How to become an RNC

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    So from looking online, it seems like you just take the certification exam and pass. But how do you prepare for the exam? Any online courses or study guides you recommend? How long should I plan to prepare for the exam?

    Thanks!
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  4. 5 Comments so far...

  5. 2
    Check out NICU Solutions. Put it in google to find the website (this computer won't let me copy and paste for some reason). Excellent class and book. You will have to see if they are having classes anywhere near you. If not, it may be worth it to travel. The class itself is >$400, if I remember correctly. Your employer may pay for it. Mine did not. I took the class and the exam was a peice of cake, afterwards.

    Keep in mind you need 2 years of experience before they let you sit for the exam. Not sure if you do or don't have it. Just a heads up.
    Mona hernon and krenee like this.
  6. 1
    I just reached my 2 yrs of experience. Thanks for the information, looking it up now!
    Mona hernon likes this.
  7. 0
    The point of the exam is supposed to be to show that you know what a typical experienced RN in your specialty would know. I took the certification exam in my specialty (both as a generalist, and later, for my advanced practice certification) without any special prep courses, and did fine. There is no way I would pay hundreds of dollars for a prep course.
  8. 0
    Quote from elkpark
    The point of the exam is supposed to be to show that you know what a typical experienced RN in your specialty would know. I took the certification exam in my specialty (both as a generalist, and later, for my advanced practice certification) without any special prep courses, and did fine. There is no way I would pay hundreds of dollars for a prep course.
    Unfortunately, NICU has many different types of units and the exam covers them all, not just one. For example, I work at the highest level of care (level IIIC with peds surgery and ECMO), but we don't do deliveries. Vice-versa, other delivery hospitals may not do the pediatric surgeries that we do or ECMO, or see high-risk kids long enough to get to know their syndromes very well. Another caveat is that many high level NICUs do not keep their cardiacs anymore so we dont' get to see those either...and then there is everything in between. OP, it all depends on what kind of experience you have.

    I've only heard of a handful of NICUs that truly "do it all" that would allow a RN to have experience in all areas unless she or he has worked in multiple different types of NICUs.

    I would also recommend NICU solutions but others have taken the one offered by ProedCenter and liked it well enough. There are two books (Core Curriculum and RNC review) that have questions that you can answer for practice.

    Remember you get a 90 day window once you sign up (and it takes like a month to get eligible anyway), so I signed up before I thought I was ready so that I could buckle down and study.
  9. 0
    I took the NICU Solutions class and though I haven't taken the RNC yet (taking it ONE WEEK from today, so I'm all like ), but I still would highly recommend the class as it's a great way to solidify and organize your knowledge, especially if you are "new-ish". I work at a busy Level III where we go on deliveries and get sickies all the time, but we don't get cardiac and don't do ECMO, so this is a great review!!

    ...Also, check with your hospital; they may pay for you to attend the class!


    And, @elkpark, your comment makes me feel better about going into this scary land of the RNC exam!


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