Points of Credit Criteria

Eligibility | Criteria | Deadlines | Inactive Status | Audits | PDF version


To renew CRRN certification by examination or points of credit, you must meet the following requirements at the time you apply for renewal:

  • Current, unrestricted RN licensure
  • At least 2 years of rehabilitation nursing experience as a RN within the previous 5 years.   

Criteria for points

To renew by points of credit, you must complete at least 60 points of credit which meet the established criteria. Points may be earned in any of the areas outlined below:

  • Continuing education. One contact hour (60 minutes) is equal to 1 point of credit. Of the continuing education points, 2/3 must be approved by state or national nursing organizations. All contact hours must be related to rehabilitation nursing practice. Up to 60 points of credit will be accepted in this category.
  • Presentation of rehabilitation nursing content to nurses and other healthcare professionals. One contact hour (60 minutes) of presentation is equal to 1 point of credit. The presentation must be delivered within a structured framework of teaching and learning for which state or national nursing organization-approved contact hours have been awarded. A maximum of 12 points will be accepted in this category.
  • Academic coursework. Academic coursework is defined as work for which one receives academic credit at the graduate or undergraduate level that is related to rehabilitation nursing. One credit hour is worth 4 points of credit (e.g. a 3 credit-hour course is worth 12 points). A maximum of 48 points will be accepted in this category.
  • Publication or acceptance of an original rehabilitation nursing-related manuscript in a professional journal or as a chapter in a text for healthcare professionals. Your name must be published as author to qualify. One publication is worth 12 points of credit. A maximum of 36 points will be accepted in this category.
  • Community service. Volunteer activities in which you participate that are intended to educate the public, improve the quality of life for physically disabled or chronically ill people, or improve the practice of professional rehabilitation nursing. The following are acceptable activities and their point values:
    • Publication of an article or chapter text: Publication of an article or chapter text on a healthcare-related topic in a general interest or consumer publication. Each original manuscript will be awarded 2 points.
    • Presentation: Presentation of a healthcare-related topic to a public audience in a formal setting. Each original presentation will be awarded 1 point.
    • Volunteer leadership in a healthcare organization: Leadership in a volunteer capacity of a local, state, regional, national, or international professional healthcare organization. To qualify, you must have served as an officer or board member for at least 1 year. Each leadership activity will be awarded 1 point. If serving a multi-year term, you may not receive credit for each year served.
    • Review board participation: Serving in a formally-appointed capacity to review the original work of others as a content expert such as on an editorial board, research or program grant application review committee, continuing education approval unit review panel, or abstract review committee for a term of 1 year will be award 2 points.

Activities for which you receive payment for your services in excess of $75 or activities that are considered part of your employment are not acceptable community service activities. A maximum of 10 points will be accepted in this category.

There is no process for pre-approval, nor is it necessary, so please do not send any documentation to the board before it is time to renew. If you wish to renew by exam, please call our office to request an exam application.

National or state nursing organization approval

National nursing organization: an association or other organization focused on one or more aspects of nursing which operates on the national level in the US. Most groups that meet this definition will refer to nursing in their names. Interdisciplinary organizations do not meet this definition.
State nursing organization: a state board of nursing, state licensing body for nurses, or state nursing association. Local chapters of national nursing organizations do not meet this definition.

Continuing education activities are considered nursing-approved if they fall into one of the following categories:

  • The activity was provided by a national or state nursing organization.
  • The activity was approved by a national or state nursing organization.
  • The activity was provided by an organization accredited to provide nursing continuing education contact hours by a national or state nursing organization.

Most organizations that meet our definition of a nursing organization have the word “nurse” or “nursing” in their name.

