CCRN Pediatric Exam

The CCRN Pediatric Exam may be taken by nurses who specialize in caring for critically ill pediatric patients. Critically ill children can suffer from different illnesses and diseases than adult patients. These children can require different treatment methods than adults and may sometimes require a more sensitive, personalized level of care. Critical care pediatric nurses typically earn an RN License. However, they may also decide to add a CCRN certification to their credentials.

The CCRN Pediatric Exam format is similar to the CCRN Adult and CCRN Neonatal exam. The CCRN Pediatric exam is a timed test that will ask 150 multiple choice questions. Only 125 questions will count towards your score. The remaining questions are experimental, meaning they may or may not be used on future exams. Questions specific to pediatric clinical care and judgment make up 80% of the exam. The remaining questions will ask about professional caring and ethics in the nursing profession. Both types of questions will be mixed throughout the exam.

The ethical and caring questions will not be specific to a particular age group. The nursing profession follows the same ethical practices regardless of a patient’s age. Questions will focus on the following categories:

  • Clinical Inquiry (2%)
  • Systems Thinking (2%)
  • Response to Diversity (2%)
  • Advocacy and Moral Agency (2%)
  • Collaboration (4%)
  • Caring Practices (4%)
  • Facilitation of Learning (4%)

The clinical judgment questions will focus on specific critical care pediatric health issues. These questions may ask you about choosing treatment courses, preparing a patient for a procedure, or symptoms of a particular disease. Clinical judgment questions will focus on the following categories and topics:dreamstime_16561247

  • Pulmonary (18%) – Congenital abnormalities, thoracic surgery, thoracic trauma, asthma, chronic bronchitis, and air leak syndromes
  • Cardiovascular (14%) – Interventional cardiology, structural heart defects, heart failure, myocardial conduction system defects, and cardiac surgery including an arterial switch and BT shunt
  • Neurology (14%)- Spinal cord injuries, congenital neurological abnormalities, neurological infectious diseases, neuromuscular disorders, and head trauma
  • Multisystem (11%) – Near drowning, toxic ingestion, shock, multisystem trauma, hemolytic uremic syndrome, and asphyxia
  • Gastrointestinal (6%) – Gastro esophageal reflux, GI abnormalities, hepatic failure, abdominal trauma, and GI hemorrhage
  • Renal (6%) – Electrolyte imbalances and acute renal failure
  • Endocrine (5%) – Metabolism inborn errors, hypoglycemia, diabetes
  • Hematology and Immunology (3%) – Coagulopathies, oncologic complications
  • Behavioral and Psychosocial (3%) – Delays in development, abuse, and neglect

The American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) administers the CCRN Pediatric exam. They have set 88 as the passing score for this exam. The score is not a percentage of correct answers, but a raw number. As new practice studies are done and the exam is updated, the passing score can change.