Do CCRN, ECCO, CEN Help Each Other?

  1. Hi,

    I have grand ambitions of going back to school and that includes getting my CCRN and CEN certifications. But first, 2 questions!

    1. Currently I work in CCU and am going through the ECCO (Essentials of Critical Care Orientation) Program and I am wondering how well the studying for ECCO translates into CCRN and/or CEN studying.

    2. How well does CEN studying apply to CCRN studying?

    Of course, my goal is efficiency in what I study to find success in these certifications.

    Thanks in advance!
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    About newmail445

    Joined: Nov '11; Posts: 125; Likes: 86


  3. by   Okami_CCRN
    ECCO is a bare bones introduction into critical care, it touches on common systems issues that the acutely critically ill patient may experience. I did not find it at all beneficial to preparing for CCRN examination.

    As for CCRN preparation, one of the best things is experience. The more you are exposed to different patients the better prepared you will be for the exam.

    I am a little confused as to why you would like to attain CEN certification if you are not working directly in the emergency/trauma nursing specialty.
  4. by   newmail445
    Thanks for the response. Considering this, I will have to do double work to complete ECCO while studying for these certifications. At least until I'm done ECCO in 6 weeks.
  5. by   Okami_CCRN
    Quote from newmail445
    Thanks for the response. Considering this, I will have to do double work to complete ECCO while studying for these certifications. At least until I'm done ECCO in 6 weeks.
    Make sure that you are meeting the minimum CCRN qualifications prior to registering for the exam, if you are audited and it turns out you do not meet the qualifications you would lose the certification. Happened to one of my friends.
  6. by   newmail445
    Ouch! I'm aware and I don't intend on registering until my time comes. I wonder though what the likelihood of being audited is. Did your friend knowingly register without meeting requirements?
  7. by   AnnoyedNurse
    ECCO builds on what you learned in nursing school. CCRN is learned through experience but moreso through specialised books and classes that cover the "core curriculum" as set forth by AACN. The purpose of ECCO is to make you a safe beginning practitioner in an ICU. The purpose of CCRN is to validate your expert knowledge in critical care. It's like comparing apples to oranges.

    I would suggest NOT studying for CCRN or CEN right now. Get the most out of ECCO and your orientation. After about 6 months off of orientation, start studying for CCRN.

    Take your hospitals CCRN class, order the book PASS CCRN, and also Laura Gasparis-Vonfrolio DVD's and you will have no problem getting your CCRN.

    I can't speak to the CEN since I am not an ED nurse but from what I have been told my fellow nurses is that it's a much easier exam.
  8. by   Euro_Sepsis
    I can attest to both. In terms of content, the only common ground they share is in 12-lead interpretation as it pertains to inferior STEMI recognition and appropriate (or inappropriate) treatment. You'll have to study for each one separately. But interestingly I found that a lot of the CCRN vignette and prioritization questions play well to ED strengths (initial treatments of acute presentations).
  9. by   TicTok411
    ECCO provides a good base of review for nurses entering the ICU. I have worked in several hospitals where it was required for new ICU nurses. It may be review or it might go over things you have not been exposed to. I have only heard good things about it from the nurses who have completed it. It is probably not the best review for CCRN or CEN. Experience and some study along the way are the best for preparations for those tests.

    I think obtaining a CCRN or CEN is great if it is a goal of yours and it is something you strive to achieve. However, if you are not being reimbursed for it or receive a higher wage it can feel a bit like a scam. You are better off investing in college courses towards a degree. The whole paying to renew CCRN and CEN can be expensive and it doesn't really mean a whole lot. That is my opinion anyway.
  10. by   purplegal
    Wish the CCRN was in my future...
  11. by   newmail445
    This is all really excellent content! Thank you. Putting into perspective CCRN as expert and ECCO as beginner helped. I'm not currently eligible for the CCRN but by the time I am, I'll have decent experience under my belt to prep me for the test. As for the CEN, I intend on buying a study book in 2 weeks. By then ECCO will be done. It's good to know the CEN may be easier. Perhaps the TNCC will help there. I have completed that as well.

    Regarding Tic's comments on the certs not being worth the investment, I think it will look good on resumes and we do indeed get a yearly bonus for being certified. Though only for one cert. For passing each cert, we are reimbursed the MEMBER price.

    Further context: I've been a Med / Surg nurse for 3.25 years and have the CMSRN.
  12. by   Euro_Sepsis
    Yes, the trauma content in the CEN exam is based on TNCC standards whereas CCRN seemed to be based on ATLS/ATCN. But it's not necessarily an easier test than CCRN. It requires some niche knowledge (trauma, peds, OB, tox, psych).
  13. by   newmail445
    This is great feedback. I plan on just doing questions for 1-2 months before sitting for it.