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CNE.. To take or Not to take?

by Seattle WA Seattle WA (New) New Nurse

Has 2 years experience.


I am in my final semester of my MSN Nurse Education program.  I am considering taking the CNE exam... but not sure if it will be worth the cost of test, and the months I will use studying for it.? I have heard it is a difficult exam.

 I am curious to those with experience in academia and hospital-based education, how necessary is the CNE certification? For example, improved pay?  Or improved chances of being hired? etc...  I feel a bit unsure of the benefits of the certification... so any feedback or experience would help me in making a decision. 



Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

CNE is academia oriented. If you are going to work in acute care, you will want NPD-BC, which is Nursing Professional Development Board Certified. 

I have the second of those. It was indeed a difficult test. If I ever choose to go into academia I will sit for the CNE, but with where I am right now, its not very pertinent to my role.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 44 years experience.

CNE was the most difficult of the three certs I have (Peds CCRN and Peds-BC). As others have said- it is really only relevant to academia. In my organization- it is taken into consideration during annual evaluations and for promotions (we do not have a tenure structure). 

IF you are going to take it- use the Billings and Halstead book, utilize the practice exam to determine where to focus your study and then use the NLN's own study guide on those weak areas. 

Lunah, MSN, RN

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 13 years experience.

I have to agree with meanmaryjean, the CNE was difficult because it was so ... nonclinical. LOL. I have CEN, CPEN, and TCRN board certs, and the CNE was so different. I did pass on the first attempt, but I am also a good taker of tests. 🙂 Good luck!

sleepwalker, MSN, NP

Specializes in Occupational Health. Has 17 years experience.

Had this certification when I was teaching. Never received any benefit from it...so that depends on your workplace and individual expectations.

I didn't renew after my 5 yrs was up...no value to it and it's expensive.

btw...when prepping for the exam I used Billings and Halstead...read through it once and brushed up on unfamiliar concepts. It only took two weeks of studying and I passed on the first attempt.