SCRN Experience

  1. Recently I passed the ABNN Stroke Certified Registered Nurse (SCRN) exam. When I was preparing, I searched for info on the exam, how others prepared, etc., but didn't find too much out there. So I'll briefly share my experience in the hope that others will find it helpful.

    I have a year's experience on a neuro step-down unit, and studied about a month. The resources I used were:

    -Comprehensive Review For Stroke Nursing: this is the review book from AANN. It is very detailed, there are some charts but it's mostly text. Looking back, this book has a lot of info that wasn't on my exam, however the details do help in understanding.

    -Fast Facts for Stroke Care Nursing: this is a quick small review book that covers the essentials to know about caring for stroke patients. It covers a lot of what is on the exam, so I went thru it after I did the Comprehensive Review. It includes a lot of tips that are helpful, and helps you make sense of the details from the Comprehensive Review.

    -Stroke Chapters in Clinical Practice of Neurological and Neurosurgical Nursing: I looked thru the cerebrovascular anatomy (definitely need to know this), ischemic, ICH, aneurysm, and AVM chapters. Doesn't cover everything on the exam, but good overviews, and has a good chart on stroke syndrome symptoms by vessel, which you need to know.

    -Stroke Certification Study Guide for Nurses: Q&A Review: this is by the same author as Fast Facts. It's a 300 question review book, covering each section of the SCRN exam, and the number of questions in each section is based on the percentages from the exam blueprint. Good practice, and great rationales.

    -SCRN Practice Test: I also bought the 75 question practice test from AANN. The only downside to these questions is there are no rationales. Also, once you submit, you can go back and review the questions, but you can't do them all over again (you'll only see your answer choice, as well as the correct one if you got it wrong).

    If you can get these used or from the library, I'd definitely recommend each resource if you like to study on your own. I personally don't like to sit in review classes, however you may find that useful if that's your style.

    As far as the test, it was pretty straightforward. I didn't feel like they were trying to trick you, and I didn't have that uncertain feeling like I had during the NCLEX. If you reviewed with these resources, and reflect on your evidence-based clinical experience, it's honestly pretty easy and straightforward. There were maybe 2-3 questions out of the 170 that I just didn't remember ever covering (like a random medication I never heard of), and the ones I figured I got wrong still sounded vaguely familiar. You're allowed to bring a basic calculator, and the only calculation you might have to do would be related to tPA dosage.

    Hope that helps, and good luck
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