The critical care nurse certifications are essential to all registered nurses for their benefit and the height it makes them reach. But before we move to that, let us consider the following questions asked about this topic to broaden our knowledge.
What is Critical Care Certification?
A critical care certification is an authorization given by the AACN certification collaboration. This organization approves nurses from all over the globe who are conversant with the critically ill victims to treat and care for them.
These certifications will help to develop nursing programs all over the world.
Who is a Critical Nurse?
A critical or acute nurse is a medical practitioner trained and awarded college certificates to practice as a nurse. This scheme entails various supervised clinical practices to ensure advanced skills, knowledge, and abilities have been attained.
There are different critical nurses. These nurses have other functions, which includes:
- Paediatric critical care certification nurse
- Neonatal CCRN
- Flight CCRN
- General CCRN
- Emergency CCRN
What Certification do ICU Nurses Need?
Before a registered nurse can work in the intensive care unit, he/she must possess specific critical care nurse certifications which will qualify them to work as a critical care nurse practitioner in an ICU department, some of which are;
It is one of the essential certifications critical care nurses should have who works in the ICU. This certification covers some main specializations in adult neonatal and children. Having this certification will prove you are more knowledgeable in the field and give you a chance to succeed crnreview.
But before you can be eligible for this certification, there are specific requirements you have to attain because, without it, you won’t qualify for the CCRN certification. Some requirements needed include:
- Such an individual gets licensed as either a registered nurse or an advanced practised registered nurse (APRN)
- Must have practice for five years with a minimum of 2000 hours in an acute or critically ill ward, with at least 144 hours in recent years or have practised for two years with a minimum of 1700 hours in an acute community, with at least 875 hours in recent years.
- Such a candidate must Provide professional associates to verify if such an individual has attained the number of clinical practising hours.
- They must be able to pass a multi-choice exam comprising 150 questions.
Procedures for getting Critical Care Nurse Certifications:
- Download the CCRN handbook from the AACN certification corporation
- Check to see if you are eligible
- Apply online by clicking certcorp to start your application
- you will receive an email for successfully applying
- once approved, you will receive an email from
- AACN concerning your approval.
- Locate your exam on goAMP to Finally sitting for the exam
Certified Wound Specialist (CWS)
The American Board of Wound awards nurses with CWS after working at least three years with critical wounds; Certified Wound Specialist certification CWS helps you be recognized as a specialist and improve wound care quality for your patient.
It also gives you formal recognition in wound management—requirements to attain a CWS certification.
- The candidate must have three years of experience in the financial service, including direct contact with the patient.
- Must have completed two instructor-led training sessions, self-study on wealth management issues and a capstone project.
- Ten mastery exams, one for each directed study module.
Critical Care Registered Nurse Certification (CCRN-E)
The CCRN-E certification is a specialized critical care practitioner certification that deals with adults; they treat and care for critically ill adults in a teleICU unit. But for you to be eligible for this certification, you must make sure you pass their requirement.
- For a nurse to get CCRN certification, they must have a current United States R.N. and APRN certification.
- They must have completed clinical practice hours with three years of practice as a nurse with 1,750 hours clinically active in acutely or critically ill adults, including two years and 875 hours of directed care teleICU unit.
Or, they are having 2000 hours of practice and five years’ experience in a critically ill adult unit, spending 144 hours in recent years in recent years of applications.
Cardiac Surgery Critical Care Certification (CSC)
CSC certification is for nurses who have worked with a patient with critical heart disorders after surgery. The American Association of Critical Care Nurses Certification Corporation that awards this certificate.
- Be a graduate of medical school that is accredited
- have an approved residency by completing an ACGM
- Be eligible in fields such as emergency medicine, surgery and medicine.
How do I get my CCRN Certification?
To attain critical care nurse practitioner certifications, an individual must pass all required subjects, get a BSN certificate, pass the NCLEX exam, get an MSN degree, and become certified by the American Association of Care Nurses.
All these must critical care nurse carried out before it can issue CCRN certifications to anyone.
