Certified Registered Nurse Infusion (CRNI)
The CRNI credential is administered by the INCC (Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation), an independent organization established in 1983 by the Infusion Nurses Society (INS), a professional organization serving infusion nursing specialists nationwide. In the 40 years since nurses first began administering infusion therapy, the INS has grown into a national voice for specialists, providing networking opportunities, education and training resources, and professional development and recognition to over 7,000 RN infusion specialists.  The INCC’s “RN Examination Council” consisting of 9 CRNI-certified registered nurses, works with the national testing agency Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. (AMP) to develop and administer the CRNI exam. The first INCC-administered exam was given in 1985. While the CRNI examination is available internationally, it is not standard in many countries. As a result, infusion nurses certified in their home countries often have difficulty transferring their credentials when immigrating to the United States.
Function of the Test
The CRNI is a specialty certification for registered nurses who wish to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and experience in the field of infusion therapy. According to INCC, the credential provides assurance to patients, caregivers, physicians and employers that a therapist meets standards of competency and is conversant with the latest developments in the field. In addition, CRNI-certified specialists enjoy a competitive edge in the job market, greater earning potential, and increased recognition in the field. While not required for employment in the specialty, most hiring managers give preference to credentialed nurse specialists when making hiring decisions. Certified nurse specialists also earn more; according to one survey, they average $9,200 per year more than their colleagues who lack specialty certification. The CRNI credential is a mark of excellence. Only 68.2% of candidates pass the rigorous test of knowledge and skill to earn the distinction. Names of successful candidates are published on the INCC Web site, and a customizable press release is available for certificants to communicate their accomplishment to the local community.
The CRNI exam is offered to active registered nurses who have accrued a minimum of 1,600 hours of experience in infusion therapy within two years of registering for the exam. It is given in two blocks of times per year, in September and March, at over 250 testing centers worldwide. Both INS members and non-members may register for the exam. Registration deadlines are January 10th for the March exam, and July 10th for the September exam. Those applying by November 10 for the following March exam, or May 10 for the July exam receive a $50 early-bird discount. The basic cost for the exam is $360 for INS members, $415 for RNs who are including an application for a new or renewal membership in their registration, or $450 for non-members. International applicants must pay an additional fee of $140. Candidates who have been approved to take the exam will receive an email invitation to schedule directly with the testing vendor, Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. (AMP). INCC also sends an approval letter, which contains a unique AMP code for a candidate to use to log into AMP’s Web site. Special accommodations, if needed, must be requested in writing at the time of application using INCC’s “Special Accommodation Request Form” along with a letter describing specific requirements from an educator or healthcare professional. Pass/fail results are available immediately after taking the exam (except for international candidates, who receive results by postal mail). Candidates who do not pass the exam may retake it an unlimited number of times as long as they continue to meet eligibility requirements. There is no waiting period between attempts. The full application process must be completed each time, though application fees are discounted by $50 for each request to retake the exam.
|Sections of the CRNI Test|
|CRNI Test Subject Areas||# of Questions||Percent|
|Technology and Clinical Applications||33||22.0%|
|Fluid and Electrolyte Balance||21||14.0%|
|Infection Prevention and Control||21||14.0%|
|Antineoplastic and Biologic Therapy||14||9.3%|
The CRNI is made up of 150 multiple choice questions that have to do with eight major topics. These topics are: Technology and Clinical Applications; Fluid and electrolyte balance; Pharmacology; Infection Prevention and Control; Special Populations; Transfusion Therapy; Antineoplastic and Biologic Therapy; and Parenteral Nutrition. There will also be an additional 20 unscored, pretest questions. The time allotted to complete all 170 questions is three hours.
Candidates are expected to arrive on time for their scheduled test. Arriving more than fifteen minutes late may result in candidates not being admitted. For admission, two forms of ID are required, one of which must contain a current photo. The photo ID must also be government issued, such as a drivers license, passport, or a military card. Both must contain the test taker's name and signature.
- Sample CRNI Questions
- In evidence-based practice, the best description of patient preference is
- A. An essential component
- B. A secondary component
- C. An intervening component
- D. An optional component
- A palliative care patient requires intravenous therapy for about 6 to 8 weeks. Which of the following central venous access devices is most commonly used for this duration?
- A. Non-tunneled central catheter.
- B. Peripherally-inserted central catheter (PICC).
- C. Tunneled central catheter.
- D. Implantable port.
- In a patient receiving total parenteral nutrition, which of the following is an indication of essential fatty acid deficiency?
- A. Thrombocytosis
- B. Pernicious anemia
- C. Hemolytic anemia
- D. Iron deficiency anemia
- When teaching a chemotherapy patient at risk for neutropenia, which dietary restriction should be advised?
- A. Fresh fruits.
- B. Dairy products.
- C. High fiber vegetables.
- D. Meats.
- Which of the following medications may be used as pretreatment prior to administration of chemotherapeutic agents to reduce incidence of nausea and vomiting?
- A. Famotidine.
- B. Prochlorperazine.
- C. Lorazepam.
- D. Metoclopramide.
- A patient receiving paclitaxel develops a hypersensitivity reaction (non-anaphylactic) during administration. Which of the following initial actions is correct?
- A. Stop infusion and discontinue IV.
- B. Stop infusion and administer corticosteroid.
- C. Stop infusion and administer epinephrine.
- D. Stop infusion and provide rapid infusion of NS.
The exam consists of 170 questions, 20 of which are test questions that are not included when computing a candidate’s score. Different examination forms contain a different mix of questions, and thus may vary slightly in overall difficulty. Because of this, scores are scaled by multiplying the raw score by a factor computed based on the average difficulty of each form’s questions. The scaled score required to pass the CRNI exam is always 70, while the raw score required to pass the exam can range from 100 to 105 correct answers out of the 150 scored items.  Candidates who pass the exam given in March earn the CRNI credential effective the following April 1st. Those who take and pass the exam in September receive a credential effective the following October 1st.
The CRNI exam is updated periodically to accommodate changes in the field of infusion specialty nursing. The last update was in the fall of 2013, when data from a study of infusion nursing roles and responsibilities was used to revise the core content areas of the exam, and reduce the number of core areas from 9 to 8. The exam portion of the CRNI Web site was also recently redesigned to make it easier for candidates to navigate and find relevant information about the exam. (50-150 words)
Answers to Sample Questions
1;A 2;B 3;C 4;A 5;C 6;D
- Part 1 – 40 Years Young December 24, 2014
- INCC RN Council December 24, 2014
- The Value of Certification in Infusion Nursing December 31, 2014
- Intravenous Therapy – Then and Now by Tracey Kunac December 31, 2014
- Choose CRNI December 24, 2014
- September 2014 Exam Results December 24, 2014
- Before You Apply December 31, 2014
- Application Process December 31, 2014
- CRNI Exam Handbook January 2, 2015
- CRNI Exam Handbook January 2, 2015
- Exam Content Outline 30 December 2014
- Taking the Exam 30 December 2014
- Score Reports December 24, 2014
- CRNI Exam Handbook January 2, 2015
- Certification: A Challenge to Provide Quality Care January 2, 2015
- What’s New January 2, 2015