Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification
AMSN Position Statement
MEDICAL-SURGICAL NURSING CERTIFICATION
IT IS THE POSITION OF AMSN THAT:
- The Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN®) exam incorporates current nursing science
and evidenced-based practices that the medical-surgical nurse consistently applies in practice to achieve
desired patient outcomes across the continuum of care.
- The CMSRN exam validates the expertise and knowledge of the medical surgical nurse and promotes medical-surgical
nursing as a unique specialty.
- The CMSRN credential recognizes that the highest standards of medical surgical nursing practice have been
- The CMSRN exam is the only medical-surgical certification exam endorsed by AMSN.
- Health care facilities and leaders should recognize the value of the medical-surgical nurse as a specialist and
promote certification as part of the medical-surgical nurse's career development plan.
AMSN members requested a certification that indicated the medical-surgical nursing specialty in the credential. AMSN
initiated the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB) as an autonomous affiliate for the coordination
of a certification exam in medical-surgical nursing to validate knowledge in the specialty and offer such a
The CMSRN examination received accreditation by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC)
in January of 2009 and has reaccredited every five years since then, most recently in 2018. The ABSNC is the only
accrediting body specifically for nursing certification. The ABSNC accreditation of the CMSRN credential
demonstrates “compliance with the highest quality standards available in the industry”1.
Medical-Surgical certification benefits the individual, the profession, and the public through the promotion of
quality patient care, evaluation of the standards of medical-surgical nursing practice and documentation of this
specialized knowledge base.
AMSN supports certification as a commitment to safe, evidence-based, holistic care which results in desired patient
outcomes. AMSN agrees that the certification credential should reflect the nursing specialty in which the nurse is
Certification is the formal recognition of the specialized knowledge, skills, and experience demonstrated by
the achievement of standards identified by a nursing specialty to promote optimal health outcomes (ABNS,
Nursing Science is the resulted knowledge obtained through rigorous testing of empirical theories and models
(Chinn & Kramer, 2011)
- Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses. Get Certified.
- Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (2020). Retrieved from https://www.absnc.org
- 1American Board of Nursing Specialties (2005). Position Statement on the Value of Special
Nursing Certification. Retrieved from http://www.nursingcertification.org/resources/Documents/research/value_…
- Chinn, P.L., & Kramer, M.K. (2015). Knowledge development in nursing: Theory and practice. St. Louis:
- Haskins, M., Hnatiuk, C., & Yoder, L. (2011). Medical-Surgical nurses perceived value of
certification study. MEDSURG Nursing, 20 (2), 71-93. Retrieved from http://www.medsurgnursing.net/archives/11apr/71.pdf
Updated April 2020