Learn About CMSRN Certification

CMSRN Certification

The Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB) is the certification board for AMSN. MSNCB was established in 2003 as an autonomous, separately incorporated 501(c)(6) non-profit organization. By having sole decision-making authority in regard to the certification program, MSNCB demonstrates compliance with American Board of Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC) accreditation standards. MSNCB envisions that certification is universally valued as essential to positive patient outcomes. Certification validates excellence in medical-surgical nursing.

MSNCB administers the Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN®) certification programs Certification is the recognized path for registered nurses to build and demonstrate commitment, confidence, and credibility. MSNCB certification programs are accredited by the Accreditation Board of Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC).

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MSNCB's Story

MSNCB™ was created because AMSN members requested a specialty certification created by med-surg nurses for med-surg nurses. As the AMSN Board and members continued to promote medical-surgical nursing as a specialty, they identified a need for an optional exam that would certify medical-surgical nurses in their specialty.  In early 2002, AMSN formed a task force of medical-surgical nurses to investigate the need, develop a blueprint, and develop the Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN®) exam. The pilot exam was given in October 2002 to collect data, and the first official test was given in May 2003 where 272 candidates sat for the exam.

MSNCB's mission is to validate excellence in medical-surgical nursing.




    Pilot exam given in Washington, D.C.



    First certification exam administered
    Certification Task Force dissolved and MSNCB was formed



    First Public Member appointed to the board



    First CMSRNs became recertified



    CMSRN exam accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification
    Computer-based Testing (CBT) initiated



    Completed role delineation study and practice analysis. New exam blueprint and Domains of Nursing Practice developed to take effect May 2013. Over 15,000 CMSRNs



    Launched new MSNCB FailSafe Certification Program™, which removed two major barriers to taking the exam: fear of failure and upfront cost



    Began development of the Certified in Care Coordination and Transition Management (CCCTM) certification exam, in collaboration with the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing.
    CMSRN exam reaccredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification - Over 20,000 CMSRNs



    Launched the CCCTM exam, the first certification for registered nurses primarily in a CCTM role
    2017 Over 30,000 CMSRNs



    CCCTM certification receives initial accreditation and CMSRN certification receives reaccreditation by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC)



    Transferred CCCTM certification program to American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).



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