NICU Nurses That Have Passed RNC-NIC (and any good test takers!)

  1. Hey all,

    I have been working in a Level III NICU for 2.5 years and decided that I wanted to obtain my certification. I am also currently in a MNS program for my Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. I was wondering if anyone who had already taken the RNC-NIC could provide any insight on how to know that a person is ready to take the test? I feel like I am studying for NCLEX all over again (and with that, I really didn't know... I just had to go take it).

    I am using the following books:

    Certification and Core Review for Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing, 4e by Robin L. Watson

    Neonatal Certification Review for the CCRN and RNC High-Risk Examination by Rogelet and Brorsen

    S.T.A.B.L.E. Cardiac Module: Recognition and Stabilization of Neonates with Severe CHD

    The most recent NRP book

    Also, I have made some notes regarding normal neonatal lab values, infection info, and fluids and calculations... GIR, calories from fluids and formula/EBM, and just little notes regarding IV's, fluid administration, and breast feeding/bottle feeding.

    Any tips, test taking experiences with this particular exam, or determinations about how to know when you're ready would all be appreciated. Also, if anyone is just a really good standardized test taker, that info would be greatly needed, as well. Also, I have been studying since mid April and would like to sit for the exam in mid July - early August.

    Thanks for everyone's time!
  2. Visit irish_rainbow profile page

    About irish_rainbow, BSN, MSN, RN

    Joined: Jul '10; Posts: 53; Likes: 36
    Registered Nurse
    Specialty: 6 year(s) of experience in NICU, Pediatrics, Nursing Education


  3. by   hikernurse
    I focused on the Watson book. Read once with a highlighter. Most of it is stuff you will already know from working, but the book was very useful.

    You should do fine! I don't know that I ever felt particularly ready to take the test, lol, but I stuck with my original schedule date and it was just fine. You'll get the results from the center right after you test, I appreciated not having to go home and wonder.

    Good luck!
  4. by   EverGraceRN
    Hey there!

    I actually just took and passed the RNC-NIC exam this past Thursday (woo!) after nearly 3 years of Level III NICU experience. I used all of the books you mentioned but the cardiac S.T.A.B.L.E. book over a span of 3-4 months, but really cracked down 2-3 weeks prior to the test date.

    So here's the deal... I felt quite confident in some areas (cardiac, respiratory, assessment...) and a little weaker in others, namely endocrine and metabolic issues. My test, of course, had SEVERAL questions over the latter and lots of circulation-related. No films to interpret, no plain reading ABG's, but ventilator management and effects on baby, yes... what else... a few syndromes. Of course, each test has it's own thumb print, so to speak.

    But listen, what I was getting at is that you need "approximately" 65% correct overall to pass. There are 175 questions total with 25 of them not counted (kind of like NCLEX did) and 3 hours to take it. You basically get more "points" for more difficult questions and less for easier questions... But there's no exact way to break it down specifically. You can flag questions and go back to them too, which is nice. The testing site I went to gave us a piece of scratch paper, a pencil, ear plugs, and a calculator if needed (I only had one simple ml/kg/day calc). At the end, I took a brief survey over my experience and my reults were printed in about a minute or less.

    I honestly squirmed through the entire thing and was sure that I had failed. I'm beyond proud and thankful I did actually pass. Whew! I attempted the exam when I was scoring at least a 70% on each section of practice questions that I took. Other than that, I relied heavily on my experiences and gut instinct.

    Best of luck to you! The fact that your even taking it is a HUGE deal.

    Also, I'm planning on applying to a few PNP programs to begin Spring or Summer... any advice to set myself apart? I have a 3.6 nursing and 3.5 associates, RNC, and a tiny bit of volunteer experience. Any advice would be so helpful!!

    Let us know how it goes!!!
  5. by   irish_rainbow
    I think working in a NICU setting will help you out a lot... they usually look at work experience and where it has been concentrated. I took the MAT entrance exam, but I think the GRE is more popular nationwide... I just hate the idea of retaking an exam similar to the ACT/SAT so many years out of high school. Based on your GPA, experience, and certification I really think you'd be fine. They accepted 9 people into the PNP program for my graduating class and it seems every year they are accepting more people. Of course, I'm in Arkansas and there are only a handful of MNS/MSN programs to begin with.
  6. by   irish_rainbow
    I am replying to this a year and a half late... but just realized that I had not done so. I did pass my RNC-NIC on the first try last August!!! I also used the Watson book and Cardiac S.T.A.B.L.E. Those were wonderful resources. I also just graduated this past May with my Masters as an Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. I don't have a job yet, but there is only one hospital to work at in Arkansas with Acute Care certification... so I am just trying to be patient.

    Thanks hikernurse... that Watson book was the absolute best for a refresher.

    EverGraceRN... did you apply to some programs and go for your PNP?
  7. by   hikernurse
    Of course you passed, you were so ready :-). Congratulations!!
  8. by   irish_rainbow
    Aw, thanks!! My next big, scary adventure is passing the PNCB Acute Care nurse practitioner certification exam. I take it next month and I'm twice as nervous about this because everyone says that it is extremely hard! Also, there is no book (they are working on one, but won't be out until this coming January). Gosh, I hope I am not still retaking it by then!!

    But if I can do this, anyone can do it!
  9. by   leatherscrubs
    EverGraceRN You said you took the test after scoring at least a 70% on each section of practice questions that I took. Where did you find the practice test questions?