Everything You Need to Know About the CNRN Exam
ABNN does not discriminate against candidates for certification or recertification on the basis of age, race, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or gender identity.
Is the CNRN program accredited?
The CNRN certification program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC), the only nationally recognized accrediting body for specialty nursing certification programs. ABSNC accreditation is a peer-review mechanism that allows nursing certification organizations to obtain accreditation by demonstrating compliance with the highest quality standards in the industry. Read more about the impact of specialty nursing certification as shown in an ABNS Importance of Specialty Board Nursing Certifications report.
What is the format of the CNRN exam?
The CNRN exam is conducted in a computer-based testing facility and consists of 220 multiple-choice items with a total testing time of 4 hours. Twenty of the 220 items are pre-test items that are being tested for future use—these questions are not scored and will not impact your final exam results.
Note: the CNRN credential is a marker of your knowledge of neuroscience nursing fundamentals. As a result, the CNRN exam is a generalist exam and is not intended to emphasize any particular level of care or developmental level.
What is the application fee for the CNRN program?
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.
Are there any grants available to help pay for the CNRN exam application fee?
The Agnes Marshall Walker Foundation (AMWF) awards certification grants to those who are sitting for the CNRN exam for the first time as well as to those renewing their certification. Learn about the eligibility requirements, application process, important deadlines, and more on the AMWF website.
How do I schedule my exam?
After you have registered for the examination and received notification of your eligibility by email and you may schedule the examination by one of the following methods:
Schedule online: Schedule a testing appointment online at any time by using PSI’s Online Application/Scheduling service at https://test-takers.psiexams.com/abnn. To use this service follow these steps: Go to https://test-takers.psiexams.com/abnn and select “Begin Scheduling”. Follow the simple step-by-step instructions to create a record with PSI using your PSI ID# located in your Certification Center (begins with NS#########), choose your examination program and register for the examination.
- Please view the Scheduling Step-by-Step instructions available in the Candidate Handbooks for detailed instructions on how to schedule your exam.
Schedule by phone: Call PSI toll-free at 1-855-340-0087 to schedule an examination appointment from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Central Time) Monday through Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Fridays, and 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays.
When you contact PSI to schedule an appointment, please be prepared to confirm a date and location for testing and to provide your name and PSI candidate identification number (located in your “Certification Center Exam Widget” (begins with NS########) on the ABNN website. All individuals are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Where can I find my PSI ID#?
Once you have submitted your application with ABNN, you can view your PSI ID# in your Exam Details widget in your Certification Center (it begins with NS########). You will need this ID when creating an account with PSI to schedule your examination date/time.
How does ABNN determine the CNRN exam content outline?
The CNRN content outline is based on periodic job analyses (JA) 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 analysis study was completed in summer 2019. View the 2023 CNRN Candidate Handbook for more information and to view the content outline and step-by-step instructions on how to select your exam date.
How are items (exam questions) developed for the exams?
A group of CNRN certified subject matter experts (SMEs) are trained by ABNN and PSI to write and review items (questions) each year, with special instruction in reducing potential sources of bias and sensitivity. ABNN focuses on selecting SMEs who are reflective of the candidate pool in all aspects including geographic location, years of experience, educational background, ethnicity, gender, practice setting, and more. These items are then reviewed, revised, and approved for pre-testing by the Test Development Committee. All items for an exam form are pre-tested prior to being used as scoreable items. At conclusion of the pre-testing process, the item's performance is analyzed to determine whether it meets the criteria to be included as a scoreable item. The items are also repeatedly reviewed throughout the exam development process to ensure it is still reflective of current practice.
How is the passing score determined?
The passing score is established by a systematic criterion-referenced procedure that employs the judgment of neuroscience nursing experts from around the country as well as the assistance of professional psychometricians from PSI. With this process, the raw score (i.e., number of correct answers) required to pass an examination form is established; that score relates to the number of correct answers that a minimally competent candidate would be expected to provide. The final determination of the passing score is made by the ABNN Board of Trustees.
My CNRN credential is about to expire. How do I recertify?
You can recertify as a CNRN by earning CE credits prior to your certification expiration date or by retaking the CNRN exam. You will not create a new log-in to apply for recertification. Please call ABNN’s customer service at 847.375.4733 if you do not have your password.
What is the pass rate for the CNRN exam?
Over the past 5 years, 70% of certification candidates passed the CNRN exam and successfully earned the credential. In the table below, you’ll find specific data on how many people sat for the CNRN exam since 2014 as well as those who passed, failed, and recertified.
|Year||Total Number of Candidates||Number of Passing Candidates||Number of Failing Candidates||Recertified CNRNs|