Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse Exam

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The Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse examination (CRRN) was first administered by the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses in 1984.[1] The CRRN certification program received accreditation from the American Board of Nursing Specialties.[2] The examination is now administered by the Rehabilitation Nursing Certification Board (RNCB), which is an autonomous component organization of the ARN.[1] Two separate organizations, the CRRN Exam Committee and the CRRN Item Development Committee, periodically update the examination to ensure that it reflects current practice in rehabilitation nursing.[3] At any given time, multiple forms of the examination exist, each containing a unique combination of questions.[4]

Function of the Test

CRRN Study Guide

Candidates take the CRRN examination in order to earn CRRN certification, which "demonstrate[s] knowledge, experience and commitment to excellence in comprehensive care for people with physical disabilities and chronic illnesses in all specialties and settings of rehabilitation."[5] Candidates must have a current, unrestricted RN license. In addition, within the five years preceding the examination, candidates must have completed either two years of practice as a registered professional nurse in rehabilitation nursing or else completed one year of practice and one year of advanced study in nursing beyond the baccalaureate level.[6]

The ARN reported that 1,055 candidates took the CRRN examination in 2009. Of these candidates, 751 (71%) passed the examination.[7]

Test Administration

CRRN Flashcards

The CRRN examination is administered via computer. It consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and 25 multiple-choice pretest questions for a total of 175 questions.[4] Candidates have three hours to complete the examination. Candidates arriving late to the examination will not be admitted, and the examination fee will not be refunded.[4]

Taking the CRRN exam costs $270 for members of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses and $395 for nonmembers.[6] Testing takes place only in June and December. To take the examination in June, candidates must apply by April 15th (or by May 1st with a late fee), and to take the examination in December, candidates must apply by October 15th (or by November 1st with a late fee).[6] The test is administered in Castle testing centers.[8] Castle manages testing centers in over 700 cities worldwide,[9] but the ARN cautions that not all international test sites offer the examination.[8]

Candidates who need to retake the examination may apply to take the examination during the next testing window. As mentioned above, testing windows occur in June and December. There is no limit to the number of times a candidate may take the CRRN examination, but he or she must pay the full examination fee each time he or she reapplies.[4]

Candidates with disabilities who require accommodations for the examination may request them from the RNCB, which in turn will forward its decision on to the Castle testing center. Candidates must submit documentation from an appropriate licensed professional detailing the diagnosis of disability and any specific recommendations for accommodations. The RNCB must receive any requests for accommodations at least 45 days prior to the candidate's testing date. [4]

Test Format

Sections of the CRRN Test
CRRN Test Subject Areas Percentage
Rehabilitation Nursing Models and Theories 11%
Functional Health Patterns: Theories, Physiology, Assessment, Standards of Care, and Intervention 33%
The Rehabilitation Team and Community Re-entry 35%
Legislative, Economic, Ethical, and Legal Issues 21%
Total 100%

Test Environment

Candidates are expected to arrive at the testing center at least ten minutes before the exam. For admission, photo identification and a confirmation notice are required. The test will allow three hours to complete all 175 questions. Candidates will take the test on the computer, and there are no breaks, but is recommended that test-takers take a couple of minutes every hour to rest their eyes and stretch. For non ARN members, the current exam fee is $395.[10]

Test Structure

In the Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse Exam, there are 175 multiple choice questions, twenty-five of which are unscored, pretest questions. All 175 items consist of four major content areas: Rehabilitation Nursing Models and Theories; Functional Health Patterns: Theories, Physiology, Assessment, Standards of Care, and Intervention; The Rehabilitation Team and Community Re-entry; Legislative, Economic, Ethical, and Legal Issues. The pretest questions are dispersed throughout the exam, and are unidentifiable, so all 175 questions still need to be answered.[11]

Sample Questions

More free CRRN practice test questions.


The CRRN examination contains 175 questions, of which 150 are scored and 25 are unscored pretest questions. These questions are divided into four domains:

Distribution of content on the CRRN exam[12][4]
Domain  % of examination
I: Rehabilitation Nursing Models and Theories 5%
II: Functional Health Patterns: theories, physiology, assessment, standards of care,
and interventions in individuals with injury, chronic illness, and disability across the lifespan
III. The Function of the Rehabilitation Team and Community Re-entry 12%
IV: Legislative, Economic, Ethical, and Legal Issues 15%
Total 100%

There is no penalty for guessing on the examination. Incorrect answers and omitted answers are treated the same for scoring purposes.[4]

Due to the fact that several different forms of the CRRN exist, there is no single "passing score" based on the raw number of questions answered correctly. Rather, a complex statistical approach called the Angoff Modified Technique determines the passing score for any given unique combination of examination questions, ensuring that more difficult versions of the examination have a more lenient passing score and that easier versions of the examination have a stricter passing score.[4] All candidates' raw scores are converted to a Scaled Score which allows for equal comparison across all different versions of the test. A scaled score of 500 is required to pass the CRRN examination.[4]

Candidates may request a diagnostic score report for $50. This report breaks down the examination into all of its component parts to show the candidate his or her areas of greatest strength and weakness.[4]


  1. ^ a b Association of Rehabilitation Nurses History March 22 2014
  2. ^ Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification: Approved Certification Programs March 22, 2014
  3. ^ CRRN Certification: About the Rehabilitation Nursing Certification Board (RNCB) March 22 2014
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j CRRN Examination Candidate Handbook 2014 March 22 2014
  5. ^ About CRRN March 22 2014
  6. ^ a b c Steps to earning your CRRN certification March 22 2014
  7. ^ Certification Update: The Importance of CRRN Certification for Case Managers March 22 2014
  8. ^ a b Test Center Locations March 22 2014
  9. ^ Castle Worldwide: Test Site Cities March 22 2014
  10. ^ CRRN Certification Steps 19 June 2014
  11. ^ CRRN Handbook 19 June 2014
  12. ^ CRRN Examination content outline March 22 2014

External Links