At the start of this page, you’ll find a button that provides full access to the Medical-Surgical Nurse (MedSurg) practice test. Right after, you can engage in a comprehensive practice test tailored for a thorough review. These tests are essential tools for demonstrating your skills, pinpointing areas that need enhancement, and refining your study strategy.

To enhance your preparation further, particularly in areas that require additional attention, we’ve developed specialized quizzes. These quizzes are carefully crafted to focus on particular sections of the MedSurg exam, ensuring a targeted and efficient study experience.

Medical-Surgical Nurse Domain Exams

The Medical-Surgical Nurse (MedSurg) certification exam is a comprehensive assessment designed to validate the knowledge and skills of nurses in the medical-surgical specialty. The exam is structured around several key domains, each covering a significant aspect of medical-surgical nursing. 

Below is a breakdown of the primary domains:

Domain 1: Assessment and Diagnosis

  • Number of Questions: 52
  • Key Topics: This domain focuses on the nurse’s ability to perform thorough patient assessments, interpret patient data, and make accurate nursing diagnoses. It includes assessing patient health histories, performing physical examinations, and interpreting diagnostic tests.

Welcome to your MedSurg Domain 1: Assessment and Diagnosis

Domain 2: Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation

  • Number of Questions: 58
  • Key Topics: This area tests the nurse’s ability to develop and implement effective nursing care plans, as well as their skills in evaluating patient outcomes and adjusting care plans as necessary. It covers setting realistic patient-centered goals, implementing appropriate interventions, and using evidence-based practices.

Welcome to your MedSurg Domain 2: Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation

Domain 3: Professional Role

  • Number of Questions: 15
  • Key Topics: This domain assesses the nurse’s understanding of professional role responsibilities, including ethical and legal aspects of nursing practice, advocacy, interprofessional collaboration, and lifelong learning.

Welcome to your MedSurg Domain 3: Professional Role

Exam Domain# of QuestionsKey Topics
Assessment and Diagnosis52Patient assessments, health histories, physical examinations, diagnostic tests interpretation.
Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation58Nursing care plans, patient-centered goals, interventions, evidence-based practices, outcome evaluation.
Professional Role15Ethical and legal responsibilities, advocacy, interprofessional collaboration, lifelong learning.

Additional Exam Information

  • Remaining Percentage of the Exam: 13% (Approximately 19 questions) are allocated to other topics which might include safety, case management, and patient education.
  • Total Number of Questions: Typically, the exam consists of 150 questions, which includes 125 scored questions and 25 unscored pretest questions.
  • Exam Duration: The allowed time to complete the exam is usually around 3 hours.
  • Format: The questions are primarily multiple-choice, focusing on clinical scenarios and practical, real-world problem-solving.

Medical-Surgical Nurse (MedSurg) Exam Breakdown

The Medical-Surgical Nurse (MedSurg) Exam is a specialized certification designed for registered nurses working in medical-surgical settings, aiming to validate their expertise and skills. There are two main certifications available:

  1. CMSRN (Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse) offered by the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB). The exam includes 150 multiple-choice questions, with 125 being scored and 25 unscored for statistical purposes. Candidates have three hours to complete it, and a standard score of 95, equivalent to about 71% correct answers, is required to pass​.
  2. MEDSURG-BC (Medical-Surgical Board Certified) offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). This certification similarly tests the entry-level clinical knowledge and skills after initial RN licensure. Successful candidates receive the MEDSURG-BC credential, demonstrating their proficiency in medical-surgical nursing​.

Preparation and Resources:

  • Preparation Courses: Both ANCC and MSNCB provide online review courses and study materials. For example, ANCC offers a Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Review Course, which includes various online tools and comprehensive study guides​​.
  • Practice Questions and Test Prep: There are numerous resources for practice questions and exam preparation. Springer Publishing, for instance, offers a Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Practice Q&A, which includes a large database of questions to help candidates prepare.
  • Pocket Prep: ANCC’s MEDSURG-BC™ Test Prep through Pocket Prep includes a focused review based on the exam content outline and practice questions​.

Exam Details:

  • Format and Content: The exams generally cover a broad range of medical-surgical nursing topics, including patient care, diseases, and medical management across different body systems​​.
  • Testing Accommodations: Reasonable accommodations are available for individuals with documented disabilities, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)​ (Medsurg Nurses Association)​.


  • The cost of the exams varies. For the MEDSURG-BC, it is USD 395 for non-members and USD 295 for ANA members. The CMSRN costs USD 394 for non-members and USD 267 for AMSN members​​.


  • MEDSURG-BC: Requires renewal every five years, which includes continuing education hours and a professional development activity​.
  • CMSRN: Also valid for five years and can be renewed by re-examination or through continuing education hours​​.

