1. Alexander, Mary MA, RN, CRNI(R), CAE, FAAN

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As the only specialty certification for infusion nurses, the CRNI(R) credential is nationally recognized and accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC). Many certifications are strictly voluntarily and not a requirement for clinical practice; however, many nurses choose to achieve this significant professional milestone.

Mary Alexander, MA, ... - Click to enlarge in new windowMary Alexander, MA, RN, CRNI(R), CAE, FAAN INS Chief Executive Officer Editor,

2020 marks the 35th year of the CRNI(R) exam administration. Through the development of a comprehensive, evidence-based certification program, the Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation (INCC) continues to promote optimal health outcomes that the public expects, demands, and deserves. Known as a rigorous exam that covers the core areas of the infusion nursing specialty, this March prospective CRNI(R)s will be the first class to sit for the exam with significantly revised content.


Last year, INCC conducted a full-scale role delineation, or job analysis, as a requirement of accreditation and to ensure that candidates are tested on the most current infusion nursing information. Typically performed every 5 to 7 years, a job analysis is a scientific and detailed inquiry that identifies tasks and work activities conducted, the context in which those tasks and activities are carried out, and the knowledge areas, skills, and abilities required to perform a job role successfully.1


A committee of subject matter experts (SMEs) was convened by INCC to develop and update exam specifications. The SMEs represented a wide variety of work-related characteristics such as years of experience, work setting, geographic location, and areas of specialty. This helped to define a scope of practice that is reflective of the roles and responsibilities of the infusion nurse and is relatively free from bias. By analyzing the experiences and expertise of current practitioners, the results from the job analysis became the basis of a validated assessment that reflects the competencies required for job performance.


The blueprint for the new exam has decreased from 8 core areas to 3 core areas: Principles of Practice, Access Devices, and Infusion Therapies. Some of the previous core areas have been restructured and will now be found within 1 of the 3 new core areas, while other areas have been removed entirely from the exam. Another change is in the number of questions that will appear on the exam and the time allotted for completion. The new exam will transition from 150 questions in a 3-hour window to 120 questions in a 2.5-hour window. Additionally, SMEs will review the statistical performance of each exam item, as well as all candidates' comments. This important process helps ensure that each candidate is scored accurately and appropriately, as well as helps verify the validity of the passing point for the examination set by INCC.


The CRNI(R) credential is valid for 3 years, and a broad array of recertification options have been updated to meet the varied needs of today's infusion nurse, including recertification by exam and/or continuing education (CE). CE can be obtained by attending an INS national meeting in person or virtually. The CRNI(R) Recertification Approved section in the INS LEARNING CENTER explains how to earn all the necessary recertification units.


As we look at the nursing workforce and the competencies necessary to provide safe patient care in an ever-changing, fast-paced health care environment, the importance of certification is magnified. While we look forward to debuting the new and improved exam this March, we also look forward to celebrating Certified Nurses Day on March 19. Inspired by Dr. Margretta 'Gretta' Madden Styles, EdD, RN, FAAN, a pioneer in nursing certification, Certified Nurses Day is the perfect opportunity to invite all nurses to advance their career by choosing certification.2


Those who hold the prestigious CRNI(R) credential demonstrate a dedication to lifelong learning and a passion for patient care. They earn the recognition and respect of employers and peers, as well as the trust of those in their care. I encourage those who have not yet sat for the CRNI(R) exam or who may not have passed it the first time around, to go the extra mile and get certified!


Mary Alexander




1. Sackett PR, Laczo RM. Job and work analysis: industrial and organizational psychology. In: Borman WC, Ilgen DR, Klimoski RJ, eds. Comprehensive Handbook of Psychology. Vol 12. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons; 2003:19-37. [Context Link]


2. American Nurses Credentialing Center. Certified nurses day. Accessed December 18, 2019. [Context Link]