RN Board Certification: Your Path to a More Rewarding Career

RN board certification is the process of demonstrating your skills and knowledge in a particular area of nursing. It is a voluntary process, but it is becoming increasingly important for nurses who want to advance their careers and earn a higher salary.

What is RN board certification?

RN board certification is a credential that is awarded to nurses who have met certain standards of education, experience, and knowledge. There are many different RN board certification exams available, each covering a different area of nursing. Some of the most popular RN board certification exams include:

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) General RN Certification

  • American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN)

  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP)

Why is RN board certification important?

There are many benefits to RN board certification, including:

  • Increased job opportunities:

    Nurses with board certification are often in high demand and have more job opportunities than nurses without certification.

  • Higher salary:

    Nurses with board certification typically earn a higher salary than nurses without certification.

  • More credibility with patients and employers:

    Board certification demonstrates to patients and employers that a nurse has met the highest standards of practice.

  • Opportunity to advance your career:

    Board certification can help nurses advance their careers and take on more leadership roles.

Who should consider RN board certification?

RN board certification is a good option for any nurse who wants to advance their career and earn a higher salary. However, some nurses are more likely to benefit from board certification than others. For example, nurses who are new to the workforce may find that board certification exams can help them get a job or advance their career more quickly. Nurses who are interested in specializing in a particular area of nursing may also find that board certification exams can be helpful.

How to prepare for RN board certification

There are a number of things nurses can do to prepare for RN board certification exams. Some of the most common preparation methods include:

  • Take a review course:

    Review courses can provide nurses with the knowledge and skills they need to pass board certification exams.

  • Study the exam content outline:

    The exam content outline lists the topics that will be covered on the exam. Nurses can use the exam content outline to focus their studies on the most important topics.

  • Practice answering sample questions:

    There are many practice questions available online and in review courses. Nurses can practice answering sample questions to get a feel for the type of questions that will be on the exam.

Taking the RN board certification exam

To take an RN board certification exam, nurses must register with the certification body that offers the exam they want to take. The exam is offered multiple times throughout the year at testing centers across the United States.

On the day of the exam, nurses should arrive early and bring all of the required materials, such as their identification and a valid form of payment. Nurses should also listen carefully to the instructions and follow them carefully.

After you pass the RN board certification exam

Once you pass an RN board certification exam, you will receive your RN board certification certificate. You should update your resume and LinkedIn profile to reflect your new certification. You should also tell your employer about your certification.

Renewing your RN board certification

The requirements for renewing your RN board certification vary depending on the certification body. However, most certification bodies require nurses to complete continuing education credits every few years to maintain their certification.


RN board certification is a valuable credential for nurses who want to advance their careers and earn a higher salary. If you are considering RN board certification, be sure to do your research and choose the right exam for your needs.


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