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What is AACN and How to prepare for the AACN Exams

May-29-2021

What is AACN and How to prepare for the AACN Exams  header

The AACN is the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. As the world's largest association of specialty care nurses, the organization operates as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Through testing, the AACN grants certification to its, as well as networking among nurses, promotion of healthy and safe working environments, and continual enrichment of our healthcare system through the sharing of information. The organization also sets standards for nursing competency and excellence.

Why Is the AACN Important?

You should consider AACN certification if you are a nurse who specializes in:

  • Acute/critical care
  • Progressive care
  • Gerontological care

Additionally, the AACN certification requirements usually include being a registered nurse (RN) or advanced practice nurse (APRN). AACN certification is not the same as being licensed by your state, but it's still an valuable way to develop trust between your fellow nurses and your patients. Certification also allows you to effectively gauge your level of knowledge and competency — providing personal and professional confidence in your abilities.

What Exams Does the AACN Offer?

There are a multitude of AACN exams that focus on a variety of different areas. Exam Edge provides an AACN practice test for each of these exams:


There are 150 AACN exam questions, though only 125 are scored. The remaining 25 are used to gather important statistical information on exam performance so that future versions of the test can be improved.
Of these questions, about 80% deal with matters of Clinical Judgment (such as multisystem care, cardiovascular issues, and questions about the respiratory system). The remaining 20% of the test deals with ethical matters and “professional caring.” This portion covers information, including patient advocacy methods and informed consent issues.
These tests are rigorous and reflect the importance of their subject matter — you shouldn't underestimate them! In fact, of 16,000+ reported exams taken each year, the pass rate of the AACN CCRN exam is reported to be roughly 79%, according to BoardVitals.

Best Test Taking Strategies to Prepare for AACN Exams

While you need to take the AACN certification exams, you don't need to panic. In addition to a wealth of preparation strategies, Exam Edge provides plenty of AACN CCRN practice test questions to help you optimize your performance. An AACN CCRN practice test simulates the types of questions you can expect to see on the real exam, the pacing and division of test questions, and the scoring system. That way, you can get an accurate picture of your readiness for the test.

You should prepare for the AACN CCRN practice questions the same way you'll prepare for the real exam. That means creating flashcards for memorization, setting aside study time daily so that information stays fresh in your mind, and going through an AACN CCRN review with other nurses who plan on taking the certification exams. After all, collaboration between critical care nurses, and mutual enrichment, is one of the key pillars of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

Check out any of the above Exam Edge links to try AACN CCRN practice questions free!