• Certifications and Licenses
  • CMSRN - Certified Medical—Surgical Registered Nurse

    • Free to $375
    • Renews every 5 years

    COURSE FORMAT

    Online

    About

    Certification allows nurses to demonstrate their knowledge as subject matter experts in medical-surgical nursing practice. CMSRN certification signifies a nurse can practice the medical-surgical specialty across a variety of patient settings.

    The Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse credential (CMSRN) is offered by the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB). 

    Course Format

    Exam Details:

    • Once candidates apply, an Authorization to Test (ATT) will arrive via email within 3-5 days.

    • Applicants can use the ATT certification link to schedule via the Prometric portal. This portal allows candidates to schedule, reschedule, and cancel exams. Applicants have 90 days to take the exam.

    • The exam is computer-based, consisting of 150 multiple choice questions consisting of 125 scored questions and 25 unscored questions. 

    • Applicants have 3 hours to complete the exam and must obtain a score of 95 (71% correct) to pass

    • If a candidate does not pass and wishes to retest, they may retake the exam with a one-time-only discount, eligible for $75 off their application fee. This offer is valid for four months after the exam date.

    • CMSRN exam is available to nurses practicing outside of the United States, with international testing fees and eligibility requirements that must be met before testing

    Certification

    Information on Obtaining CMSRN Certification

    Eligibility Requirements:

    • This certification is open to Registered Nurses (RN) with a valid US license

    • RNs must have practiced for a minimum of two years in a medical-surgical setting

    • Obtained at least 2,000 hours of clinical experience within the last three years

    Costs to certify:

    • Regular application fee- $375

    • Member fee (AMSN)- $255

    • Participants of FailSafe™- No upfront costs

    Information on Renewing CMSRN Certification

    CMSRN credentials are valid for five years. Nurses can recertify up one year before the expiration of current certification. Nurses can recertify by providing continuing education hours or retaking the CMSRN exam. Eligibility to recertify includes:

    • Nurses must possess a current RN license or the foreign equivalent

    • Must maintain a current medical-surgical nursing certification

    • Obtained 90 contact hours within the last five years

    • Acquired 1,000 practice hours within the previous five years in a medical-surgical setting

    Nurses can report contact hours during their certification period. All self-reported hours will be reviewed and verified to ensure eligibility criteria are met. Once eligibility is confirmed, applicants can apply for recertification from CMSRN Tracker.

    The costs to recertify for those who hold an active status:

    • Recertification by Continuing education: $303 for regular & $193 for AMSN members

    • Recertification by Exam: $394 & $267 for AMSN members

    Other Resources

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    Frequently asked questions

    How do I study for the exam?

    Study preparation is the individual preference of the applicant. Some candidates start preparation once applying for the exam, and others prepare 6-12 months in advance. Applicants can visit the AMSN Online Store for test preparation materials.

    Is a BSN degree required to take the exam?

    No, a BSN degree is not required for eligibility to take the CMSRN exam.

    Can I cancel my exam?

    Canceling your exam is not permitted for computer-based testing. Application fees will not be returned if you miss your exam date. Applicants using the FailSafe program are allowed one attempt to test if an appointment is missed. If an emergency prevents you from testing, please contact [email protected] and provide supporting documentation for review.   

    Can the exam be rescheduled?

    The computer-based exam can be rescheduled within 90 days free of charge if the candidate reschedules greater than 15 days in advance of the currently scheduled exam. Applicants who reschedule within 6-15 days before the exam will be charged $25.