Neuroscience Nurse

Neuroscience Nurse Career

The Journal of Neuroscience Nursing broadly defines a neuroscience nurse as a nurse that provides care in preventing neurological injuries or illnesses, caring for patients living with or affected by a neurological illness. More so, as defined by a publication by the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN), neuroscience nurses address the needs and care of patients with biological, psychologica, social, and spiritual alterations as a result of a nervous system dysfunction.

Conditions that neuroscience nurses may expect to encounter and treat include strokes, traumatic brain injuries, intracranial bleeding, paraplegia, quadriplegia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. Specific job duties may include administering tests and medicine, monitoring neurological activity, post-operative recovery, keeping accurate patient records and communicating and informing other medical staff of the patient’s condition.

Neuroscience Nurse Education

To become a certified neuroscience registered nurse, you must at least have earned a RN license. To become an RN, it is required to pursue and complete an approved nursing degree program. This may vary state to state as some will allow an associates level education but others require a bachelor’s degree.

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Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse Certification

There are two certifications offered by the American Board of Neuroscience Nursing (ABNN) in relation to neuroscience nursing:

ABNN – Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN)

Eligibility Requirements: Candidates must have a valid registered nurse license from the U.S. Canada, or a U.S. territory that grants licensure utilizing the U.S. State Board Test Pool Examination or the NCLEX. In addition, RNs must have one year of full-time experience, or 2,080 hours, in direct or indirect neuroscience practice within the last three years.
Certification Process: RNs should apply to take the examination, a passing score and matched eligibility requirements lead to attainment of the certification.
Fees: Examination application fees for non-members are $400 and $300 for AANN members. Fees are increased by $25 if paying by check for each.
Renewal: The certification is valid for five years. Applicants can renew their certification by re-examination or through one of these two continuing education options:

  • Two years of full-time (4,160 hours) practice in neuroscience nursing, plus 75 continuing education hours or;
  • Two years part-time (2,500 hours) practice in neuroscience nursing, plus 100 continuing education hours.

ABNN – Stroke Certified Registered Nurse (SCRN)

Eligibility Requirements: Candidates must have a valid registered nurse license from the U.S. Canada, or a U.S. territory that grants licensure utilizing the U.S. State Board Test Pool Examination or the NCLEX. In addition, RNs must have one year of full-time experience, or 2,080 hours, in direct or indirect stroke nursing practice within the last three years.
Certification Process: RNs should apply to take the examination, a passing score and matched eligibility requirements lead to attainment of the certification.
Fees: Examination application fees for non-members are $400 and $300 for AANN members. Fees are increased by $25 if paying by check for each.
Renewal: The certification is valid for five years. Applicants can renew their certification by re-examination or through one of these two continuing education options:

  • Two years of full-time (4,160 hours) practice in caring for stroke patients in the last five years, plus 50 continuing education hours or;
  • Two years part-time (2,500 hours) practice in caring for stroke patients in the last five years, plus 75 continuing education hours.

Information for the ABNN certifications was last retrieved in February 2020. For the most up-to-date information, refer to the ABNN website.