I passed my PCCN examination yesterday on the first attempt, and would like to share what worked for me. I used the following courses and materials for my examination preparation, which I started in late August this year:
AACN's PCCN Certification Review Online (about $79 to AACN members when purchased at the same time one registers for the examination)
AACN's Self-Assessment Exam for PCCN (online at AACN website)
"Practice PCCN Exam Questions, Adult" (ordered online at AACN website)
"PCCN Certification Review" (2nd ed) by Brorsen/Rogelet ISBN 978-1-2840-2748-8
"PCCN Q&A" (1st ed) by Fancher ISBN 978-0-9858777-4-3
I also attended a CCRN/PCCN Certification Review live course taught by Nicole Kupchick. It was very good and really made me feel as though I could tackle the wide range of review topics. She is the certification cheerleader (you will even learn cheers at her course). I wanted to take a Cammie Fancher review course but couldn't find one that worked with my schedule this fall. She teaches all over the nation, several courses a year, so it would not be difficult to find one of her courses with a little more lead time. The AACN website lists many of these courses under the "Chapter Events" calendar on their website.
I would heartily recommend the online AACN PCCN certification review course - it was just outstanding and really will help me enhance my practice. Even my trucker boyfriend enjoyed Carol Rauen's lectures. . .he said she was a badass and just the sort of nurse he'd hope to have if he was in the hospital!
As I prepared for the examination, I really didn't feel too confident of passing, so I just stayed with the mentality that pass or fail, all this review would make me a better nurse. I do think the steadily improving passing percentage on the PCCN examination overall reflects better availability of preparation materials. I would recommend taking a review course (live or online) before tackling the Brorsen book for best results, but everyone is different.
I work as a float pool nurse in a Level-2 Trauma center; the units I work in range from stepdown critical care to the ED to med-surg to inpatient psychiatry (but variety is the spice of life, right?). I have been a practicing RN for 2.25 years, graduated with an ADN and completed my BSN last year. (I am providing this information so that newer nurses who meet the certification requirements but don't think they can pursue it until they've been working for several years consider pursuing certification sooner. . .I do think it will make us newer nurses stronger in our practices!)