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PCCN vs CCRN

MICU   (2,047 Views 8 Comments)
by TNnurse91 TNnurse91 (New Member) New Member

425 Profile Views; 10 Posts

Hi, this is double posted onto critical care nursing but I was hoping i might get more answers from cross posting

Hi All!

I came to the VA ICU (mostly PCU patients) 4 months ago after working in ICU at a level 1 trauma center for 2.5 years. Prior to that I worked at a community hospital in ICU/PCU for a year. I was planning on studying/taking my CCRN this fall - i have Laura's DVDs and was going to buy the test questions from AACN and Baron's CCRN study guide. I work at the VA and they give bonuses for certificates. I have been told to take your PCCN first for the larger bonus and then take the CCRN next for the smaller bonus (each bonus goes down in money) because they have been known to give you grief if you do it backwards. Has anyone studied for just the CCRN and taken the PCCN and passed? I didn't know how difficult it would be or if I need to study separately. Thanks!

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KeepinitrealCCRN has 5 years experience and specializes in SICU,CTICU.

111 Posts; 2,703 Profile Views

Unrelated. If you work in the ICU then you take the CCRN and if you work intermediate/progressive/step down care you take PCCN.

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AJJKRN has 6+ years experience and specializes in Medical-Surgical/Float Pool/Stepdown.

1,224 Posts; 20,962 Profile Views

My boss told me this as she has both certifications...

She said the PCCN was actually harder for her because you have to take the test in the mindset of a nurse with the knowledge of a step down nurse without using your knowledge of a ICU nurse, if that makes sense. She said that yes it was very beneficial to study for them separately to help keep in each mindset.

I would loosely compare it to trying to take both the certifications for medical-surgical (CMSRN) and neuroscience nursing (CNRN) but with only using the resources from one focus area to study for both.

Good luck on both!

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8 Posts; 142 Profile Views

I don't think it's right for an ICU nurse to take the PCCN. That would be like a step down nurse taking the CCRN. That isn't your patient population or expertise. Doesn't feel right to me, not really, really wrong, but just kinda off. 

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3 Posts; 289 Profile Views

This doesn’t sound right, one of the requirements if I’m not mistaken is actually working on a PCU. Like if you were a PCU nurse and left and wanted to recert. You wouldn’t be allowed technically. They make you go from PCCN to PCCN-K to let people know you don’t have recent PCU experience so I don’t think ICU nurses can get it....

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Pheebz777 has 18 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU, CVICU, E.R..

225 Posts; 4,417 Profile Views

Are you planning to take both just for the bonuses? Awesome! Go for it! I work with a nurse that has both PCCN/CCRN on his badge.

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72 Posts; 2,883 Profile Views

I’ve taken both and there’s a lot of similarities. If you know CCRN stuff you will definitely pass PCCN. CCRN includes all that was tested in PCCN plus titratable drips, vents, ICP monitoring, invasive hemodynamic monitoring. PCCN was easier in my opinion. Do the option that will pay you more definitely!

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PacoUSA has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in PCU / Telemetry.

3,424 Posts; 44,070 Profile Views

If a PCU nurse takes PCCN, earns that certification and later on goes to ICU and takes CCRN, can that nurse just let the PCCN lapse and keep just CCRN? I assume it is kind of silly to maintain both if the nurse is staying in critical care/ICU.

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