Examples of nursing organizations are:

  • American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
  • American Association of Neuroscience Nurses
  • American Association of Occupational Health Nurses
  • American Holistic Nurses’ Association
  • American Nurses Association
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (ANCC)
  • Association of Rehabilitation Nurses
  • State boards of nursing (e.g., California Board of Nursing)
  • State nursing associations (e.g., Illinois Nurses’ Association)
  • Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society

Examples of non-nursing organizations are:

  • American Management Association
  • American Medical Association
  • Certification of Disability Management Specialist Commission
  • Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification
  • Commission on Case Management Certification
  • Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)
  • National Association of Boards of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators
  • National Association of Rehabilitation Professionals in the Private Sector
  • The Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission (CARF)
  • Local chapters of national or state nursing organizations
  • Colleges or universities

These lists are not all-inclusive. Some non-nursing organizations do provide nursing-approved contact hours. If so, it will be indicated on the certificate.
Programs that are designed to meet the continuing education requirements of a board of nursing but are not specifically provided, approved, or accredited by a national or state nursing organization are not considered nursing-approved.

“Related to rehabilitation nursing”

Consider the RNCB definition of rehabilitation nursing:

 Rehabilitation nursing is a specialty practice area within the scope of professional nursing. It involves the diagnosis and treatment of human responses of individuals and groups to actual or potential health problems resulting from altered functional ability and altered lifestyle.
The goal of rehabilitation nursing is to assist individuals with disabilities and chronic illness in the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of optimal health. The rehabilitation nurse is skilled at treating alterations in functional ability and lifestyle resulting from injury, disability, and chronic illness.
Rehabilitation nurses provide comfort, therapy and education, promote health-conducive adjustments, support adaptive capabilities, and promote achievable independence. Rehabilitation nurses provide holistic, comprehensive, and compassionate end-of-life care, including promotion of comfort and relief of pain.

It is the content, rather than the title, provider, or approver, that determines whether an activity is related to rehabilitation nursing. Activities do not need to be offered or approved by ARN to be considered related to rehabilitation nursing.

Confused about whether a topic is rehabilitation-related? Think of it this way: If the topic covers an issue, diagnosis, treatment, or situation that could be part of restoring, maintaining, or promoting optimal health for people with physical disability or chronic illness, it is likely related to rehabilitation nursing.  Some potentially rehabilitation-related topics are:

Alternative therapies
Alzheimer’s disease
Behavior management
Bowel & bladder care
Brain injury
Cardiovascular issues


Case management
Cognitive issues
Communication skills
Cultural competency
Discharge planning
Hospice/end of life issues
Life skills/community living


Multiple Sclerosis
Pain management
Patient education
Physical assessment


Sleep issues
Spinal cord injury
Stress management
Team skills
Values & beliefs
Wound care

Early and final deadlines

The EARLY application deadline is the last day of the month, 3 months prior to the certification expiration date (e.g. if the expiration date is June 30, the application deadline is March 31). The FINAL deadline is the certification expiration date. A higher fee will apply if using the FINAL deadline date.

Find out your deadline and expiration dates.

Inactive status

Qualifying CRRNs who are unable to meet the eligibility criteria at the time their certification expires may apply for inactive status for up to 3 years. To be eligible for inactive status, the nurse must have a current, unrestricted RN license; submit an inactive status application no more than 6 months after 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.

While on inactive status, you may not represent yourself as a CRRN or use the CRRN credential. Inactive status is a good option if you have not been practicing while caring for children or parents or dealing with other issues. Contact us at 800.229.7530 for more information.   


A random sample of renewal applications is audited each year. If your application is selected for audit, you will be asked to supply documentation. Be sure to keep the following records in case you are audited:

  • 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 copies of program materials including the program learning 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, learning 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. Course syllabus including learning objectives.
  • Publications: Copies of letters of acceptance and table of contents or chapter headings that prove that you authored the work. If a journal article, a copy of the article
  • Community Service: Publication. Letter of acceptance or copy of article or title page showing your name as author and the publication date. Presentation, volunteer leadership, or review board participation. Letter from sponsoring organization stating your role, program title (if applicable), and dates or term of service.



Policies, procedures, and criteria are subject to change.