How long does it take to get CCRN Certification?
The primary factor affecting nurses in getting this certification is the number of hours practised as a nurse. Once done with your MSN, you might need to work for at least 1-2 years to qualify for this critical care nurse practitioner certification.
The reason is that it gave nurses a requirement of 1700 to 2000 hours of practice as a nurse to qualify.
It will seem easy for a full-time nurse; even a year can earn a full-time nurse the number of hours they want, but being a part-time nurse, it might take two years to accomplish that.
And of course, they did state that if you have been a nurse for five years and have at least 2000 hours of practice, then you need 144 hours in the most recent years.
After completing the hours, getting a form should be the next, processed from a time range of 2 to 3 weeks by AACN before commencing the exam.
Using computer-based tests will get their result that same day, but others writing with paper will get theirs but will take days.
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How much does the CCRN Exam Cost?
Taking the CCRN exam to become a pediatric critical care certification nurse for the first time is in two faces, which involves the members and the non-members.
The members are to pay the sum of $225, while non-members are to pay $330.
Retaking the exam might be a little lesser than the first time bringing the price to $170 for members and $275 for non-members and finally,
Renewal exams cost $170 for members and $275 for non-members.
How soon can you Re-take the CCRN exam?
Retaking CCRN exams to get your critical care practitioners certifications takes place four times every 12 months for candidates who want to re-sit for the exam.
What are the Requirements to become a Critical Care Nurse?
The following are requirements that critical care nurse practitioner needs to be certified as a critical care nurse
- Have a degree, either bachelor, associate, or professional diploma
- Choose nursing as your field of studies
- Get licensed by NCLEX-RN or certification in advanced cardiac life support
- Possess a minimum of 2 years of experience in a critical care job
- Posses values such as interpersonal communication, loyalty, empathy, critical thinking, and good decision-making skills.
- Computer skills to handle computer software, E.G. medical software, and information retrieval software
Have specialized knowledge in various areas like the ultrasound (imaging) system, traction tools, etc. All these listed above are the essential requirements for a person aspiring for critical care certifications.
How can one get a CCRN Certification in 2022?
Getting a critical care nurse certification can be difficult but should not be a problem; hence, before individuals receive this certification, they must possess specific certificates. These certificates will serve as criteria to become a critical nurse. These include:
Get your BSN
Getting your bachelor’s in nursing science is the first and necessary step in becoming a critical nurse. Colleges admit students into the nursing program in which it trains them in all areas of nursing such as adult, children (pediatrics), disabilities, and mental health nursing.
Students who participate in BSN are equipped with knowledge on both the theory and practice to thrive well in the nursing profession.
Excel in the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN)
After graduating and getting your BSN certificate, nurses who wished to be certified as critical nurses must make sure they passed the NCLEX exam for registered nurses. Individuals participating will be tested on the following;
- Physiological integrity
- Reduction of risk potential
- Psychological integrity
- Safe and effective care environment
- Pharmacology and parental therapies
- Management of care
- Health promotion and maintenance
The successful candidate will practice for two years after the exam.
Getting a Master’s Degree from an Accredited MSN Program
Having a master’s degree gives you the opportunity of becoming a certified critical care practitioner.
MSN will be significant as it brings out the professional altitude of a nurse. Students who have gone through this program think critically in solving problems when faced with challenging or critical situations.
Also, they know how to expect their emotions and deal with stressful situations. All these characteristics are to improve potential nurses for the future of being a CCRN.
Formal Attestation by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)
AACN is a body responsible for certifying professional nurses who have comprehensive coverage or specialized in treating severely ill people and caring for vulnerable as critical nurse practitioners.
This body was founded in 1969 in the united state which has released essential, urgent care orientation in 2022 to provide essential care nursing orientation education in a safe online learning environment.
Top 10 Critical Nurse Certifications in 2022
#1. Basic life support (BLS)
BLS is a course designed to access cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), consisting of cardiac arrest, expired air ventilator, and obstructed airway; They are trained to recognize severe life-threatening emergencies certified by the American Heart Association.
