Nurses experienced in a gastroenterology environment can seek to advance their careers by getting certification. One way of achieving this is by taking and passing the ABCGN certification exam after acquiring the required work experience. Nurses seeking this certification should follow the steps below:
- Download the American Board of Certification for Gastroenterology Nurses Certification Handbook. This will give you the details on the certification and exam process. See the link below to access the handbook.
- Accumulate at least 2 years of full-time work in the past 5 years in gastroenterology nursing or endoscopy as an RN. Work as an LVN or LPN does not count. However, 4000 hours of part-time work over the same period is acceptable. The job positions qualifying for this work are either supervisory, clinical, administrative, teaching/education or research. Sales positions do not count if the applicant nurse focused on that area.
- Use the handbook to determine the content of the gastroenterology nurse exam. It contains an outline of what is expected to appear on the certification test.
Note: Unfortunately, the Board does not provide or even endorse any particular reference materials to prepare for the exam. With that in mind, gastroenterology nursing professionals should ask their supervising nurses and doctors for recommendations for professional study materials. Textbooks in the field should suffice for learning the material necessary to pass the test provided they are used in conjunction with the exam outline.
You may also wish to join the best doctors from the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates instead of purchasing books to prepare for the exam. The online courses will have material appearing on the exam, but there appears to be no guarantee from the Board as to what will help you prepare. You can also test yourself with a practice test before taking the actual gastroenterology nursing exam.
Example: There is a Certification Preparation Kit at the SGNA website. It costs $300, as of 2011. Click on the SGNA Marketplace link to find that course and other products for gastroenterology nursing education and certification test preparation.