The CNRN Exam

The Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN) exam is taken by nurses that are employed in the field of neuroscience nursing who wish to pursue certification in their field. The exam is a difficult one, covering the broad topic of neuroscience nursing through the lifespan in both the health and ill individual. The examination covers disease process of the neurological system, normal and abnormal development and all types of care of the patient undergoing treatment for neurological disorders. The examination tests the ability of the nurse to apply the knowledge she has acquired from a wide variety of sources. Upon successful completion and passing of the CNRN exam, the nurse is allowed to use the credential of CNRN.

The CNRN exam broadly covers the scope of care of the neuroscience nurse covering many topics. Nurses are expected to understand the neurological system as it pertains to patients across the lifespan, not only those that are undergoing acute care treatment. Topics include trauma, cerebrovascular accident, tumors of the neurological system, infections, seizures, developmental disorders, degenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease as well as other disorders of the neurological system. Nurses should have a broad understanding of all topics that affect the care and treatment of the neurological patient.

The CNRN test expects that the neuroscience nurse is able to apply knowledge of the broad topic of neuroscience nursing to the care of the individual neurological patient. Areas that are tested include basic and complex physiological management. These topics might include appropriate activity and nutritional support to management of electrolyte balance and respiratory management. Nurses should also how behavior affects the neurological patient, including communication and cognitive therapies. Nurses are also tested on their understanding of family systems, safety and the healthcare system itself.

Nurses must be able to integrate all of the topics that may be covered on the exam with the nursing interventions that are appropriate in the care of neurological patients. As the majority of the exam cerebrovascular topics and degenerative and developmental disorders of the neurological system, nurses may want to focus additional study to these topics.

Approximately twenty five per cent of the exam is dedicated to the care of the patient undergoing treatment for cerebrovascular disorders. This includes both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke as well as transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), headaches and aneurysms. About twenty per cent of the exam is devoted to developmental and degenerative disorders which may include dementias, cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, Spina Bifida and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. About fifteen per cent of the exam covers trauma, with the remaining portion of the exam covering topics in the areas of seizures, infection, tumors and other disorders.

The CNRN exam is a difficult exam that tests the ability of the neuroscience nurse to learn a wide breadth of knowledge in the area of neuroscience and apply that knowledge to the care of the neurology patient. Nurses must be able to understand many different pathophysiological disorders of the nervous system and must apply this knowledge to appropriate nursing interventions to the patients that they care for on a daily basis.

Requirements for Becoming a Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse

The Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN) is a registered nurse that has passed the CNRN exam given by the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN). The exam demonstrates that the nurse has attained a level of knowledge that is necessary to perform the duties of the neuroscience nurse. The AANN does have some requirements for attaining the designation of CNRN. Candidates must have experience in neuroscience nursing and have completed the examination to demonstrate their knowledge. Candidates must work in the field of neuroscience nursing and must provide care to neurological patients. They must demonstrate that they have attained and exceptional amount of knowledge by passing the difficult CNRN exam.

The AANN has set forth requirements for nurses that wish to become candidates for the CNRN examination. Nurses must be licensed registered nurses in the United States, Canada or a United States territory. Those outside the United States and Canada are not eligible to obtain the CNRN designation. Candidates must also have a minimum of two years of full time experience in neurological nursing in either a direct or indirect role in the past five years. The AANN has determined that 4,160 hours of nursing experience in the past five years is considered equivalent to the two years of full time experience if the nurse is not employed in a full time capacity. Nurses must either directly care for neurological patients or their families directly or perform in an indirect patient care role, that is, supervising nurses or students that care for neurological patients.

Requirements for Becoming a Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse

Nurses that wish to take the CNRN exam that have met the minimum requirements are required to submit an application and fee to the AANN. After receiving an authorization to test, candidates are then required to take the CNRN test during one of the three windows the organization offers each year in which to test. The test requires a great deal of preparation and study, and is a measure of the knowledge and ability to apply that knowledge that the neuroscience nurse has attained.

The CNRN exam covers many topics that the neuroscience nurse may encounter during the course of her career. The exam in general covers neurological trauma, cerebrovascular accidents (strokes), tumors, infections, developmental and degenerative disorders and other diseases of the neurological system. Each topic is covered in great detail and requires the nurse to have fundamental knowledge of the pathophysiology of each type of disorder and in depth knowledge of the nursing care and nursing implications as they relate to the care of the neurological patient. The nurse must have a strong understanding of each topic to ensure success on the CNRN test.