Successfully passing your test at a police station, fire department, EMT-B training centres, and others can land you the BLS certification.
#2. Family Nurse Professional
The FNPs licensed by the ANCC family nurse practitioner board are responsible for treating chronic diseases, prescribing drugs, performing diagnostic tests, and developing treatment plans that fall under primary health.
- You must be trained in a higher institution and have graduated with a master or doctorate in family nurse
- Make sure the commission on collegiate nursing education formally accredits the program you have engaged in.
- Get a good pass mark on advanced pharmacology, physical assessment and pathophysiology.
- Become an active registered nurse in the United States.
#3. Certified nurse assistant (CNA)
They assist healthcare professionals in rendering quality care and treatment for the aged and sick people in nursing homes, residences, and hospitals. Their primary function is to make the patient feel comfortable and well relaxed in the hospital.
Some ways they render help include pressed patients who want to visit the bathroom, feeding a patient and even help when a patient wants to move around.
- Be a GED holder.
- Pass all the training approved by the state.
- You must complete the clinical requirement in person.
- Come out excellent in the exam given.
#4. Certified Nurse Technician (CNT)
CNT, also called nursing aid, are certified nurses termed with the responsibilities of the primary medical task. They also assist disabled, infirm, and elderly patients to help them go about their routines.
- Have an excellent high school background
- Attend a good accredited nursing program
- Prepare and pass your nursing technician exam
#5. Critical Care Nurses (CCRN)
A critical care registered nurse has the responsibility of treating severe or critically ill patients in the ICU units.
- Become licensed as a registered nurse
- Attain hours in clinical practice
- Pass the examination
#6. Critical Care Medicine
A critical care nursing is a specialist who diagnoses and treats patients with different organ malfunction. They also coordinate the care of patients among primary physicians.
The bodies responsible for its certification are the American Board of internal medicine (ABIM) and the American Board of emergency board (ABEM).
You get the certification after completing a six years integrated course,
- Candidate must have completed 24 hours of training for an accredited critical care medicine fellowship.
- Complete a clinical training of 12 months.
#7. Certified Nurse Educator
A registered nurse who has received a passing score on an examination given by the national league for nursing (NLN) is named nurse educators. As the name implies, educators are responsible for teaching or lecturing nursing students.
- You must have a masters or doctorate in nursing education
#8. Critical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
These specialists have comprehensive coverage in a specialized area of nursing which makes them work with critically ill patients. Their roles is to diagnose, assess and treat the patient
- Have a BSN or MSN
- Posses leadership skill
#9. Medical-Surgical Nursing (RN-BC)
They are professionals who provide care to adult patients preparing for surgery and of various medical issues. They are termed with the responsibility of keeping records, checking vital signs, giving medication, and assessing patients’ conditions.
- Two years of practice as a registered nurse
- complete a minimum of 2000 hours of clinical practice within three years
#10. Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP)
CENP are executive nursing practitioners; individuals with such a certificate are mostly leaders in the nursing world.
- Validated R.N. license
- Posses a minimum of 2 years’ experience with masters or a four years’ experience with a bachelor’s degree.
Frequently Asked Questions
CCRN exams are written four times every year throughout the week in various examination centres. It can be computer-based or paper.
It entails the special and intensive care given to individuals with critical (life-threatening) conditions.
Registered nurses who have dealings with critical care patients are those who qualify for the exams.
The exam comprise majorly about 150 questions with 80% focusing on clinical and 20% on professional caring and ethical practice.
To renew your CCRN, you must;
Maintain current APRN licensure
Pass the CCRN exam
Meet the clinical practice requirement of 432 hours focuses on critically ill patients.
Having a CCRN credential puts you in a winning position and helps you reach the pinnacle of nursing leadership. It may appear unattainable, but considering the benefits, the danger and stress are well worth it.
If you want to get such certificates, you need to start by establishing your eligibility. Remember; that time does not wait for anyone.