How to pass CCRN 2021?

Specialties MICU Nursing Q/A


How to pass CCRN 2021?

I'm looking for an excellent books/online review materials to ace the CCRN exam. I particularly would like to hear from recent test takers how they prepare for d-day. Thank you and I would appreciate any input. 

5 Answers


3 Posts

I just wanted to share my experience with the CCRN since I couldn’t really find much of anything from 2021. I have 1 year of ICU experience and I studied for about 3 weeks. I took the CCRN exam 3/15 and passed with a 95/125. You need 83/125 to pass--not 87. It took me about an hour and 45 minutes to complete the exam. To study, I used:

Laura Gasparis videos: I bought the set from She does a really good job teaching the meat and potatoes of what will be on the test, and I found this especially helpful since I don’t have years of experience. She’s funny and relates the material to past experiences she’s had with patients. It wasn’t super dry, I wasn't zoning out the entire time. I think it cost around $170-$180. Like I said, it was really helpful for me, but I don’t really think she would be all that helpful for someone with more experience and has a better grasp of the core content.

Barron’s book: I went through the Barron’s book (the blue one) while listening to LifeLongNursing on YouTube. The Barron’s book was great because it gives you stars next to the things you need to know for the exam. There was one pretest and 2 150 question practice tests. I was honestly scoring in the 50’s for all of the end of chapter quizzes and practice tests, I got discouraged and quit using it. The practice questions were stated like they will be on the CCRN exam in the sense that it was to the point. I only referenced it for the key things I needed to know. I think the book was around $30.

Pass CCRN: I did not buy the book; I only bought the question bank. This is where I spent most of my time, but I have always learned best through practice questions. I did all 1,124 questions. The big thing here is to make sure you understand the rationales, and also read the test taking tips. The rationales sucked sometimes, so you may have to Google it to find a more in-depth answer. As for the difficulty of the questions in the qbank compared to the real CCRN exam, the questions are going to be asking you the same things that you’ll be asked on the CCRN exam. In my opinion, the biggest difference between Pass CCRN and the actual exam is that the Pass CCRN qbank has a lot more fluff in the questions, meaning you are given a ton of information about the condition of the patient and the actual question has nothing to do with any of the info you just read. The real CCRN exam is much briefer and to-the-point. The question bank was around $30 as well.

Some advice I have:

Don’t read into the question, take it at face value. Don’t assume any information that was not given to you. Remember your basic ABC’s, and that if your patient is in distress, the answer is going to be to intervene. Even if the only way you can intervene is to call the doctor. Make sure you know your hemodynamics and how the body responds in various stages of shock, hypertrophic/dilated cardiomyopathy, SIADH/DI, HHS/DKA, ABG’s and what vent settings you will change to improve the next gas. Know your electrolytes and how they balance with each other (when this one is low, this one will be high, etc). When you answer a question, do not change your answer unless you know for an absolute fact that you are incorrect. And it may be a good idea to go back through the test before you submit, sometimes other questions can give you the answer to a previous question.  DO NOT TAKE THE ETHICS PORTION LIGHTLY, the Barron’s book does a pretty good job breaking down their Synergy model. The ethics portion can truly make or break you.

Sorry for the TED talk, best of luck!


16 Posts

On 3/25/2021 at 3:57 AM, cxitlen said:

I just wanted to share my experience with the CCRN since I couldn’t really find much of anything from 2021. I have 1 year of ICU experience and I studied for about 3 weeks. I took the CCRN exam 3/15 and passed with a 95/125. You need 83/125 to pass--not 87. It took me about an hour and 45 minutes to complete the exam...

Hi thanks for sharing your experience!

Are the questions/scenarios in pass ccrn question bank similar to the actual exam? I am trying to find the right materials to study.


1 Post

Specializes in BSN, RN, CCRN.

Sorry I am late to the party- you may have already taken the test!  If not, hope this helps:

I just took it this month.  I started looking into the Barron's CCRN book 3-4 months before.  I chipped away slowly by reading through the chapters and familiarizing myself with the info (taking each practice test as it came up in the book). I maybe spent 1-2ish hours a week just plugging along with the info.

At work in the little down time I had, and at home, I used the Pass the CCRN app to go through questions.  I did not make it through all of them, but they were great when I didn't want to bring my Barron's book around. 

About 3-4 days before the test I spent 3-6 hrs a day just taking the practice tests from the Barron's book and the online one it provides as well.  Best advice is to look at the rationale as soon as you answer that question (not at the end of the test) while the info is fresh.  

If you know the Barron's info well and understand the rationale for those questions as you go, you'll be solid!  I found that the questions/information was very similar to those of the actual CCRN test.

Best of luck if you have yet to take it.

I'm hoping to take the exam in April….. hopefully I’ll be ready ?. I started Barron’s last month and purchased the pass CCRN you can do it question book. I’m planning on purchasing the Laura Gasparis videos as well. Did anyone purchase from her website ( it’s over 300 dollars).  I wasn’t sure if anyone purchased that and did the questions she offers on her website. I also see they are offered on but it looks like it’s just videos no questions. Thank you❤️


16 Posts

I used only the pass ccrn question bank and the barron's book.  Imho, the pass ccrn question bank is enough study guide for the exam.

I have the laura gasparis book but never really used it . 

I did pass the exams. I read  advices from RN's here in the forum. Most of them  used barron and pass ccrn question bank.

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