Our Story

The Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB™) was created because members of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) requested a specialty certification created by med-surg nurses for med-surg nurses.

The Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) is a professional specialty nursing organization dedicated to the medical-surgical nursing practice. As the AMSN Board and members continued to promote medical-surgical nursing as a specialty, they identified a need for an optional exam that would certify medical-surgical nurses in their specialty.

In early 2002, AMSN formed a task force of medical-surgical nurses to investigate the need, develop a blueprint, and develop the Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN®) exam.

The pilot exam was given in October 2002 to collect data, and the first official test was given in May 2003 where 272 candidates sat for the exam.

In 2014, MSNCB began collaborating with the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN) to develop a groundbreaking certification for RNs in a care coordination and transition management role. Nurses from ambulatory and acute settings represented this pivotal role's care across the health care spectrum.

Major Milestones

2002 Pilot exam given in Washington, D.C.
  • First certification exam administered
  • Certification Task Force dissolved and MSNCB was formed
  • Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc. appointed to provide management services and a National Office
2006 First Public Member appointed to the board
2008 First CMSRNs became recertified
  • CMSRN exam accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification
  • Computer-based Testing (CBT) initiated
  • Completed role delineation study and practice analysis. New exam blueprint and Domains of Nursing Practice developed to take effect May 2013
  • Over 15,000 CMSRNs
2013 Launched new MSNCB FailSafe Certification Program™, which removed two major barriers to taking the exam: fear of failure and upfront cost
2017 Over 30,000 CMSRNs