A CCRN review course is your ticket to passing the exam and thriving as a Critical Care Nurse
Obtaining your CCRN gives you tremendous opportunities. Not only does it solidify your expertise as a critical care nurse, but it gives you more possibilities for leadership and benefits within your unit and organization. Most importantly, it improves patient outcomes and saves lives, which is the bread and butter of what nurses do. Yet, many nurses hesitate to pursue CCRN certification because they fear the process of studying and even failing. Here are 6 reasons why taking a CCRN certification course can help you study, pass the exam, and excel in your role as a CCRN-certified nurse.
There are two main components to meeting the CCRN requirements. First, you will need to make sure you have a valid nursing license. Second, you need to meet a minimum number of hours working in a critical care setting. Let’s take an in-depth look at how to complete each of these requirements.
#1 CCRN certification courses provide structure
The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) delivers the CCRN exam. The exam covers a wide range of topics pertinent to critical care nursing. One of the biggest dilemmas nurses face when preparing for the exam is figuring out how to break down their study content into digestible, absorbable pieces.
Per the AACN, the CCRN exam is broken down into two major test areas: Clinical Judgement (80%) and Professional Caring and Ethical Practice (20%). As you can see, the majority of test questions focus on assessing your clinical judgment skills. These questions will center on pathophysiological processes in specific body systems.
To verify that your license is current, head to your home state’s Board of Professional Regulations and search by your name or license number. Keep in mind, if you are currently practicing in a health care setting, your license is likely valid as it is a requirement for employment as a nurse.
The following is a breakdown of the body systems you will see on the exam:
- Cardiovascular (17%)
- Respiratory (15%)
- Endocrine/Hematology/Gastrointestinal/Renal/Integumentary (20%)
- Musculoskeletal/Neurological/Psychosocial (14%)
- Multisystem (14%)
The second major test area is concerned with caring and ethical practice. You will see questions that fall in the following areas:
- Advocacy/Moral agency
- Caring practices
- Response to diversity
- Facilitation of learning
- Systems thinking
- Clinical inquiry
Figuring out an approach to studying these topics and retaining the information can be time-consuming and frustrating. CCRN certification courses alleviate this component of the study process by giving you structure. Many courses will help you monitor your progress throughout the study process and keep you on track.
#2 Tells you exactly what you need to know
There are 150 test questions on the CCRN exam. While you will answer all of these questions, you will only be scored on 125 of them, as 25 are for research purposes. It can feel overwhelming to figure out what will be on the exam with that many questions.
CCRN certification courses make it their business to know exactly what you need to know to pass the exam. Instructors can help guide you on what subjects you will want to pay particular attention to, and they help you stay focused on relevant content. Unlike a CCRN review book, an instructor can reframe how the information is delivered to you so that it is easier to understand.
#3 Increases your odds of passing the exam
Nurses who take CCRN certification courses have better pass rates than those who do not. Taking a course enhances your focus and attention to your studying.
Many courses deliver information through handouts, practice tests, lectures, and visual displays. Some certification courses also allow you to connect with other CCRN students in discussion forums, which allows for further dialogue about specific topics.
Additionally, certification courses can help you tweak out differences between what you see in clinical practice and what you need to know for the exam.
For example, certain nursing practices are performed routinely at the bedside in “real life,” but the correct answer on the test may not be reflective of what you see in your daily practice.
#4 Saves you money in the end
Nurses work hard for their money, which is why the cost of taking the exam plus paying for a review course can feel out of reach. Review courses generally cost anywhere between $100-$350. With the CCRN exam fee between $230-$335 (depending on your AACN membership status), this certification can feel like a pretty big financial commitment.
Some nurses opt for a CCRN review book, which usually runs between $55-$65. However, we know that nurses who prepare with a certification course are more likely to pass the first time.
Nurses who need to re-take the exam must pay a discounted retest fee each time they take the test. You can re-take the test up to 4 times in one 12-month period. Not passing on your first try can add to your cost burden.
The upfront cost of preparing well for the CCRN will pay off very quickly once you obtain your certification. Additionally, many organizations will pay for your CCRN exam fee and possibly the review course.
This is because obtaining your CCRN provides tremendous benefit to your organization. If your organization does not reimburse you for these costs, most CCRNs get a pay increase once they successfully pass the exam.
#5 You can earn CEUs in some certification courses
Continuing education units (CEUs) and contact hours are a vital component of staying current with the best nursing practices. Our profession is continuously evolving, and organizations want to see that you are adapting to the advancements in our practice.
Thus, many nurses can meet some or all of their CE requirements just by taking a CCRN certification course. So, you can “kill two birds with one stone” if you take a certification course
#6 Makes you feel more confident at work
One of the benefits of getting your CCRN is that it gives you confidence in your skills as a nurse that cares for the sickest patients. Not only will a CCRN certification course instill more confidence in your own skills, but it also gives your co-workers a sense of comfort and ease, knowing that you are practicing at their side.
Nurses who have their CCRN are often unit leaders and are everyone’s go-to when something unexpected or unprecedented arises. Additionally, CCRNs make great teachers for current and future nurses (and other providers as well).
Ready to take your nursing practice to the next level and save more lives?
Critical Care Academy has an evidence-based approach to helping you prepare for the CCRN exam. Our review course delivers the content you need to know to pass the exam in short video modules that are easy to access on the go.
Our nurses break down complicated information in a relatable and digestible format. Coupled with our test question bank, quizzes, handouts, and discussion groups, Critical Care Academy provides the most cutting-edge CCRN certification course.
We are so confident in our method that we offer a 100% money-back guarantee if you don’t pass. Our mission is to save 1 million lives by helping 100,000 nurses achieve certification. Join us in our mission today.
Accelerate your nursing career today and better your patient outcomes
by filling out your CCRN application and enrolling in Critical Care Academy today.