Studying for CCRN. Argh!

Specialties Critical


Wow. I'm overwhelmed. There is sooo much. It doesn't help that I work in a rather low tech open hearts, no balloon pumps, only diagnostic cardiac caths, rarely a Swan-Ganz.

I've always been a straight-A, 4.0 student. That's what I'm used to. I get A's.

Well....I've been taking the practice CCRN test on disk as well as other critical care related "quizzes" on CD. ACK! 74% to 86% have been my ranges. I've NEVER scored so low on anything in my life!! I'm really getting depressed!

I'm taking a two-day CCRN review course this week. I'm really counting on it to help gear me up and get me going in the right direction.

Does anyone know what % is required to pass the CCRN? My goal is to take it in June so I've got time to prepare (I think!!)

You have to get 130 of 200 questions right. Sounds to me if you are getting 74-86 per cent you will be just fine. I personally found the trick to keep studying everyday just a little. The weekend before the test I reread the ENTIRE Pass CCRN book and then stopped studying the day before.

Like I said, I think you will do just fine. Good luck

Jenny P

1,164 Posts

Specializes in CV-ICU.

Zee, I believe you have to have at least a 76% in order to pass-- anyway, that was what it used to be the last time I took it back in 1996. I have re-certified with CE's since then; but had tested out at least 4-5 times for it between 1978 and 1996. I did let it lapse a few times also during this period; but I used to test out of it to prove to myself that I knew what I was doing; since '96 I've decided that things change too much for me to rely on my memory! :D

Nurse Ratched, RN

2,149 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics/Oncology/Psych/College Health.

No clue about the test, Zee - just wanted to wish you well - you've got way more nerve than me. I probably wouldn't know what to do with a swanz-ganz if one of my psych patients came up and started choking me with it ;).

Just want to say good luck.

I am studying for the Med-Surg Certification to take in October.


487 Posts


Wanted to tell you that as a Canadian RN, I was scheduled to write the Canadian version of the CCRN in early April.

I had studied months for it------ it was cancelled due to SARS.They did not want nurses from a number of different areas in the same place at the same time writing a test. Also a number of RN's where in quarintine at the time---- many still are.

The test will be at a time TBA-----probally in Sept------but wanted to tell you, I know it is alot of work and good luck.


350 Posts

Specializes in Anesthesia.

I'm studying for the CCRN too, Zee. I guess I'm fortunate because I work in a very high tech CTS ICU where swans, vents, open hearts, VADs, balloon pumps, CVVH, etc. are pretty common place. The bad side of all that is that I don't get a lot of experience with other types of patients, like traumas and neuro cases. I wouldn't know what on earth to do with some of their high-tech equipment.

Like you, I've always been a good student and the thing that is tripping me up studying for this exam is that I'm doing it all on my know what I mean? It's not like being in class and following a syllabus and knowing that I will be responsible for knowing this this and this by this date, and that that and that by another. I know that I can set goals by myself, but I work so much better when I'm under some extrinsic pressure.

Anyway, good luck to you!


Specializes in med/surg, cardiac/telemetry, hospice.

First off, Good luck, Zee!

I don't know if this applies to the CCRN exam, but I assume it does. If your CD "guarantees" a passing grade, then your scores on the CD tests are likely to be lower than your CCRN exam grade. The NCLEX CDs are set up that way; if you can (even barely) pass the CD test, then you definitely pass the actual exam. It saves them from paying out on the guarantee. ;)


799 Posts

Specializes in Step down, ICU, ER, PACU, Amb. Surg.

I am in the same boat as you, Zee...very low tech ICU and wanting to get my CCRN. Studying has beena nigtmare and i get panicky, which is unusual. I have always been a fair studentbut this material makes me question y capabilities. We could always start a support group thread here for this. Sheeh! I know I can use all the support I can :)

Good luck to you and everyone else out there preparing for this exam.



4,491 Posts

I used an earlier version of this book:

Call 1-800-331-6534 9am-3pm EST Monday-Thursday

Critical Care Examination Review by Laura Gasparis Vonfrolio, RN, PhD, CEN-Joanne Noone, RN, MSN,


Over 800 multiple choice questions that test your knowledge of critical care nursing. Organizes content by

body system so that you can easily study whichever subjects you need to review more thoroughly. Presents

valuable test-taking strategies to boost your confidence and give you an added advantage when taking the

exam. 412 pgs $28.95 + $5.00 S/H

The rational for why answers are wrong gives you the thought process as well as information needed to pass. I've been a CCRN for18 years.


799 Posts

Specializes in Step down, ICU, ER, PACU, Amb. Surg.

I have the Laura Gasparis review book and so far I am not batting a very good Makes me wonder if I know what I think to begin with .....:eek: :roll :eek:


951 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, Critical Care.

I had the first day of our local AACN chapter's CCRN Review Course today. Don't feel much better yet. :) I **really** gotta get hemodynamic profiles down -- specifically, what disease processes result in what hemodynamic profiles. It seemed like everyone else there works cardiothoracic ICU, post open-heart or related ICU. They are shouting out answers before I even finish reading the question on the overhead. :(

But at least, thus far, it has directed me into what I really need to study. I have another day of class to go tomorrow. Then I'm gonna do every single goshdarned test I can get my hands on (without spending a fortune; I'm already into it for $60 CCRN Book, $99 course review; $220 exam registration; $30 another book...not counting travel time, etc. And I'm not getting paid or reimbursed for any of this. Taking vacation days to attend class.)

And Sylvan Learning Centers no longer offer the test. I have to go to H&R Block. *sigh* Of course, it's less convenient. But I could just be whining because I got LOST on my way to the class (an hour from my house) and LOST on my way back (had to drive through Pittsburgh and hit the rush hour a 1-1/2 hour drive).

Untamedspirit, I'm all for a support group!! LOL. At this rate, I'm gonna need it! I understand that panicky thing. I'm usually a GREAT test taker but this thing has me shaking in my shoes.

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