Anyone CCRN?

  1. Just wondering if anyone's taken this test and how had is it? Would you suggest buying review books in preparation? How much of your common knowledge from ICU helped? Just very curious..
  2. Visit shirleyTX profile page

    About shirleyTX

    Joined: Oct '02; Posts: 146
    Cardio; from US
    Specialty: 7 year(s) of experience in psych


  3. by   Zee_RN
    I just took and passed the test in June. Whoo-hoo! How did I prepare:

    * I took a 2-day review course sponsored by my local chapter of AACN.

    * I bought Laura Gasparis Vonfrolio's "Cram CCRN" audio tapes (4 tapes) and listened to them religiously.

    * I bought the book "Pass CCRN" by Robin Donohoe Dennison.

    The ICU I work in is quite low tech so not a whole lot of experience applied (it did really help with the respiratory stuff, though, since we get a lot of respiratory failures). I had to really study the cardiac stuff since my unit does not do CABG or balloon pumps or anything cardiology-invasive related. And we only rarely do Swans.

    It is a *hard* test. Harder than boards, definitely.

    Good luck! Feel free to private message me if you want more info!
  4. by   suetje
    How long have you been in ICU? You should have a pretty good level of knowledge to pass the test. I would DEFINITELY recommend studying for it. this knowledge is not something you get after 1 year in is experience PLUS study...but a great credential to have.
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    I used the book, "Critical Care Exam Review"
    The rational for why answers were wrong helped a lot!

    Also I think it is a great learning, networking, and FUN experience to attend NTI
  6. by   shirleyTX
    Thanx to all that replied>>> Nurses are the best!!!!!!!!!
  7. by   moonshadeau
    I took the CCRN last year at this time. I started studying for it the moment that I decided I was going to take it. I studied with others in my unit that I convinced to take it with me. Since I don't work in ICU, I took every class possible that my hospital offered (i.e hemodynamics, ACLS, etc).

    For books I bought the three book deal from Amazon
    Pass CCRN, Laura Gasparis Vonfrolio's Book, and another book that I can't remember. I also watched Laura's workshop review videos. offers some of the excerpts of Laura's book under the critical care section.

    Best thing that you can do is have a positive can do attitude and feel good when you pass!

    Good luck.
  8. by   glascow
    I took the test in 1993. I'm sure it's changed some! I prepared by listening to Laura Gasparis audio cassettes every time I was in my car alone. Also took a two-day intense workshop with Nancy Townsend, and also listened to her audio tapes
    I also bought several books with review test. I studied for about 6 months prior to the test.
    I did find my clinical experience useful, I had been a RN for one yr when I took the test (and passed). The unit I worked in at the time had a lot of open heart and trauma patients, that really helped with the hemodynamics part of the test.
    Be sure to get the blue print for the test from aacn and use it! Check out this site and download CCRN handbook.
    Good luck.
    Last edit by glascow on Aug 12, '03
  9. by   Zee_RN
    I thought the requirements for the test called for TWO years of critical care experience. I'm puzzled.
  10. by   shirleyTX
    I looked on the CCRN website and it stated that you had to have 1750 hours with critically ill patients (bedside nursing) within the last two years. So by my calculation, if you work 40hrs wk for a year you would have enough hours. But it did not say you had to work 2 Years before you could apply.
  11. by   tammyg652
    no the requirement say in the passs 2 year as a RN u have to have done about 1750 hours. which u would have meet w/ full time employment in a year
    Last edit by tammyg652 on Mar 21, '06
  12. by   RNLady
    She said that she took the test back in 1993, I am assuming that the requirements have changed since then. They have probably increased the hours since then. Just a thought
  13. by   fungirl
    Quote from shirleyTX
    Just wondering if anyone's taken this test and how had is it? Would you suggest buying review books in preparation? How much of your common knowledge from ICU helped? Just very curious..

    I took the test this year and you will need to study for the exam for sure. There is a % of each body system on the exam, most of it compromising cardiac and resp., so definately focus on those areas. Gasparis tapes are good, and also a book by her that is strictly questions/rationales, can't remember the name, it is small and green. Next best book is critical care certification, it is a brown book. Did not feel that Pass CCRN was a good book to study from, it is all in outline form and is much too detailed for the exam.............good luck....
  14. by   gasmn2b
    Passed last October on my first try, several years of MICU experience which helped, cardiac was my weakness though.

    I suggest a few go in on the AACN computer disk and the Gasparis videos
    to help defray the costs

    AACN disk with a question bank was very useful, would do upwards of 150 questions at a time to practice, according to Laura Gasparis you should mentally train yourself the week before you sit the exam to be able to handle that many questions at a time. Otherwise you become worn out mentally and begin to miss questions inadvertantly.

    Also listened to her tapes one time around and used pass CCRN and the disk provided to study.

    Personally, I found Gasparis more entertaining and easier to absorb then Nancy Townsend -- who is very monotone and straight forward.

    Best of luck to you

    Some employers will pay credential diffs or bonuses for having certification so look into it. Mine paid diffs and reimbursed the cost of the exam/membership (watch out and make sure of the policy for exam/membership or exam only).