CRRN Renewal

CRRN certification is a major accomplishment in your professional nursing career.  CRRN Certification is valid for a period of five years, expiring the last day of the month five years from when you passed the examination or your last expiration date.  When that time comes, there are two ways to renew certification (1) earning 60 point of credit (2) retake the CRRN examination. CRRNs interested in renewing their certification must meet the following requirements when applying for renewal:

  • Current, unrestricted registered nurse (RN) licensure
  • At least two years of rehabilitation nursing experience as an RN within the previous 5 years
  • 60 points of credit that meet the published criteria outlined below.

Renewal Schedule Chartrenewal

To determine when you are due to renew, when you will need to submit your application, or what time frame you may use for your 60 points of credit, please refer to the Renewal Dates Chart.

New Online Renewal

You may now renew your CRRN certification online. Enter points throughout the certification period and submit the application beginning 6 months prior to the certification expiration date. If you have not previously set up a website account with ARN or you have forgotten your user name or password, please call 800.229.7530 for help in setting up an online account.

Related to Rehabilitation Nursing

Beginning in 2014, renewing CRRNs will be required to validate that the content or topic of each professional development activity is related to rehabilitation nursing by identifying the corresponding domain. The domains are:

  1. Rehabilitation nursing models and theories
  2. Functional health patterns: Theories, physiology, assessment, standards of care, and interventions
  3. The rehabilitation team and community re-entry
  4. Legislative, economic, ethical and legal issues

These domains are based on the content outline for the CRRN examination and cover the scope of rehabilitation nursing.

Also, Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) will no longer be accepted toward CRRN renewal.

Eligibility for Non-traditional Settings and Roles

As CRRNs move into non-traditional settings and roles, some question whether they are still rehabilitation nurses. To determine whether your practice meets the definition of rehabilitation nursing, consider the scope of rehabilitation nursing practice topics and ask yourself:

Do you work with physically disabled or chronically ill patients toward the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of optimal health?

If you answer “yes,” then you are a rehabilitation nurse and should renew your certification.

Alternative Verification

CRRN renewal or examination candidates who have been working in independent practice or caring for physically disabled or chronically ill family members for a minimum of two years within the past five years and are unable to obtain signatures from two professional colleagues, one of whom is a CRRN or immediate supervisor, must provide documents confirmed by a CRRN as having verification of rehabilitation nursing experience.  For more information, read the Alternative Verification Policy and Procedure.

Renewal Audits

A percentage of CRRN certification renewal applications are randomly selected for audit during each renewal year. If your application is selected, you will be contacted via certified mail and asked to supply documentation supporting your renewal application. Acceptable documentation is listed below.

NOTE: You will only be required to provide this documentation only if your application is selected for a renewal audit. Unsolicited documentation is discarded.

Acceptable documentation for audit of points of credit renewal applications:

  • Continuing education: Copies of proof of attendance or completion of continuing education offerings or programs.  These documents should include the date, year, program title, provider, your name as the attendee, and number of contact hours awarded.  Each document must verify that the program was approved by a state or national nursing organization, if you indicated it met this requirement on your application. You will also need to provide a copy of the program objectives.
  • Presentations: Evidence of participation in the presentation of a continuing education program (e.g., brochure, announcement, or written statement by a supervisor).  This should include your name, the date and year of the presentation, program title, behavioral objectives, content outline, the nursing organization that approved the program, and the number of contact hours awarded for the presentation.
  • Academic coursework: Copies of transcripts for completed formal coursework. You will also need to provide a copy of the course objectives or course description.
  • Publications: Copies of letters of acceptance or table of contents or chapter headings that prove that you authored the work
  • Community Service: Publication, submit letter of acceptance or copy of article or title page showing your name as author and the publication date. Presentation, volunteer leadership, review board participation, or volunteer service, submit letter from sponsoring organization stating your role, program title (if applicable), and dates or term of service.

In addition to the documentation specific for each category, you will also need to provide documentation that supports the domain you have identified for each professional development activity. Acceptable documentation may include the program objectives, program description, or description of sponsoring organization.

Applying for Inactive Status

A Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse (CRRN®) who is unable to meet the requirements for renewal at the time his or her certification expires may apply for inactive status. Inactive status is valid for up to 3 years. If the inactive CRRN does not apply to renew prior to the end of the inactive period, certification will lapse and may be regained only by examination.

Qualifications
To be eligible for inactive status, the CRRN must have a current, unrestricted RN license; submit an inactive status application prior to the expiration of certification; and experience one or more of the following events during his or her 5-year certification period:

  • birth or adoption of a child
  • leaving paid employment to care for a child or other dependent
  • active military duty
  • divorce
  • serious illness of self or a family member
  • death of a family member
  • loss of primary housing due to natural disaster (e.g. earthquake, hurricane, fire, catastrophic flood)

CRRNs may be granted inactive status only once within a 10 year period.

Definitions
Serious illness: an acute or chronic condition, disease, or injury that required hospitalization.
Family member: spouse, parent (own or spouse), or child (own or spouse); or other individual who share a residence with the CRRN at the time of serious illness or death.

Use of credential
While on inactive status, the nurse may not represent himself or herself as a CRRN or use the CRRN credential.

Return to active status
To reactivate CRRN certification, the inactive CRRN must complete the renewal requirements in effect at the time. Specifically, the nurse may either take and pass the CRRN examination or may submit a points of credit renewal application. He or she may do this at any time within the 3-year inactive period as soon as the renewal requirements have been met. If applying by points of credit, the nurse must use points earned within a 5-year period. This period is defined by the date the renewal requirements are satisfied (experience and points of credit).  For example, if the inactive CRRN completes earning 60 points of credit on May 12, 2014, the time period for earning points is May 12, 2009 through May 12, 2014. If the application to renew (and thus reactivate CRRN status) is approved, the nurse’s new certification will be assigned a June 30 or December 31 expiration date five years hence; whichever month is closer.

Fee
There is a fee to apply for inactive status. When the inactive CRRN is ready to complete the renewal process to reactivate certification, he or she will need to pay the full renewal fee in effect at that time.

Download an inactive status application.

Applying for Retired Status

Registered nurses who meet the eligibility criteria will be granted Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse – Retired status upon submission of application and payment of a fee.

In order to be eligible for CRRN-Retired status, candidates must:

  • have a current, unrestricted RN license as the time of retirement
  • be a current CRRN or CRRN-A at the time of retirement or CRRN or CRRN-A certification must have expired within the 5 years prior to the date of retirement
  • no longer be employed within the nursing profession.

If a CRRN-Retired re-enters the nursing profession, he or she may no longer used the designation and may regain the CRRN credential by meeting the eligibility criteria in effect at that time, paying the examination fee, and achieving a passing score on the CRRN examination.

Download a retired status application.