Specialties Disease


Specializes in ED Clinical and Documentation.

I recently applied for the and infection control nurse 2 position and they would like for the candidate that gets the job to obtain CIC certification in 2.5 years. I just want to know if anyone has taken this test and how hard is it? What would you recommend for study materials?

Specializes in Infection Control, Employee Health & TB.
I recently applied for the and infection control nurse 2 position and they would like for the candidate that gets the job to obtain CIC certification in 2.5 years. I just want to know if anyone has taken this test and how hard is it? What would you recommend for study materials?

I haven't taken the exam yet, but my entire department (6 IPs) has been studying for the exam. We (with the guidance of our CIC director) have been using the APIC text & review outline to go over the materials. The text has actually been revised and the lastest edition should be released this summer. We've also used The IPs guide to the lab. One of my team members has been doing the online review course and said that has been very helpful. I plan on starting that within the next year. She has 4 more years of infection control experience than I do... she's going to be ready to test within the next few months. Good luck on getting the job!


I just sat for the exam yesterday. Thank the Lord, I passed. I read some info. from the APIC text, used the on-line certification prep review course, and read and did questions from the "Infection Prevention Competency Review Guide, 4th ed." (borrowed from a coworker). When I checked on-line to purchase this book, there was a message stating that the book has been updated and a new version will be out soon. The test did not seem too difficult. I am a slow test taker, so my challenge was finishing before the time was up. The hardest thing about the test for me, was the preparation. There is so much information to try to retain in the front of your brain at one time (for easy access), that it felt overwhelming at times. My advice to anyone taking the exam would be to start studying early enough so that you can compartmentalize the information in your head, so that you are not getting the incubation times, infectivity periods, employee exclusion times, ect. mixed up. Wish you the best in your CIC journey.

Specializes in Infection Prevention.

Hi Career#24me,

Congrats on passing!

I'm planning to take the CIC exam in the next 2 months and was wondering if you felt that the practice questions from the APIC Competency Review Guide were similar to the actual test itself. How long did you study before taking the test and how long have you worked in the field?

Thanks in advance!

Hello iprn,

I have been working in the field for 2 years. In my opinion, the practice questions were a big help. Yes, the questions were similar to the actual test questions. The practice questions were like a self-assessment, in that they let me know what I needed to study more. There were some answers that I didn't agree with, but, I just made sure that I knew the content that the questions were addressing in those cases. Wish you the best.

Hello again iprn,

I studied for 3 months, February, April and June. I had other things going on in my life that kept me from studying 3 months in a row.

Specializes in Infection Prevention.

Thanks for the info, Career#24me! Similar to all the NCLEX help threads, if it is alright, I was wondering if you could share what are the "must-knows" for the test. I don't really know anyone who has recently took the exam (people I know who are CIC certified have been taking the SARE for re-certification).

There really isn't too much guidance on how to approach this test (besides telling us to READ EVERYTHING in the APIC text/recommended reference material). I've been studying from the APIC CIC review book - I've borrowed the 4th ed and will probably purchase the 5th ed when it comes out in late July. I took the CBIC sponsored review course in June at the APIC convention on prepping for the CIC and it was not helpful at all....

Studying while working full time has been quite the challenge!

Specializes in Infection Prevention.

Hi! Long shot but this comment is for "JordiesMomRN". I got your PM about the CIC exam but was unable to send you a PM because I haven't hit the minimum posts requirement to send a PM.

I took the CIC exam in October and passed. I didn't think it was super hard, but just the sheer amount of information that was needed to be front-loaded during the exam was challenging. I studied on and off for about 2-3 months (not seriously) and then buckled down and focused the month before the test (studying every weekend).

You mentioned you had been on the job for 3 weeks so I would just focus on learning the basics. I didn't seriously start thinking about taking the exam until about a year into the job. By then, I felt comfortable in certain areas and weak in others and just targeted my studying in the weak areas. I would recommend getting involved with your local APIC chapter (so you can get study buddies when you are ready) and if there is downtime at work, thumb through the APIC text on things you want to learn more about.

Welcome to the world of IP! It is a great field and no two days are ever the same. Feel free to touch base if you have any additional questions (until I can boost up my posts count for the PM thing!).

(side comment for any moderators: I had originally typed a lengthy reply to the PM because the reply box was present when I clicked straight to the message from my dashboard but was denied after hitting sent. Lost my entire reply. There should probably be a warning BEFORE or not even provide that as an option for those clicking straight to the message or at least let us save it as a draft!)

Specializes in CCU, Infection Control.

Hi there IPRN!

I was just hopping around on the site and found your reply to my questions. Thanks so much for your insight. I will take all of your suggestions ..... especially the suggestion of learning the basics on the job. Then focus on the exam in the second year.....just as my supportive director suggests.

Thanks again for your help!

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