CMSRN Study Group Bonds Nurses, Increases Learning

Submitted by Cathy Bourgeois, RN, BS, CMSRN

In 2012, the Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton, WA, received a grant to help nurses get their certification. The facility’s medical-surgical nurses were then chosen to use the funds.

Group study members
Cathy Bourgeouis (right) with Lindsay Wellington, RN, ADN, CMSRN, charge nurse and a member of the study group.

Thanks to the grant, the hospital signed up for the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Review Course, and the nurses on our med-surg unit attended the 2-day class. Then we were on our own! To help us prepare further to take the CMSRN exam, four of us from the day shift decided to do a study group. In addition to studying, we made the group a social one. We went to different homes each time, had hors d’oeuvres and a glass of wine, enjoyed chatting about our lives, then got to work. We went over every question in the review book, each week reviewing different chapters.

The level of experience among us was widely varied: I have 42 years under my belt and another nurse had 3. It was a great group and we learned a lot from studying together because there were very few questions someone couldn’t answer.

We took turns addressing each question so everyone had a chance to think about the topic. The few times someone didn’t know the answer, we delved into the subject deeper to find the correct answer and then discussed exactly why it was correct.

We all brought different experiences to the table. We learned a lot and had fun doing it. And the great news is, all four of us passed! The study group was a great way to expand and reinforce our learning, as well as prepare more thoroughly for the exam.

Cathy Bourgeois, RN, BS, CMSRN, is a patient care supervisor at Harrison Medical Center, Bremerton, WA.