- Get Certified
- About MSNCB
- About the Exam
- CMSRN Resources
- Prepare for the Exam
Cancellations are NOT accepted for either the paper and pencil (P&P) exam or the computer-based (CBT) exams. Candidates are expected to study for the exam from the time they submit their application to the time they test. P&P candidates have approximately 10 weeks to study for the exam form the deadline date to the testing date. CBT candidates may test anytime within their 90-day window. CBT candidates may contact the testing company and reschedule up to 2 days before a scheduled exam date. MSNCB feels that there is sufficient time to study and test within these time frames.
If you schedule an exam and do not show up for that exam, all monies paid will be forfeited.
MSNCB understands that emergencies happen. If an emergency occurs which prevents you from testing, you may submit an email to email@example.com to request to cancel and give the special circumstances of the emergency. Supporting documentation must be provided. Each request will be handled on a case-by-case basis. If your cancellation is accepted, you will be refunded the application payment minus the $75.00 processing fee.
Confidentiality of Examination and Scores
To insure the security of the examination, the test materials are confidential and will not be released to any person or agency. Also, additional information about a candidate's individual test results will be released only to the candidate, upon written request. Pass/fail status will be released when submitted with a written authorization signed by the candidate. MSNCB maintains a searchable directory of all Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN®) online.
Designation of Certification
Certification is awarded to those who successfully complete the certification process by meeting the eligibility criteria and have either passed a written, multiple choice exam or who have earned their certification through exam exemption with continuing education contact hours. The designated credential is Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN®). This credential may be used in all correspondence or professional activities. Certification as a CMSRN is valid for a period of five years.
Recertification is available by examination or by continuing education. Certified nurses will begin to receive recertification notices approximately one (1) year before their certification expiration. It is the certificant's professional responsibility to be aware of their certification expiration date and to apply for recertification in a timely manner before the certification expiration date.
Denial, Suspension or Revocation of Certification
The occurrence of any of the following actions will result in the denial, suspension, or revocation of CMSRN certification:
1. Failure to meet certification or recertification criteria.
2. Any restrictions to professional RN license, such as revocation, suspension, probation, or other sanctions by a nursing authority.
3. Failure to pay any appropriate and required fees.
4. Failure to supply requested material by deadline.
5. Falsification of information on the MSNCB examination/recertification applications, or supporting documentation.
6. Cheating on the certification examination.
7. Misrepresentation of certification status.
A letter of notification will be sent to the certificant/candidate by traceable, secure mail (i.e. UPS or FedEx) and a copy of the letter retained in their file.
Right of Appeal
A candidate who has failed, or had their certification revoked has the right of appeal. This appeal must be submitted in writing to the President of the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board within thirty (30) days of notification of their pass/fail status or receipt of their revocation letter. The appeal shall state specific reasons why the candidate feels entitled to certification. Please note that the passing score established for the certification examination cannot be appealed. At the candidate's request and expense, the MSNCB shall appoint an Appeals Committee of certified medical-surgical nurses who will review blinded copies of materials sent by the candidate for review. The final decision of the Appeals Committee will be communicated in writing by the Chair to the candidate and to MSNCB within one month of the start of the review process. All decisions of the Appeals Committee shall be final.
Scoring the CMSRN Exam
The MSNCB Test Development Committee uses a criterion-referenced methodology to establish the passing score (or cut score) for the CMSRN examination. The criterion is what a minimally competent, certified CMSRN needs to know about medical-surgical nursing.
To determine the passing score, a systematic procedure (a modified Angoff procedure) is performed in collaboration with psychometric consultants from MSNCB’s testing service. This is the method most commonly used to set passing scores on licensure and certification examinations. A candidate’s pass/fail decision on the test is based on the passing score determined by the Angoff procedure, rather than by comparing a candidate’s performance to other candidates who took the examination.
Scores on the CMSRN examination are reported as scaled scores, ranging from 70 to 130. A scaled score of 95 is required to pass. The scaled score of 95 is equal to correctly answering about 71% of the test questions. In a scaled score, the number of questions answered correctly, called the “raw score,” is converted to a scaled score, which is referred to as a “standard score” on the score report. The conversion is similar to converting a weight from pounds to kilograms; that is, the weight is the same but the scales differ. Raw scores are converted to scaled scores so that scores can be directly compared from year to year and from test to test.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to indicate on the application that special testing arrangements are requested and to provide to the testing agency, C-NET, documentation of the disability at least 6-weeks prior to the testing date so that the special arrangements can be made. If a cost is involved, the candidate will be notified and a mutually agreeable arrangement will be made between the candidate and the testing agency, C-NET.
Applicants who can not test on a Saturday should apply for a computer-based test only and schedule their exam on another day of the week.
Send documentation of disability to
C-NET – MSNCB Exam
601 Pavonia Ave. Ste. 201
Jersey City, NJ 07306
Change of Address
It is the responsibility of the applicant to notify the MSNCB of any change in contact information: phone, mailing address, email address.
Address changes may be made online or directed to MSNCB:
MSNCB National Office
East Holly Avenue, Box 56
Pitman, NJ 08071-0056