The CCRN Certification is a credential that critical care nurses receive after taking the CCRN exam. This credential certifies that the nurse has the required knowledge of acute patients to accurately care for them in an ICU setting. This certification helps the ICU nurse keep his or her knowledge of the medications and procedures used in severely ill patients. If you’re renewing your CCRN credential, keep reading to learn the requirements.

When must nurses renew their CCRN?
All nurses with a CCRN must renew the certification every three years. Nurses who are renewing must meet the requirements for renewal. Nurses who do not meet the requirements cannot renew their CCRN. This is why it is important for a nurse to know when certifications expire and understand the requirements for renewal.

What are the requirements for Renewal?
A nurse with his or her CCRN must maintain a nursing license in order to be eligible to renew after the three-year certification period. Synergy CERP (continuing education points) are required for a CCRN renewal. The nurse must complete 100 CERPs during the three years certified, but these CERPs have to be in different categories. The nurse must have 60 CERPs in Category A, which are clinical judgment and inquiry education modules. Both Category B and C must have 10 CERPs each, which are advocacy/caring and collaboration respectively. The last 20 CERPs can fall within any of the categories.

The CCRN nurse must maintain a position where he or she treats critically ill patients in an ICU setting. During the certification period, the nurse must work 432 hours within an ICU setting, with 144 hours within the 12 months leading to renewal. Nurses that have left the ICU must still meet their clinical hour requirement by caring for critically ill patients. If the nurse cannot treat critically ill patients and cannot meet the clinical requirements, the nurse has the option of applying for an inactive CCRN status.

How to renew
Nurses can renew by CERPs or renew by exam. Nurses who are renewing by CERPs must meet the category requirements for their CERPs. The nurse must document all of their CERPs by using the logs available from AACN. This will give the nurse an accurate way to see how many CERPs he or she has. The logs make it easy to calculate the points and document his or her activities. AACN accepts the logs and all proof of CERPs (membership cards, copies of CEU awards, copies of certificates) when the nurse renews the CCRN.

If the nurse chooses to renew by exam, he or she must call and schedule an exam. The exam is the same one he or she took to become certified. Prior to the renewal date, the nurse must successfully complete the CCRN exam to keep his or her license. If he or she fails, the license cannot be renewed and the nurse will have to take the test again.

The CCRN certification is one that most ICUs require their nurses to have. The certification demonstrates that the nurse has all of the skills required to care for critically sick patients. Nurses must renew their CCRN every three years in order to keep up their certification.