Planning for Recertification


The Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN®) credential is valid for five years. Recertify to maintain the CMSRN credential.

In order to allow sufficient time to earn the required contact hours, begin planning for recertification soon after becoming certified.

First, determine how you want to recertify:

  1. Continuing education
  2. Take the CMSRN exam again

CMSRN Recertification & Exam Exemption Guide

Download this handy guide for all you need to know about CMSRN recertification.

The CMSRN Tracker

When you choose to recertify by continuing education, you will find the CMSRN Tracker is your online resource for planning, tracking, and applying for recertification. If you haven’t become familiar with the Tracker, we recommend you log in and take a look around. It’s a simple tool that packs a lot of convenience.

Recertification Planning Tips

1. Review the eligibility criteria

All of the recertification eligibility criteria must be met at the time of application. You are eligible if you:

  • Hold a current medical-surgical nursing certification and
  • Hold a current RN license or foreign equivalent and
  • Have accrued 1,000 practice hours in a med-surg setting in the last 5 years and
  • Have earned 90 contact hours in the last 5 years

Read more on eligibility requirements

2. Learn about acceptable contact hours

At least 68 contact hours must be medical-surgical specific. The remainder of the required 90 contact hours may be medical-surgical or professional development.

3. Set a goal for earning contact hours soon after certification

Your certification expiration date helps determine your plan for earning contact hour activity. Know your expiration date and be aware that applications must be submitted at least 30 days prior to certification expiration to avoid a late fee.

A helpful formula to stay on top of earning contact hours is 90 contact hours divided by the number of years left on your certification. For example, if you are 3 years out, you should complete 30 contact hours per year. Adjust the formula to suit your date.

Learn more about recertification deadlines.

4. Earn your contact hours and self-report in your CMSRN Tracker throughout your five year certification period

Allow up to 10 business days for self-reported contact hours to be reviewed and verified.

5. Verify all criteria have been met

Use the CMSRN Tracker to be sure you have enough contact hours to apply and that your employment information is updated.

6. Apply right from your Tracker when all eligibility criteria are met

When your 90 contact hours have been entered and verified, you’ve entered the required employment information, and you are within the application time frame, the online application can be accessed from your Tracker.

You are eligible for recertification starting one year prior to and up to one year after your current certification expiration date (with late fee).

Go to My Tracker

Bonus Tip! Apply for a Recertification Grant

Have your CMSRN recertification fee covered by AMSN! The Recertification Grant is awarded to twelve members of AMSN annually. The grant awards the equivalent to the application fee for members.