RCIS (CCI) - Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist

  • Cost $365
  • Renews in 9-12 months then 3 years

COURSE FORMAT

In Person

About

The Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS) certification is offered by the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI). The RCIS is available for nurses working in the specialty of cardiac catheterization. These nurses assist physicians in providing minimally invasive interventions to diagnose and treat cardiac conditions. Most often found in hospital settings, the cardiac catheterization lab nurse will monitor clients before and after the procedure and circulate and scrub during the procedure. With the continued prevalence of cardiovascular disease, the need for cardiac catheterization lab nurses will be a priority.

For nurses working in cardiac catheterization labs, the RCIS professional certification offered by Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) exemplifies the skills and knowledge required to care for complex health conditions within the procedural environment.

Course Format

Exam Format

The RCIS certification exam is a three-hour, 170-question multiple-choice test based on the content outlined in the RCIS Exam Overview. The general distribution of questions and the relative weight given to a skill or content area on the exam include the following:

  • Conducting Pre-Procedural Activities: 10%

  • Conducting Diagnostic Procedures: 42%

  • Conducting Interventional Procedures: 33%

  • Responding to Emergency Procedures and Protocols: 6%

  • Conducting Post-Procedural Activities: 9%

Cost: $365

Exam takers receive an unofficial score report at the Pearson VUE testing center following the completion of their exam. This report provides a total score, pass/fail status and a breakdown of the percentage of questions answered correctly in each content area.

Total scores are scaled and range from 0 to 900, with a total scaled score of 650 required to pass. CCI total scaled scores don’t equal the number or percentage of questions answered correctly. Exam takers receive their official results letter, certificate and wallet card from CCI about 15 business days after passing the exam.

Candidates who fail the RCIS exam may sit for it again but must complete a new application and pay the required fees. There’s a mandatory waiting period of 45 days between taking the previous exam and a new authorization to test will be issued. According to a customer service specialist at CCI, applicants can take the exam as many times as they like.

Certification

To be eligible for the RCIS certification exam, applicants must have a high school diploma or general education diploma and meet one of the following prerequisites:

  • RCIS235: A graduate of a certificate or degree-granting program such as nursing, one-year full-time work in invasive cardiovascular technology, and 600 interventional procedures experienced within your career.

  • RCIS5: A graduate of a non-programmatically accredited program in invasive cardiovascular technology with a minimum of one year of specialty training and includes a minimum of 800 clinical hours. 

  • RCIS4: A graduate of an accredited program in invasive cardiovascular technology.

Supporting documentation may include education transcripts, employment verification letters and clinical experience letters if using procedures completed during a formal education program. Processing of the application to sit for the RCIS exam takes at least 15 to 20 business days.

An accredited program includes those recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), United States Department of Education (USDOE), or Canadian Medical Association (CMA) that specifically conducts programmatic accreditation for cardiovascular technology, diagnostic cardiac sonography, or vascular technology.

Renewal

The RCIS credential is active for 9-12 months after passing the exam offered by CCI.

To renew the RCIS certification, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • First Renewal: You must pay a $165 fee before the first day of the quarter the following year after you earned the certification. There are no CEU requirements for the first renewal. After completing the first renewal, the certification is valid for three years.

  • Second Renewal: After the three years following your first renewal, you would pay the $165 fee, sign the CCI Code of Ethics, and complete 36 CEUs, 30 of these must be cardiovascular-related.

Other Resources

The CCI offers resources for exam candidates, including:

Related Certifications

The CCI also offers the following:

  • Advanced Cardiac Sonographer (ACS)

  • Certified Rhythm Analysis Technician (CRAT)

  • Registered Congenital Cardiac Sonographer (RCCS)

  • Registered Cardiac Electrophysiology Specialist (RCES)

  • Registered Cardiac Sonographer (RCS)

  • Registered Phlebology Sonographer (RPhS)

  • Registered Vascular Specialist (RVS)

  • Certified Cardiographic Technician (CCT)

The nurse seeking additional verification of skills in the cardiovascular specialty may also review the following certifications:

  • Cardiac Vascular Nursing Certification (CV-BC): This certification is available to nurses through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and validates entry-level knowledge and skills in the care of adult cardiac clients.

  • Cardiac Medicine Certification (CMC): The CMC is offered by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurse (AACN) for nurses in adult cardiac care units, home care, interventional cardiology, or cath labs.

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Frequently asked questions

What types of prior nursing experience qualify you to work in the cardiac catheterization specialty?

Some of the relevant experiences and certifications include:

  • Minimum of two years in acute care nursing

  • Minimum one to two years of experience in cardiology or ICU

  • Proficient in cardiac anatomy, physiology, arrhythmia, and interpretations

  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)

What types of questions will I see on the RCIS exam?

The RCIS exam uses alternative testing items, along with traditional multiple-choice. These include selecting all answers that apply, hot spot, and drag and drop responses. Out of the 170 questions, 150 questions will count towards your score. Duties and tasks covered in the exam include responding to emergency procedures and conducting pre-procedural activities, diagnostic procedures, interventional procedures, and post-procedural activities.

What's the passing score on the RCIS exam?

Total scores on the RCIS exam are reported on a scale ranging from 0 to 900, but this scale doesn't equal the number or percentage of questions answered correctly. Test takers must earn a total scaled score of 650 to pass the RCIS exam. The number of correct answers required to achieve a score of 650 was determined through a standard-setting or passing score study.

How many questions are on the RCIS exam?

The RCIS exam contains 170 multiple choice questions, with 150 scored and 20 unscored. Unscored questions aren't identified and appear randomly throughout the exam.

How is the RCIS exam administered?

The RCIS exam is a computer-based exam administered at Pearson Professional Centers year-round based on the availability at test centers throughout the U.S.

Can I earn a RCIS onine?

No you can't earn a RCIS online.

What organization offers the RCIS?

The Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) offers the RCIS.

What other certifications does the CCI offer besdes the RCIS?

The Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) also offers:

  • Advanced Cardiac Sonographer (ACS)

  • Certified Rhythm Analysis Technician (CRAT)

  • Registered Congenital Cardiac Sonographer (RCCS)

  • Registered Cardiac Electrophysiology Specialist (RCES)

  • Registered Cardiac Sonographer (RCS)

  • Registered Phlebology Sonographer (RPhS)

  • Registered Vascular Specialist (RVS)

  • Certified Cardiographic Technician (CCT)