Registering for the Exam

Once you meet the eligibility requirements, you will be able to register for a CCRN certification exam. Most nurses will take the exam on a computer at a testing center. There are over 170 testing centers that administer CCRN certification exams. However, AACN realizes that not every nurse lives close to one of these testing centers. If you live more than 3 hours away from the closest testing center, you will be given the option to take a paper-and-pencil version of the exam.

There are specific steps that you must take to register for these exams.

  1. You must complete an application and honor statement, attesting to the fact that you have met the necessary eligibility requirements. You will also be required to pay an exam fee. AACN members will pay $225 to take the computer based test, while non-members will pay $330. Pen- and-paper exam fees are based on the number of students who are simultaneously taking the exam. The more students taking the exam, the lower the price. Members will pay between $225 and $240. Non-members will pay between $330 and $345.
  2. AACN carefully reviews each application to make sure these nurses are eligible to earn a CCRN certification. This process can take between 2 and 3 weeks. However, if you apply online, your approval time will be shortened. If you are denied, you will be informed in writing.
  3. Once your application is accepted, you will receive an e-mail and postcard from AACN. These documents will provide you all the information you need to schedule your exam. You will be given a 90-day period to take the exam.
  4. It is your responsibility to schedule your exam. As soon as you receive approval, contact the testing center and schedule a time. CCRN certification exams can be scheduled Monday through Saturday between 9AM and 1:30PM. Keep in mind that exams are administered on a first come basis. There may also be blackout dates when the exams are not administered. You must schedule your exam time at least two business days in advance.
  5. Unexpected events do happen and you may need to reschedule your exam. AACN understands this and will allow you to reschedule one time during your 90-day period. If you have to cancel, you will need to provide notice at least two business days before the scheduled exam time. If you need to reschedule your exam outside the 90-day window, you can receive an extension. However, you will be subjected to a $100 change fee.

Hopefully, you will pass the CCRN certification exam on your first attempt. However, some nurses will have to retake the exam. If this happens to you, you will need to wait two weeks. Then, you will have to complete the entire registration process again. AACN does provide a discount exam fee for retakes.