CMSRN Certification Review Course

Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Review Course

Prepare for the certification exam with this 12-hour multimedia course. It’s based on a 2-day live course that follows the CMSRN exam blueprint and also provides test taking tips and strategies. The CRC is available for purchase in the AMSN Online Library.

 The Certification Review Course is a thorough, interactive review of the most common diseases, symptoms, and issues seen in patients by medical-surgical nurses, along with the respective nursing assessments and interventions required by the medical-surgical nurse.

These lessons include practice questions at the end of each section that are similar to those found on the Medical Surgical Certification Exam. However, even for those who are not planning to take the exam, this course provides relevant content to be used by medical-surgical nurses throughout their career.

Medical-surgical nurses provide care to adults with a variety of medical issues or who are preparing for/recovering from surgery.  Med-surg nurse care for patients with problems, related to: 

  • Gastrointestinal
  • Pulmonary
  • Cardiovascular/Hematological
  • Diabetes (Type 1&2)/ Other Endocrine/Immunological
  • Urological/ Kidney
  • Musculoskeletal/Neurological/Integumentary

How the CMSRN Certification Review Course Can Help You

Using the CMSRN exam blueprint as the foundation of the course, this two-day program covers content found on the med-surg nursing exam. This course includes a brief explanation of each body system, common pathological conditions, treatments, and appropriate nursing assessments and interventions.

Content Outline:

CMSRN Exam Information
Test Taking Strategies
Fluids & Electrolytes
Gastrointestinal System
Respiratory System
Hematological System
Integumentary Systems
Cardiovascular System & Shock
Endocrine System & Diabetes
Renal & Urological Systems
Musculoskeletal & Neurologic Systems
Pain, Cancer, Per-op, Nutrition
Nursing Practice Roles

Overview of Course Modules

Lesson 1- Introduction & Testing Strategies

This lesson reviews the Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) Certification Exam, including a review of the exam blueprint, topics expected to be covered, and topics not covered on the exam
Preparation & test-taking strategies

Lesson 2-Fluids & Electrolytes

This lesson reviews: 

  • Function on of water and electrolytes in the body
  • Assessments of normal and abnormal presentations
  • The use of IV fluids and how they act within the body
  • The importance of nursing care in the perioperative time period

Lesson 3- Gastrointestinal System, Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition

This lesson reviews:

  • Common gastrointestinal (GI) issues
  • Nursing care of patients with common GI diseases and symptoms
  • Common disease, processes, as well as Gi issues that are frequently seen on Medical-Surgical Units
  • Highlights what differentiates enteral and parenteral nutrition, when to use these methods, why each is chosen in various situations, and the necessary nursing interventions when being used

Lesson 4- Respiratory System and Pulmonary Function

This lesson reviews: 

  • Respiratory diseases and symptoms that are commonly a concern for medical-surgical nurses
  • Assessments and lab values, such as ABG’s and pulmonary function
  • Acute and chronic respiratory diseases

Lesson 5- Hematological, Immunological, and Integumentary Systems

This lesson reviews: 

  • Hematologic diseases such as anemia, thrombocytopenia, and complications, such as DIC, as they relate to nursing assessment and interventions
  • Immunologic issues, such as neutropenia, AIDS, and poor wound healing
  • Wound healing and appropriate wound care, as well as assessments of skin lesions that require nursing intervention

Lesson 6- Cardiovascular System and Shock

This lesson reviews: 

  • Angina and myocardial infarction, hypertension, and peripheral vascular disease
  • Nursing interventions and assessments of cardiovascular diseases and symptoms as well as pharmacologic agents commonly given to patients by medical-surgical nurses 
  • Differentiation between the types of shock and how they are treated.

Lesson 7- Endocrine System and Diabetes

This lesson reviews: 

  • Endocrine diseases such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, SIADH and diabetes insipidus, and Cushing’s Disease and Addison’s Disease, stressing differentiations of the interventions performed by medical-surgical nurses
  • Diabetes mellitus, with a focus on the symptoms and treatments of Type I and Type II, which includes an in-depth review of the various anti-hyperglycemic agents used in treatment of patients

Lesson 8- Urological and Renal Systems

This lesson reviews: 

  • Common urologic complaints by patients, such as infections, BPH, incontinence, and renal stones, with a focus on nursing interventions and assessments
  • Acute and chronic renal failure and the care and interventions that medical-surgical nurses are involved when a patient requires either hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis

Lesson 9- Musculoskeletal & Neurologic Systems, Pain Management

This lesson reviews: 

  • Focuses on fractures, osteoporosis, and joint replacement as well as other musculoskeletal diseases and symptoms, along with assessments and nursing interventions necessary
  • Neurological symptoms that occur with CVA and nerve damage or dysfunction, such as spinal fractures and the nursing interventions necessary
  • Pain management, including pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment, various causes of pain, and the patient assessment performed by medical-surgical nurses

Fast Facts About The Certification Review Course Modules:

  • Open to all med-surg nurses
  • You do not need to be an AMSN member to take this course
  • Offers 14 hours of CE credit upon completion of the course
  • Curated by med-surg subject matter experts and designed by an award-winning instructional design team

Benefits of Certification Review Course Modules:

  • Better patient care
  • Increase in knowledge of applicable content
  • Better preparation for the med-surg certification exam
  • Professional development that can help career growth

Available to be purchased by individuals through the AMSN Online Library or facilities can purchase site licenses by contacting customer service at

Attend a Live Certification Review Course

Some facilities also host the course and occasionally allow non-employee nurses to attend. Visit our Calendar of Events for availability. Choose "AMSN Certification Review Course" from the drop-down menu and "apply" to see locations and dates.  This course is also offered every other year at the AMSN Annual Convention.

Fast Facts About The Certification Review Course Live/Virtual:

A CMSRN certification expert comes to YOU, in this two-day course.  It offers 14 hours of CE credit upon completion of the course. 

Cost: $6,000; $5,000 for Failsafe facilities (Learn more about becoming a Failsafe Facility).

  • Host facility receives a discount on other exam prep materials
  • Benefits of Certification Review Course live/virtual is better patient care, increased knowledge of applicable content, better preparation for the med-surg certification exam, professional development, and can help aid career growth. 
  • In the live/virtual course attendees can ask the experts
  • AMSN will advertise your event on this website at no charge if you want to make it available to non-employee nurses.
  • AMSN will provide coordination support for the event so that administration time is limited, and budgeting is easy.


Are you an organization looking to host a Certification Review Course at your location? Visit our Business Solutions page.


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