The AANN has set forth several requirements for nurses that wish to pursue certification as a CNRN. Nurses must have a minimum amount of experience in the field of neuroscience nursing and must either directly or indirectly provide care for patients. Nurses must also pass a difficult examination that tests the knowledge that the nurse has acquired and the ability of the nurse to apply knowledge to different situations. The nurse must have a strong grasp of the fundamental pathophysiology of the neurological system as well as strong background in providing quality nursing care.

Studying for the CNRN Exam

The Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurses (CNRN) exam is a difficult examination given to nurses that work in the field of neuroscience that are pursuing the certification from the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN). Several months of study is suggested for any nurse that wished to pursue certification in this field. Understanding what topics are covered on the exam and what types of nursing interventions are expected will be useful for the CNRN candidate. Candidates may also want to consider purchasing additional study materials or forming study groups with colleagues to ensure their success on the examination.

The CNRN exam covers a wide range of topics that affect all neuroscience nurses. Nurses are expected to have an understanding of neuroscience nursing as it affects patients across the lifespan, in both healthy and ill clients. To pass the CNRN test, the nurse must be able to apply the knowledge learned about the physiological and pathophysiological processes found in patients to appropriate nursing care and intervention.

The CNRN test will cover a number of topics that the nurse will need to prepare for with study. About twenty five per cent of the examination is on the topic of cerebrovascular pathophysiology. This may cover both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes as well as transient ischemic attacks, aneurysms and headaches. About twenty per cent of the examination covers developmental and degenerative disorders including Cerebral Palsy, dementia including Alzheimer’s disease, hydrocephalus, Arnold-Chiari malformation, Spina Bifida, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, balance disorders such as Meniere’s disease, dystonia, Parkinson’s disease and degenerative spine diseases.

Fifteen per cent of the exam is devoted to tumors. These include brain tumors such as pituitary, tumors of the neuroepithelial tissues and hematopoetic tumors such as lymphoma. This portion also covers all types of spinal cord tumors such as primary, metastatic tumors and neurofibromas. Twelve per cent of the exam covers trauma including topics such as traumatic brain injury, hematomas, contusions, fractures, spinal cord injury, repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and peripheral nerve injuries.

Ten per cent of the exam covers the area of infection and the immune system. Topics might include AIDS, Guillain-Barre syndrome, meningitis, Multiple Sclerosis, Bell’s Palsy, encephalitis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Myasthenia Gravis. About eight per cent of the exam is devoted to seizure disorder including partial and generalized seizures and pseudoseizures. The remaining ten percent of the CNRN exam covers other topics that cannot fit into the previous general topics. These topics might include trigeminal neuralgias, acute and chronic pain, sleep disorders, delirium and chemical dependency.

The CNRN candidate must be able to apply the knowledge learned from all of these topics to nursing interventions. Appropriate nursing interventions in the area of neuroscience include both complex and basic physiological interventions such as electrolyte balance and elimination. Behavioral interventions such as cognitive and behavior therapies, communication, coping, comfort and patient education are also included on the CNRN exam. Family, safety and health systems such as information management are also covered on the test.

The CNRN exam can be difficult because of the broad scope of information that it contains. CNRN candidates should prepare to spend at least several months and up to twenty hours a week to successfully pass this exam. The test covers a wide range of topics that are relevant to the neuroscience nurse and asks the nurse to apply appropriate nursing interventions to those topics. Understanding the need for adequate study and preparation can help the CNRN candidate for a better outcome on this examination.

Taking the CNRN Exam

Taking the CNRN ExamThe Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN) examination is given by the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses to candidates that have qualified for the examination that are attempting to earn certification in neuroscience nursing. The exam requires an application and fee, after which an authorization to test is sent to the candidate. The test is usually given in multiple choice format at a local testing center near the candidate. Those taking the CNRN exam can expect to receive their scores immediately following the exam if the test is taken via computer. A successful result on the examination allows the neuroscience nurse to begin using the credential of CNRN immediately.

