Neuroscience Nurse Certification and Training Program Information

Registered nurses who are interested in working with neurological patients can earn the designation of Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN).

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Essential Information

The CNRN is a professionally recognized certification that is obtained by taking a specialized prep program and then passing a national exam offered by the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN). Prep programs are usually taught in about three days and explore topics such as neurological anatomy and physiology, neurological patient assessment, and injuries and disorders of the neurological system. Applicants to these programs must have a nursing degree, be a practicing registered nurse, and have passed the National Council Licensing Examination for nurses.

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Certificate Programs for Certified Neuroscience Registered Nursing

While CNRN certification is not always required for employment, it demonstrates professional expertise to employers and patients. Students in these training programs are provided with educational and information resources that cover the following topics:

  • Neurotrauma
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Seizures
  • Brain tumors
  • Methods of neurological assessment
  • Neurological anatomy and physiology

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to a May 2015 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 30% of the 2.7 million nurses in the United States were employed by hospitals ( Job prospects are increasing due to the aging of the baby boomer population and an increased societal focus on preventive care. The nursing industry was expected to see a 16% increase in employment from 2014-2024, which is faster than the average for all occupations, as noted by the BLS. As of May 2015, the mean annual salary for registered nurses was $71,000.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Although certification as a Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN) is the highest professional achievement available in neuroscience nursing, nurses can obtain additional education and certification in other areas. While certifications are not formally recognized degrees, they offer a degree of professional cachet. Certifications require completion of certain educational requirements and the passing of a nationally standardized examination.

While CNRN training is not required, completing the program enables experienced RNs to redirect their careers toward neuroscience. By earning the designation, they can demonstrate their expertise in this subfield to current or future employers.

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