Exam Preparation

MSNCB, along with our affiliated professional association, the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN), has produced several excellent study resources for the Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN®) exam. They vary on material, learning styles, and cost (including Free!).

These resources are not a requirement to sit for the CMSRN certification examination and are not the only or preferred route to adequate preparation. Using these study resources do not imply advantage or successful performance on the examination. MSNCB neither endorses nor is affiliated with any third party online or mobile exam preparation apps or textbook resources that reference the CMSRN certification examination.

Medical-Surgical Nursing Review Questions, 3rd Edition

A great start to studying. It has over 340 questions with the rationale for each correct answer. The questions are sectioned by body system so you see your strengths and weaknesses. This is great for a candidate who doesn't know how much to study and wants to gauge her or his knowledge before investing money in other study guides. For those that aren't good testers, or who are concerned about the exam itself, it is a valuable tool.

Core Curriculum for Medical-Surgical Nursing, 5th Edition

A med-surg textbook. At over 600 pages, it covers the factors and systems of medical-surgical nursing by chapter. For a nurse who hasn't acquired a med-surg textbook in the past 4 years, he or she may find this useful.

Visit the AMSN Online Store to learn more about these two products.

Preparation Tips, Strategies, and Insight on Taking the CMSRN Exam.

These videos offer an overview on how to prepare for and take the CMSRN exam. Tips on organizing and utilizing study groups, study aid reviews, and test taking strategies are covered.

Click the titles below to view individual videos:

CMSRN® Exam Overview

Eligibility, Application, & Scheduling

Study Resources & Tips

Strategies for Taking the Exam

Exam Question Examples

Managing Test Anxiety


CMSRN Prep Test

The prep test consists 150 multiple-choice questions based on the blueprint of the CMSRN exam. It’s designed to help build your confidence and to support you in identifying areas where you may want to focus your preparation, and it’s mobile-friendly!

Sample Test Questions (FREE)

If you are thinking about taking the CMSRN exam and are curious about the kinds of questions that will appear, this resource will help you prepare with several example questions.

Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Review Course

AMSN faculty presenting the Certification Review Course. This would be helpful for someone who learns best by listening. Course is available in the AMSN Online Library. This course is also offered every other year at the AMSN Annual Convention. Some facilities also host the course and occasionally allow non-employee nurses to attend. Visit AMSN Events for availability.

CMSRN Exam Blueprint (FREE)

Learn what will be on the CMSRN exam by reviewing the CMSRN exam blueprint.

Reference List (FREE)

These references were used in the development of the CMSRN examination.