Frequently Asked Questions 

Certification eligibility requirements

Initial certification is achieved by qualifying for eligibility to sit for the certification exam and achieving a passing score on the exam. At the time you apply to sit for the exam you must:

  1. Currently hold an active RN license or international licensure equivalent.
  2. Have practiced as a licensed registered nurse a minimum of 2,000 hours in radiology nursing within the past 3 years.*
  3. Have obtained 30 contact hours of continuing education applicable to nursing care of radiology patients within 24 months of the dates the candidate sits for the exam. A minimum of 15 of the 30 contact hours must be specifically related to imaging nursing.

What is the schedule for the CRN® exam?

Starting in 2020 the exam will be administered in January, April, July and October annually. There are options for institutions or other entities to request the administration of the CRN exam at other times; contact the RNCB office for more information on this.

What will the certification exam cover specifically?

The examination will cover topics specific to the nursing care of radiology patients, including:

  • Assess Patient and Plan Care Administer, Monitor, and Evaluate Therapeutic Interventions
  • Provide a Safe Environment/Manage Emergency Situations
  • Teach Patient & Family/Provide a Supportive Environment
  • Participate in QA/CQI, Interdisciplinary Activities, and Professional Practice Activities
  • Diagnostic Imaging, Fluoroscopy & Breast Health
  • CT and MRI
  • Interventional Radiology
  • Ultrasound/Vascular Ultrasound
  • Nuclear Medicine Radiation Therapy

How can I prepare for the exam?

The first step in preparing for the examination should be a review of the test blueprint contained in the Guidelines for Certification/Re-certification handbook, download handbook from our website. While each test question is drawn from facts that could be substantiated by books or journals, bear in mind that the examination is intended to be
practice-based. If you are not familiar with some of the content components, you may decide that an in-depth review is necessary. Some suggested steps to begin your review are

  1. Plan a course of self-study to strengthen your areas of relative weakness.
  2. Contact colleagues whom you know will be taking the examination and plan to study together.
  3. Seek input from various sources, such as faculty members, certified nurses, mentors, and others.

How many questions on the CRN® exam?

There are 150 questions on the CRN® Exam; time allotted for the exam is 3 hours.

What is the passing score for the CRN® exam?

The score on the Radiology Nursing Certification Examination (CRN examination) is reported as a standard score which summarizes your performance on the entire test. The number of items that you answered correctly, which is your “raw score,” has been converted, or transformed, to a scaled score, which is referred to as a “standard score” in your report. The conversion is similar to converting a weight from pounds to kilograms. The points on the scales differ, although the weight is the same. The scale used for the CRN examination has a mean (average) score of 100, and a standard score of 95 is required to pass the exam. To reach the passing standard score of 95, you must answer about 73% of the questions in the total test correctly.

When will I receive my CRN® exam score reports?

You will receive the score from you CRN Exam immediately upon finishing the exam. A report will be provided to you by the testing company. In addition, you will receive an official letter, wallet card, a certificate suitable for framing and a CRN pin from the RNCB National Office. This timing will vary depending on the time it takes the testing company to send RNCB the official list of those who passed the exam, and the number who passed.  Preparation of the certificates, and mailing of the package could take up to 30 days after completion of the testing month. 

What will my credential be if I pass the radiology certification exam?

You will receive the Certified Radiology Nurse (CRN®) credential if you pass the certification
exam. The CRN™ certification program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification, Inc. A certificate and wallet card indicating certification status will be sent to those candidates who pass the exam and have paid all appropriate fees.

When you need to recertify?

You must submit an application for recertification before the expiration date on the initial
certificate you were issued. The filing date for those selecting the continuing education option is at least 30 days in advance of the expiration date listed on the certificate. Applications received less than 30 days prior to expiration date will be assessed a late fee of $125.

Applications for recertification received after the expiration date will not be considered. The filing deadline for those selecting the examination option is the same as for individuals taking the examination for the first time. RNCB will notify you in advance of the expiration date of the certification; however, it is your responsibility to maintain your certification by monitoring the dates it is valid and by submitting your application for re-certification by the stipulated deadline.

How do I recertify?

At the time you apply for recertification, you must:

  1. Currently hold an active RN license or international licensure equivalent.
  2. Have practiced as a licensed registered nurse a minimum of 2,000 hours in radiology nursing within the past 4 years.*
  3. Currently practice radiology nursing an average of 8 hours per week.*

* Eligibility requirements 2 and 3 may be met if you are engaged in direct patient care or direct clinical management, supervision, education, or direction of other persons to achieve or help achieve patient/client goals for the stated number of hours. NOTE: Two responsible practitioners in the specialty area, one in a supervisory position, must verify that the applicant meets the radiology nursing practice requirements below:

-- Has practiced as a licensed registered nurse a minimum of 2,000 hours in radiology nursing practice within the past 3 years for certification. Have practiced as a licensed registered nurse a minimum of 2,000 hours in radiology nursing practice within the past 4 years for recertification. 

You may choose to recertify by examination meeting the requirements of initial certification or by obtaining continuing education contact hours. 60 contact hours within a 4-year period are required to meet the contact hour requirement for recertification. A minimum of 30 of the 60 contact hours must be specifically related to radiology nursing. Contact hours in radiology nursing may be accumulated through any of the categories of continuing education activities provided the content is applicable to radiology nursing.