Before being allowed to test, CNRN candidates are asked to fill out an application and return it with the required fee to the AANN. Requirements for taking the certification exam include a minimum of two years working with neurology patients in a full time role in the past five years. Nurses must also be licensed as registered nurses in the United States, one of its territories or in Canada. Nurses outside of these areas are not allowed to complete this certification examination.

After successfully qualifying to take the exam and after paying the fee for the test, the candidate for the CNRN is sent a letter which is an authorization to take the CNRN exam. This letter must be taken with the candidate to the testing center on the day of the test. Preparation for the exam is necessary and often takes candidates several months of study with at least ten to twenty hours spent studying relevant materials weekly. Study guides and study groups with colleagues should be considered by anyone taking the CNRN exam as the test content is very broad and extensive.

Candidates may schedule their exam any time within the open test windows as set forth by the AANN. These dates are determined by the organization and are sent with the authorization to test. Candidates can schedule their test time online by following the instructions that will be mailed to them. The test center requires two forms of identification and the letter authorizing the candidate to take the CNRN exam before the test will be given. The test is multiple choice and is given by computer. There are about 220 questions on the exam, with only 200 being scored. The additional 20 questions are given randomly and are not scored as a part of the exam. As none of the non-scored questions are identified as such, candidates should assume that all questions given will be scored.

Upon completing the CNRN test, the candidate is given the results immediately. If the candidate achieves a passing score, they are given a letter congratulating them of their achievement and may begin using the designation of CNRN immediately. If the candidate has not been successful, they are given a score report with suggestions for improving their scores. The candidate can choose to pay another fee and retake the CNRN test at a later time if they do not pass on the first attempt.

The CNRN exam is a broad test of the knowledge and ability to apply nursing skills and interventions to neurology patients in all stages of health and across the lifespan. After candidates qualify, they may take the test during a designated testing window set by the AANN. Upon passing this exam, they may immediately begin using their new designation of CNRN.

The Neuroscience Registered Nurse

Nurses that work with patients having difficulties with the brain or neurological system are known as neuroscience nurses. These nurses may take the Neuroscience Registered Nurse (NRN) exam after gaining experience and knowledge in the field of neuroscience nursing. Neuroscience nurses work in many areas of healthcare including hospitals, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers and nursing homes. Nurses that work in the neuroscience field are experts in the care of patients that have suffered from brain and neurological injuries and infections, tumors, seizures and developmental and degenerative disorders.

The NRN test is given to nurses working in the field of neuroscience after years of experience in this field. Nurses that are certified in neuroscience nursing have obtained a great deal of knowledge on all types of neurological disease and in the care of the neurological patient. The test covers a broad range of materials that neuroscience nurses might encounter in their day to day work in this type of nursing.

Neuroscience nurses can be found in many different areas of healthcare. These nurses are often found in the hospital setting, caring for the most ill of neurological patients. They may also work on stroke teams, going into the emergency department to provide assessment of patients that may be having a stroke. They may also work in the rehabilitation of neurological patients, helping patients recover from traumatic injuries, surgeries and assisting stroke victims with recovery.

Nurses that work in the field of neuroscience nursing are also found outside of the hospital setting. They may work in freestanding rehabilitation centers, working with patients and therapists to help patients recover from any type of neurological injury. They may also work in inpatient rehab settings, caring for patients that are not well enough to go home, but not sick enough to qualify for hospital care. Other neuroscience nurses work in medical clinics and outpatient centers, caring for patients with all types of neurological disease. Nurses that work in any of these settings must have all of the same ability to identify and care for patients that are suffering from neurological illnesses and problems.

Neuroscience nurses care for many types of patients that are suffering from many types of neurological disease, and care for them wherever they are located. Many neuroscience nurses help with the care of stroke victims. They may also care for people that have had some kind of trauma to the brain, such as in automobile accidents. People that suffer from genetic neurological illness, seizures, infection and tumors are all also cared for by the neuroscience nurse. These nurses care for any patient that has suffered an illness or injury to the brain or neurological system.

Neuroscience is a growing field of healthcare, and nurses that have been trained in neuroscience nursing help with a variety of patients that are suffering from neurological difficulties. These nurses work wherever the patient is located: in the hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation center or medical clinic. They help patients with all types of brain and nerve injuries and disorders, including stroke and seizure victims. After many years of experience, these nurses may choose to take the NRN exam for certification in the field of neurological nursing.

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