Dr. Jan Olson By: Dr. Jan Olson
CCRN Practice Questions

All medical care professionals are required to pass a test that certifies they know the required practices and have the appropriate knowledge to be able to treat their patients. Critical care (registered) nurses or CCRNs are no different.

If you are someone who wants to become a CCRN, one of the best ways to prepare for the CCRN certification test is to take practice tests online.

First, you need to know what CCRN practice questions will look like before you are ready to take a CCRN practice test. That is what we are here for. This is a comprehensive guide to help you prepare to take your CCRN certification test by getting ready for practice exams.

Summary: Utilize the following CCRN practice questions to prepare for your upcoming exam.

Many CCRN practice tests may ask you to pay to be able to access the practice questions for a CCRN test. However, there are free options out there that can be just as in-depth and challenging as other practice tests. Here are a few we found for you:

Resource Notes Provider
CCRN Set 1 Practice 185 CCRN test questions Quizlet
CCRN Set 2 Practice 104 CCRN exam questions Quizlet

Though practice tests and sample questions can be very helpful, some people may prefer to use PDF files to study for the CCRN test. PDFs are easier to print and highlight so you can be sure you are studying the most important information.

Here are some PDFs we have found to help you develop sample CCRN exam questions:

Resource Notes Provider
CCRN Practice PDF 1 Practice 120 CCRN questions in PDF format. CACCN
CCRN Practice PDF 2 Practice CCRN questions. Starts on page 8 of PDF. Life Bridge Health

Becoming a CCRN is different from all the nursing tests out there. This certification is open to anyone who already has RN or APRN credentials so they can care for patients who are in critical conditions.

There are three types of CCRN you can become based on who you want to treat: adult, pediatric, and neonatal.

Who is Qualified to Become a CCRN?

Any nurse who is an RN or APRN with 1,750 hours caring for acute/critically ill patients in the span of the last two years with 875 of those hours in the previous year can apply to become certified.

Also, an RN or APRN with 5 years under his or her belt and 2,000 hours in acute/critically ill patient care with 144 hours in the most recent year before you apply to be a CCRN.

So, the first step is getting an RN or APRN license and practicing. The hours should be spent with patients that align with the area you want to get certification in (adult, pediatric, or neonatal).

How Can I Apply for CCRN Certification?

There are two types of first-time certification tests available for people who want to become CCRN certified: computer-based testing and pen-and-paper testing.

Computer-based testing is offered for nurses in the United States and is easy to register for. You just go online, apply for the exam, pay, schedule the exam, and pick where you would like to take it.

Pen-and-paper testing is for those who want to be certified by the ACCN but live outside of the United States. To apply for this test, you fill out a form and honor statement, pay the application fee, send it to the ACCN, receive the confirmation, and schedule your exam date and site.

CCRN certification is only granted for three years, so recertification tests are required to ensure the latest practices and continued knowledge are being put into practice as a CCRN. This also has a small application fee.

How Many Questions are on the CCRN Test?

There are 150 multiple-choice questions on the CCRN test, and a test-taker is given three hours to complete the exam meaning you have a little over a minute to answer every question.

If this makes you feel nervous, know that only 125 questions are a part of the test and the other 25 are to gather data on item performance for future exams.

The rest of this guide will help prepare you for taking the CCRN test or a CCRN practice test.

80% of the CCRN exam questions cover clinical judgment while the remaining 20% are over professional caring and ethical practice. Each area of certification comes with its unique question topics as adult, pediatric, and neonatal patients all require different types of critical care. The areas are as follows

Adult CCRN Test Questions

Clinical Judgment (80%)

  • General Care
  • Cardiovascular
  • Respiratory
  • Hematology and Immunology
  • Neurological
  • Integumentary
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Renal and Genitourinary
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Multisystem
  • Behavioral and Psychological

Professional Caring and Ethical Practice (20%)

  • Advocacy/Moral Agency
  • Caring Practices
  • Response to Diversity
  • Facilitation of Learning
  • Collaboration
  • Systems Thinking
  • Clinical Inquiry

