Do I take the CFRN or the CTRN?

by Blueorchid Blueorchid, ASN, RN Member Nurse

Specializes in Trauma ICU.

Hello all,

Bit of background history, I am a nurse with 5.5 years of ICU experience in a busy trauma ICU followed by 1.5 years of experience in the Cardiac Cath Lab. I switched to CCT ground in 2017 and October of this year will make it a full 2 years in CCT. I've been an EMT since 2008 and I am currently in year two of five for my AG-ACNP/CNS program. I have somewhat of a break in my classes (I had to stretch from a 4 year program to 5 to keep a roof over my head) and here is where I sit.

I feel like I am going through a bit of what feels like a "midlife crisis" as far as my nursing is concerned (yes I know by many standards I am still a young nurse but I don't know how else to describe it...haha). When I started my DNP program I sort of resigned myself to the fact that I would not fly as a nurse which was okay for me at the time. Now that I've taken a Flight Bridge review course up in Ohio I know that there are such things as flight NPs (which seems pretty awesome and a potentially growing field) and I'm trying to figure out which exam to take.

With three years left in my program I imagine there is a possibility for me to fly if the right position were to come up. As such, should I take the CFRN and have it under my belt as a cert? Or should I go with the CTRN with the understanding I might have to take the CFRN if I should happen to find myself with an opportunity to fly?

Thanks in advance!



applesxoranges, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. 2,242 Posts

I applied to a few programs and they really don't care as much as you have a certification to satisfy CAMTS if they are CAMTS certified. I think they updated their standards to remove the CEN as an accepted cert.

From what I hear CTRN and CFRN are very similar since ASTNA made the test. I took CTRN since I was on the ambulance at the time. However, a lot of people haven't heard of the CTRN since it is newer and not published as much but that will probably change since CAMTS has it in their new standards pdf. They also like the CCRN.



Specializes in Adult and pediatric emergency and critical care. 547 Posts

If you don't yet have your CCRN or CEN start with that. Do you have any pediatric experience? Most flight programs won't hire nurses who don't have six months of experience in pediatric emergency or critical care.