As I approach the two-year mark since I have been working in the NICU, our department, of course has put the bee in our ear that we need to think about the RNC exam.
The majority of our unit do not have the RNC certification, however, with two-years of experience, because I work in a Level III, I do not feel that I have enough practical experience to do well on the exam and feel that it would be a waste of money to try.
However, I did see that there was a low-risk NICU RNC certification. Obviously, we take those babies too that do not need ventilator support, etc
I feel very comfortable with that patient population. I am wondering however, from those of you that are RNC's, would I be eligible for this exam?
I am not concerned with employer reimbursement...they don't pay us enough when we pass other than reimbursing the fees, but not so much in hourly wage, to me, it would be a personal accomplishment of what I have achieved so far.
May 8, '11
If you're working in a Level III, I would recommend you take the RNC-NIC exam. That's Neonatal Intensive Care, and it's the appropriate level for your work. I'd recommend going through the Core Curriculum and work through a bunch of questions. There is an area on the website that gives you the exam outline.
May 9, '11
Personally I think the Core Curriculum textbook was WAY too dense to study from. I got so bogged down in all the little details that I felt helpless that I would ever be able to pass the test.
I ended up going to a review course (the major ones I've found are NICU solutions and ProedCenter), studied for a couple of months, did ~500 questions from various neonatal question books and passed my test last week
I have just over 2.5 years of level III NICU experience.
There is a wide variety of experience for Level III NICU. What's the highest level of care that you guys routinely care for? ECMO/cooling/HFOV? Surgeries?
May 9, '11
I took the High Risk Neonatal Exam when I had been in a Level III NICU for 2 years and 3 months and passed on the first attempt. For about 4 to 6 months before taking the test I read each day in the Core Curriculum book and the Gomella book. I was taught in my orientation program by a wonderful preceptor that each day when I go home I should read up on the babies I had cared for including their diagnosis, treatments, medications, ventilator settings, prognosis, etc. It helped me to put a face with a condition. That NICU did not do ECMO, the only surgeries we did were PDA ligations and some hernia repairs, and at that time cooling was non-existent. We did do HFOV and had some pretty sick babies. Several of my co-workers there told me, "If you have worked in a NICU for 2 years and taken care of a variety of patients, you should do fine." They were right. I suggest that since you are spending the money that you should go for the area you work in. I think you will do fine. If you can go to a review course that would help too. Wishing you good luck and some extra confidence!
May 10, '11
I'll have my 2 years experience in November...I need to get cracking on the studying routine...
May 11, '11
Yes, but try to make it as pleasurable as possible. I mean, don't stress over it. Spend little snippets of time, 10 to 20 minutes at a time so you can really focus and absorb what you are learning. Our brains like 10 minute focus sessions rather than longer ones.... quality versus quantity. Another suggestion is that when you are learning about something, try to imagine yourself trying to teach what you just learned to another person, like another nurse, who understands medical jargon. When studying alone I will sometimes "teach" what I just learned out loud to an imaginary person. I swear this helps me to realize what I did and did not remember of what I had just learned. Maybe it works on the theory of using as many senses as we can to help in learning (eg. vision, hearing, speaking, writing, etc.) and that the more you can incorporate all of these senses in your learning makes it connect with more areas in your brain thus making it more memorable. Anyway, enjoy your learning and realize that any learning you do will benefit your patients as well as you.
May 13, '11
I used the Certification and Core Review question-and-answer book by Watson to figure out which areas I needed to focus on when I studied.
I studied mostly from Gomella, Merenstein and Gardner, and the Core Curriculum... but I didn't read any of them from start to finish.
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