CCRN Adult - Critical Care Nursing Adult Exam Review

The CCRN Adult is a certification exam created by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Certification Corporation in order to determine whether or not an individual has the knowledge required to be an effective critical care nurse for adult patients.

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The CCRN Adult Exam does not register an individual as a registered nurse and is usually not a requirement for actually working in a critical care unit. However, it is an indication that an individual has an advanced knowledge of critical-care procedures and allows the individual to use the CCRN letters after his or her licensing credentials. The CCRN Adult Exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions, 125 of which are scored and 25 that are experimental, that covers information related to the following areas:

  • Cardiovascular (32%)
  • Endocrine (4%)
  • Gastrointestinal (6%)
  • Hematology and Immunology (3%)
  • Multisystem (8%)
  • Neurology (5%)
  • Pulmonary (17%)
  • Renal (5%)
  • Advocacy and Moral Agency (2%)
  • Caring practices (4%)
  • Collaboration (4%)
  • Clinical Inquiry (2%)
  • Facilitation of Learning (4%)
  • Handling Diversity (2%)
  • Systems Thinking (2%)

Individuals taking any CCRN exam will have three hours to complete the exam. The CCRN exam is scored based on the number of questions answered correctly and the score will be considered a passing score if it is higher than the threshold set by the test's administrators. The exact score required to pass the CCRN exam varies from test to test as each question is assigned a weight based upon the difficulty of the question. This means that even though each CCRN test contains the same material, the score required may vary based on which questions a particular individual receives. The number of correct responses required in order to pass the CCRN exam is usually approximately 70% or 88 questions. For an individual to be eligible to take the CCRN Adult Exam, the individual must be a registered nurse without any restrictions on his or her license of any kind. The candidate must also have worked in a critical care environment handling adult care for at least 1,750 hours of which 875 hours must have been completed in the year prior to the candidate's application. Potential Candidates can register for the CCRN Adult Exam on the AACN Certification Corporation website and can choose to take the CCRN test either in a computerized form administered by Applied Measurement Professionals Inc. (AMP) or in a written form administered by the National Teaching Institute (NTI.) The registration fee for the CCRN exam is $220 for AACN members and $325 for nonmembers.

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Last Updated: 08/23/2018


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