Recertify Your CMSRN

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When you earn your Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN®) credential, you should begin planning for recertification. Certification is the first step in a process that assures medical-surgical patients of your commitment to promoting optimal health outcomes, and recertification reaffirms your dedication. You will recertify every five years to maintain your certification. 

Options for Recertification

To recertify, you can either meet the continuing education requirements or take the CMSRN exam again.

Recertify by Continuing Education

Continuing education applicants will meet the eligibility criteria listed below. Download the recertification application below to get started.

During peak times, please allow 6 weeks for processing and approval. It is recommended you submit your application 90 days prior to your certification expiration date. Candidates using this option must postmark the application no later than the expiration date of their certification.

Download Recertification Application

Download Recertification Application

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Hold a current certification in medical surgical nursing through the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB) or another certifying body.
  2. Hold a current, full, and unrestricted license as a registered nurse (RN) in the United States or its territories; or, hold a current, full, and unrestricted license as a first-level nurse in the country in which one's nursing education was completed, and meet the eligibility for licensure as a registered nurse (RN) in the United States in accordance with the requirements of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS).
  3. Have accrued a minimum of 1,000 hours of practice over the last five (5) years in an adult medical-surgical setting. Practice may include clinical, management, or education. RN students in a nursing baccalaureate, master's, or doctoral degree program can waive the employment eligibility requirement by submitting documentation signed by a school official, verifying full-time status and matriculation. This documentation must be submitted along with the application for recertification. Academic courses must be biopsychosocial content and must be offered by an accredited educational institution.
  4. Have earned 90 approved contact hours over the five year period - 68 or 75% of these approved contact hours must be medical-surgical related. The remainder of the contact hours may be professional development or other nursing related subjects. The contact hours must be provided by an entity that is accredited as a provider of continuing education in nursing. Certificates or academic transcripts are only required if the application is randomly selected for audit. Contact hours may start accruing January 1 of the year of certification. Education programs must be presented by an individual, state, or national organization accredited as a provider of continuing education in nursing. Education programs may be in any format including, but not limited to, courses, workshops, and independent study modules. Contact hours earned from January 1 of the year of certification or recertification are acceptable. All contact hours will be counted as awarded.

Recertify by Exam

Recertification by examination candidates must meet the eligibility criteria of the exam and test within the year prior to expiration of the current certification. A test application form, along with the appropriate exam fee, must be submitted prior to the filing deadline for the test date requested.

View Exam Applications

Inactive or Retired Status

Instead of recertifying at this time, you may be eligible for Inactive or Retired status.

Learn More about Inactive and Retired Status

One-Year Grace Period

MSNCB offers all certificants the opportunity to submit their recertification application up to 1 (one) year after the certification expiration date. MSNCB provides this option to give you more time to earn the necessary contact hours you may need. Within one year after expiration, submit your application with payment, and include a $75.00 late fee. Upon approval, your certification expiration date will be extended 5 years from the original expiration date. Keep in mind that you are unable to use your CMSRN credential if your certification has expired.

No applications will be accepted after the 1-year date. There will be no exceptions or extension of this time frame.