Pediatric CCRN Exam Questions

Clinical Judgment (80%)

  • General Care
  • Cardiovascular
  • Respiratory
  • Hematology and Immunology
  • Neurological
  • Integumentary
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Renal and Genitourinary
  • Multisystem
  • Behavioral and Psychological

Professional Caring and Ethical Practice (20%)

  • Advocacy/Moral Agency
  • Caring Practices
  • Response to Diversity
  • Facilitation of Learning
  • Collaboration
  • Systems Thinking
  • Clinical Inquiry

Neonatal CCRN Test Questions

Clinical Judgment (80%)

  • General Care
  • Cardiovascular
  • Respiratory
  • Hematology and Immunology
  • Neurological
  • Endocrine
  • Integumentary
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Renal and Genitourinary
  • Multisystem
  • Behavioral and Psychological

Professional Caring and Ethical Practice (20%)

  • Advocacy/Moral Agency
  • Caring Practices
  • Response to Diversity
  • Facilitation of Learning
  • Collaboration
  • Systems Thinking
  • Clinical Inquiry

All of these are areas you could see on a CCRN practice test. As you can see, there is a lot of information that is needed to become a practicing CCRN. We highly recommend a practice test so you can get a feel for the test from the CCRN practice questions.

What Do CCRN Questions Look Like?

CCRN questions are always multiple-choice, so you will be able to do a process of elimination if you are struggling with an answer. Most of the questions will have a short paragraph explaining a situation you would see when giving care to a critically ill or injured patient then ask what you should do in the situation.

For example:

A patient with a recent myocardial infarction suddenly develops a loud systolic murmur. The MOST LIKELY cause is which of the following?

  1. pulmonary embolism
  2. congestive heart failure
  3. ruptured papillary muscle
  4. increased systemic vascular resistance

The other portion of CCRN questions will ask about ethical dilemmas and what is the best way to solve them. This is an important part of being a CCRN as there may be many intense situations when caring for an acutely/critically ill or injured patient where if you make the wrong decision, it could mean your patient’s life.

A sample question:

The family of a critically ill patient wishes to spend the night, which is contrary to visiting policy. The nurse’s BEST action would be to

  1. adhere to the visiting policy.
  2. allow the family to stay in the room.
  3. obtain a motel room near the hospital where the family can spend the night.
  4. allow one or two family members to stay and evaluate the patient’s response.

To help ease your mind, out of the nearly 16,000 yearly CCRN test takers around 79% of them pass the test and become CCRN certified. So, your chances of passing are good. In fact, of the 125 practical test questions (not including the 25 statistical questions for the rest of the 150), you only need to get about 87 of them correct.

That works out to almost 70%, which is equivalent to a C in a regular class setting. There is plenty of room for error on the CCRN exam.

However, studying will increase your chances of success on the CCRN test. Exam manuals, study guides, practice tests, and sample questions are all great options to help you prepare.

You may even be able to join a preparation course that will teach you many different ways to prepare for the CCRN exam. You can never start studying too early, so the more practice you can get in, the better.

What is a passing score for the CCRN exam?

There are 150 total questions on the exam, but 25 are used for statistical studies for next year’s exam. Out of the 125 clinical practice questions, you only need to get 87 correct which comes out to about 70% of all the CCRN test questions.

How long does it take to study for the CCRN?

As a minimum, it is recommended that you try to have at least 6 to 8 weeks of studying for the CCRN, especially if you are working more than 36 hours per week.

However, 8 to 12 weeks is an ideal spot to be in, and you can always do more than that if you have less than 36 hours of work per week. It’s always better to know too much than not enough, so try to gauge how much you need to study.

How hard is the CCRN exam?

About 79% of the 16,000 yearly test takers pass the exam, but there are many comprehensive sections to the exam, so don’t think you can come in and pass without studying much.

Can I get my CCRN after 1 year?

Yes, you only need 1,750 hours working in critical care after getting your RN or APRN license, so you would need to work around 33-hour weeks in your first year to be able to apply for CCRN certification.

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