MSNCB

CMSRN® and RN-BC: What's the Difference?

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There are two certification exams offered in the specialty of medical-surgical nursing. The Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB) provides this table of comparisons between the two certification programs to help you make an informed choice of which one is right for you.

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  CMSRN RN-BC
Credential Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) Registered Nurse-Board Certified (RN-BC)
 
Certifying Body Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB) American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
 
Endorsement from Specialty Nursing Organization Yes, by AMSN (Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses) No
 
Accreditation by ABSNC (Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification) Yes Yes
Accepted by ANCC for Magnet Recognition Status Yes Yes

Certification Eligibility Criteria

  CMSRN RN-BC
Practice as an RN 2 Years 2 Years
Type of Practice Clinical, management, or education Clinical
Practice Hours in Past 3 Years 2,000 Hours 2,000 Hours
Contact Hours None 30 CH/3 Years

Certification Duration

  CMSRN RN-BC
  5 Years 5 years

Certification Exam

  CMSRN RN-BC
# of Questions 150 (+25 trial questions on PP) 175
Testing Options Paper & Pencil (PP) or Computer-Based Testing (CBT) Computer-Based Testing only
Average Pass Rate/Last 3 Years (2010-2012) 78% Unavailable
Based on Practice Analysis Yes Yes
Special Test Site at Your Facility Yes, $300 per site No

Pricing and Discounts

  CMSRN RN-BC
Certification $375 $395
Certification Discount $255 AMSN Member* $270 ANA Member**
Hospital Registration Program Yes, FailSafe Certification Program™ which does not charge hospitals for unsuccessful candidates Yes

Recertification Options

  CMSRN RN-BC
By Contact Hours Yes Yes
By Exam Yes Partially
By Exam Exemption Yes No

Recertification Eligibility Criteria

  CMSRN RN-BC
Current Certification in Medical-Surgical Nursing Yes Yes
Type of Practice Clinical, management, or education Clinical or direct clinical supervision only
Practice Hours in 5 Years 1,000 1,000
Contact Hours in 5 Years 90 CH (including academic courses, presentations, publications, preceptorship, research) 150 CH
or
75 CH + academic courses, presentations, publications, preceptorship, or research

Recertification Pricing and Discounts

  CMSRN RN-BC
Recertification $275 $350
Membership Discount $175 AMSN Member* $200 ANA Member**

Examination Prep Resources

  CMSRN RN-BC
Sample Questions Yes Yes
Online Practice Exam Yes, from MSNCB Yes, through Credentialing Knowledge Center
Publications/Online Yes, many through AMSN Yes
2 Day Certification Review Course at your Facility Yes, through AMSN
$5,000 + faculty hotel expenses
Unlimited Participants
Yes
Minimum of 28 participants at $310 = $8,680
FREE Contact Hours Yes, through AMSN membership, CHs specific to medical-surgical nursing Yes, through ANA membership

* AMSN Dues = $84/year
** ANA Dues = $290/year Average