The Pediatric Critical Care Nurses Certification (CCRN), administered by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), is a way for nurses to provide tangible proof of their skill and expertise in caring for acutely/critically ill pediatric patients.
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Pediatric CCRN Exam Eligibility
To be eligible to take the Pediatric CCRN exam, you must hold a current RN or APRN license and complete ONE of the following requirements:
- You must have spent at least 1,750 hours directly caring for critically ill pediatric patients within the last two years
- You must have spent at least 2,000 hours directly caring for critically ill pediatric patients within the last five years
Pediatric CCRN Exam Outline
The Pediatric CCRN exam contains 150 multiple-choice questions, 25 of which are unscored, and you will be given a time limit of three hours. The 25 unscored questions are unmarked and are used by the test administrators to evaluate questions for future versions of the exam.
The exam is entirely based on the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) Synergy Model for Patient Care, so you need to be familiar with this framework and procedures.
This exam is split into two sections:
Clinical Judgment (80%)
The questions in this section assess your knowledge of various aspects of the systems of the human body.
- Cardiovascular (14%)
- Respiratory (18%)
- Endocrine/Hematology/Gastrointestinal/Renal/Integumentary (20%)
- Musculoskeletal/Neurological/Psychosocial (15%)
- Multisystem (13%)
Professional Caring and Ethical Practice (20%)
The questions in this section assess your knowledge of various aspects of the professional caring process and ethical practices.
- Advocacy/Moral Agency
- Caring Practices
- Response to Diversity
- Facilitation of Learning
- Systems Thinking
- Clinical Inquiry
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Pediatric CCRN Exam Registration
To register for the exam, you will need to to fill out an application and an honor statement on the AACN website, as well as pay the application fee. The fee is $250 for AACN members and $365 for non-members.
Once your application is approved, you will be able to register, choose your testing method (in-person or remote), and schedule your exam.
On exam day, you should arrive at the testing center about 30 minutes earlier than the scheduled exam time. If you arrive later than 15 minutes after the scheduled appointment time, you will not be able to take the exam. Once you arrive, you will need to show a valid, government-issued photo ID (military IDs are not accepted).
Before the exam begins, you will be asked to leave all personal items in your car, such as your cell phone, books, papers, notes, food, and accessories. You will then be asked for your AACN customer number, and a digital photograph of you will be taken, which will appear on the computer screen throughout your testing session. You will also be given a practice exam to help you familiarize yourself with the computer system.
Once the practice exam is complete, the real exam will begin. You are permitted to take breaks during the exam, but the timer will not be stopped.
Live Remote Proctoring
On exam day, you should log into your AACN account about 30 minutes before your exam is scheduled to begin, and the proctor will guide you through the check-in process. You will not be allowed to wear headphones, and you must ensure that your testing area is free from electronics, food, your cell phone, notes, and reference materials.
How the Pediatric CCRN Exam is Scored
The Pediatric CCRN exam is scored using the modified Angoff method. This means that AACN panelists are given information such as test results and other panelists’ rating results to determine the cut score. The cut score is a raw number that is based on how the AACN panelists established the difficulty ratings for each question.
To pass the exam, you will need to achieve a cut score of 82.
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How many questions are on the Pediatric CCRN exam?
There are 150 multiple-choice questions on the exam.
How long is the Pediatric CCRN exam?
The time limit for the exam is 3 hours.
What is the passing score for the Pediatric CCRN exam?
The passing cut score for the exam is 82.
How much does the Pediatric AACN exam cost?
The examination fee is $250 for CCRN members and $365 for non-members.