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CCRN Certification

Adult CCRN Certification

Adult CCRN® specialty certification is a certification for nurses providing direct beside care to acutely and/or critically ill adult patients. The CCRN® credential is granted by the AACN Certification Corporation. Adult CCRN Certification requirements include licensure as an RN or APRN in the United States, meeting clinical practice requirement hours, and passing a certification exam.

The exam is designed to assess and validate the RN’s knowledge and competency when caring for the acutely/critically ill patient.

Becoming board certified has become extremely fundamental over the years. Most hospitals and nursing facilities expect and encourage their nurses to be certified in their specialty area of practice. Many hospitals offer monetary incentives and leadership roles for nursing certification.

CCRN Certification signifies nursing excellence and confirms that the nurse has mastered the skills and knowledge base necessary to effectively care for acutely ill patients. CCRN Certification is associated with better patient outcomes and higher quality patient care.

For many nurses CCRN® Certification is the initial building block towards becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) or Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP).

CCRN Exam Eligibility


• Current unencumbered licensure as an RN or APRN in the United States is required.


Candidates must meet one of the following clinical practice requirement options:

• Practice as an RN or APRN for 1,750 hours in direct bedside care of acutely and/or critically ill patients during the previous 2 years, with 875 of those hours accrued in the most recent year preceding application.


• Practice as an RN or APRN for at least 5 years with a minimum of 2,000 hours in direct bedside care of acutely and/or critically ill patients, with 144 of those hours accrued in the most recent year preceding application.

Practice Verification

• The name and contact information of a professional associate must be given for verification of eligibility related to clinical practice hours.

Adult CCRN® Exam Content.

The CCRN exams are 3-hour tests consisting of 150 multiple-choice items. Of the 150 items, 125 are scored and 25 are used to gather statistical data on item performance for future exams.

The content of the Adult CCRN exams is described in the Adult CCRN Test Plan within the CCRN Exam Handbook.

Steps to Obtaining Adult CCRN Certification

1) Download the CCRN Exam Handbook provided by the AACN Certification Corporation.
2) Review the handbook to ensure you meet the minimum testing requirements.
3) Proceed to www.certcorp.org and click “apply online” to create an application.
4) Receive email confirming your successful application.
5) Receive Approval to Test Email from AACN
6) Locate a testing center on www.goAMP.com and schedule your examination.
7) Sit for the exam

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