passed the CCRN after 1.5 years in the ICU. It took me a total of 3 weeks to study: 1 week to watch and take notes on Laura Gasparis DVDs, and 2 weeks of non-stop Pass CCRN practice exams. Make sure you understand the rationales for the questions. Good luck!
  9. by   francoml
    It kinda depends what kind of facility you practice in. I was a MICU nurse in a level one facility for about a year before taking the test. I took a week off work and studied HARD for 4-5 days and passed. It kind of depends on how much you try to get out of your day to day practice at work. If I wasn't busy I was reading about something medical and I would always ask the docs to explain what we were doing in detail. The catch is, we always have at least a few patients on hemodynamic monitoring, advanced vent settings, or swans. I was lucky to cover the vast majority of what is on the test in just my day to day nursing. If you don't have the opportunity to see super sick patients everyday then I would recommend the gasparis videos and a TON of practice questions. For me I didn't use them but other say it is really good. I just printed out the test plan and tried to read as much as a could about each topic. No specific book I used just google, uptodate, medscape, ect. For the cardiac stuff I just made a table with all the hemodynamic/Swan stuff, right vs left heart conditions, and a 12 lead table with all the corresponding coronary vessels that would effect each lead. Biggest piece of advice, try not to stress, study hard but don't burn yourself out. OH AND PAY FOR THE TEST so you are forced to study because you only have 3 months to test after signing up. That really helped with my procrastination.
  10. by   LoriNelsonLeydon
    I've been an ICU RN for 11 years but I don't have my CCRN yet. Most of my colleagues who have taken the test while working FT said it takes 3 months to study. The sad thing is that we have RN's who have good test taking skills but can't apply the knowledge in the clinical setting.
  11. by   WetGator
    I studied for just under 4 months. If I worked day shift, definitely could have shaved a month off, but I don't recover well from working nights, was in a crazy OT stretch, and I don't study at night. Thankfully I passed and this is how I did it. Might have been a bit overboard, but oh well. Watched the Laura Gasparis review, attended Cammy House-Fancher's review which was so helpful, answered cover to cover of Laura G's question rational book, and every question online at Pass CCRN. I would say that I saw approximately 50% of the questions or ones very similar on the test to what I had been studying. Thankfully this test is not multiple answer so that makes it a bit easier then what i thought. Its not rocket science but very thorough. I have heard of people who have passed it without studying, well good for them, but Mam/Sir you are a freak...
  12. by   MLB4
    I studied for a month. Broke the test by system - would watch the Laura gasparis DVD and then do the practice test for those systems. Week 1 - neuro, endo, GI week 2- renal, hematology, msof, etc week 3- cardio and week 4 pulmonary. Worked for me.. End of week 4 did a few comprehensive practice tests. I passed without difficulty. 2 years of ICU experience.
  13. by   MLB4
    I also know several people who studied a few days and passed. All depends on the person in my opinion
  14. by   Greenclip
    I studied off and on for 4-5 months, and poured it on during the three weeks before the test. I did the Pass CCRN online questions, which expanded my knowledge base, but the most helpful source by far was the Barron's study guide for CCRN. Pat Juarez focuses on what you really need to know and I would say that the questions were very, very similar to the exam.

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