About the CNRN Exam
The CNRN Examination is a generalist examination and is not intended to emphasize any particular level of care or any particular developmental level.
Format and Contents
The examination, conducted in a computer-based testing facility, consists of approximately 220 multiple-choice items with a total testing time of 4 hours. Twenty of the 220 items are pretest items, which are not scored.
The examination may include additional items that are being tested for future use.
The examination outline is based on periodic job analysis or role delineation studies that identify the knowledge and experiences required of a practicing neuroscience nurse. In order to maintain accreditation, job analysis studies are required every 5 years to ensure that the content outline, domains, and tasks are updated based on current practice. The most recent job anaylsis study was completed in summer 2019. The new content outline based on this study will go into affect for the July 2020 examination window. View the 2020 March CNRN Candidate Handbook for detailed exam information, including the content outline. View the July/October 2020 CNRN Candidate Handbook with the new content outline for comparison.
The CNRN examination is offered in the exam windows below. All exam applications must be submitted online by no later than 5 pm CT by the appropriate registration deadlines. Those paid with check must be received (not postmarked) at the ABNN office by the deadline date.
March 1-31, 2020
Register by February 6, 2020.
July 1-31, 2020
Register by June 4, 2020.
October 1-31, 2020
Register by September 3, 2020.
For Exam Recertification
Applications open June 5, 2019. Must register by September 2, 2019, for the October exam dates.
For CE Recertification
Applications open June 5, 2019. Must complete all CE requirements by October 1, 2019, to avoid late fees.
CE recertification applications can still be submitted by January 31, 2020, with an $85 late fee. All CE must be earned by December 31, 2019.
If you are recertifying your CNRN, do not create a new log-in to apply. Please call ABNN’s customer service at 847.375.4733 if you do not have your password.
If you have not already done so, please review the eligibility requirements before applying for the exam.
The cost of the CNRN exam application is as follows:
All certification exam applications must be completed online.
If you are paying by check or money order (U.S. dollars only), please enter your information online, choose "Pay via Check" and mail the check along with the check instructions received at checkout. Checks and money orders should be made payable to the American Board of Neuroscience Nursing (ABNN) and sent to PO Box 3781, Oakbrook, IL 60522-3781.
The exam’s computer-based testing (CBT) is administered by PSI Services (PSI). PSI offers more than 300 locations around the United States and internationally. View a list of all CBT locations on PSI’s website.
Each testing center's schedule varies based on availability. If you have a question about a specific location, contact PSI at 833-333-4755.
All exam candidates will be notified of their official pass or fail status immediately after their exam at the testing site.
Each year ABNN randomly selects 5% of its certification applications to be audited. If your CNRN certification application is selected for audit, you must submit a copy of your current registered nurse licensure and documentation to substantiate your work in neuroscience nursing during the past 5 years. All documentation must be received within 21 days of the request.