How to Become a MedSurag Certified

To become a Medical-Surgical Nurse (MedSurg) Certified, you can follow these steps, usually centered around obtaining certification from the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB) or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Here’s a typical path:

  1. Eligibility Requirements: Ensure you meet the prerequisites for certification:
    • An active RN license.
    • At least two years of experience in medical-surgical nursing.
    • A minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical practice in the medical-surgical nursing specialty within the last three years.
    • Completion of 30 hours of continuing education in medical-surgical nursing within the last three years.
  2. Select a Certification Board:
    • MSNCB: Offers the Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) certification.
    • ANCC: Provides the RN-BC (Registered Nurse-Board Certified) credential in medical-surgical nursing.
  3. Prepare for the Examination:
    • Study relevant topics such as patient care, disease management, health promotion, and risk reduction.
    • Use resources like review courses, study guides, and practice exams. Both MSNCB and ANCC offer various preparation materials.
  4. Registration for the Exam:
    • Register for the CMSRN through the MSNCB website or for the RN-BC through the ANCC website.
    • Pay the examination fee.
  5. Schedule and Take the Exam:
    • Once registered, you’ll receive information on how to schedule your exam at a testing center or through a live remote proctor.
    • The exam typically covers a broad range of medical-surgical nursing topics.
  6. Receive Your Certification: After passing the exam, you’ll be certified. Certification usually lasts for five years, after which you’ll need to renew it. Renewal often requires continuing education and practice hours.
  7. Maintain Certification: Stay updated with continuing education, practice requirements, and renewals.

Our Experience Teaching MedSurg Candidates To Pass The Exam

At Career Employer, creating our Medical-Surgical Nurse (MedSurg) practice tests has been an extraordinary journey, filled with significant milestones and challenges. Inspired by the diverse range of topics the exam encompasses, our goal has been to meet the specific needs of each learner.

We have carefully designed our strategy to ensure that every student is thoroughly prepared to excel on the exam. Our commitment to delivering a comprehensive educational experience is evident in the meticulous attention to detail in our practice materials. This dedication underscores our unwavering support for our students’ success.

Teaching the Medical-Surgical Nurse (MedSurg) certification presents unique challenges and rewards from a lecturer’s perspective. 

Here are several key aspects they might consider:

  1. Comprehensive Curriculum Development: Lecturers must ensure that the curriculum comprehensively covers all aspects required for certification, which includes patient care, pharmacology, medical conditions, and surgical procedures. This requires staying updated with the latest guidelines and research in medical-surgical nursing.
  2. Resource Integration: Effective teaching involves integrating various resources like textbooks, online courses, workshops, and practical simulations. For example, resources such as the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) offer guidelines and study materials specifically designed for MedSurg certification.
  3. Student Engagement: Keeping students engaged is crucial. This can be done through interactive lectures, case studies, group discussions, and hands-on practical sessions. Engaging students in real-world scenarios helps in solidifying their understanding and prepares them for practical challenges.
  4. Assessment and Feedback: Regular assessments and constructive feedback help in gauging student understanding and progress. This also allows the lecturer to adjust teaching methods and materials as needed to better suit the class’s needs.
  5. Continuous Education and Professional Development: Lecturers themselves need to continuously update their knowledge and teaching strategies. Attending conferences, participating in additional certifications, and engaging with professional communities are essential practices.
  6. Support and Mentorship: Providing support and mentorship to students is pivotal. This can involve one-on-one sessions to address individual difficulties or concerns about the certification process.

At Career Employer, our Medical-Surgical Nurse (MedSurg) certification practice tests are the culmination of relentless dedication and profound expertise from a team deeply invested in preparing candidates for the MedSurg exam. This dedicated group of experts, each with extensive experience and deep knowledge, has played a crucial role in helping over 1,000 career nurses achieve their MedSurg certifications. Our focused efforts are especially tailored to meet the nuanced needs of general nursing, addressing the specific challenges faced by candidates.

Our team comprises highly seasoned professionals, each of whom has spent over a decade specializing in nursing education. This depth of specialized experience ensures that our practice materials are crafted by the foremost authorities in the field, making them highly effective tools for equipping candidates to succeed in their certification efforts. Our unwavering commitment to quality ensures that all users of our materials are thoroughly prepared and can approach their certification goals with the highest confidence.

Effective Study Strategies and Methods

For effective study strategies for the Medical-Surgical Nurse (MedSurg) exam, several resources and methods are highlighted by expert sources.

  1. Utilize Flashcards and Study Guides: Engage with resources like medical-surgical nursing flashcards, which are designed to cover essential concepts needed for the MedSurg exam. Interactive study guides can also be incredibly helpful in retaining critical information​​.
  2. Rewrite Your Notes: Transform your class notes into your own words. This method enhances understanding and retention by making you actively process the information. Additionally, creating comparison charts, especially for diseases with similar presentations, can aid in distinguishing between them​​.
  3. Practice with NCLEX-style Questions: Regularly practicing NCLEX-style questions, even before your NCLEX exam, can help prepare you for the MedSurg test format and improve your test-taking skills. This method is beneficial for assessing your knowledge and identifying areas for improvement​​.
  4. Comprehensive Online Courses: Consider enrolling in a dedicated online MedSurg nurse prep course, which typically includes extensive materials like video lessons, practice tests, and assessments tailored to the MedSurg curriculum.
  5. Community and Discussion Forums: Engage in community forums and discussions which can provide peer support and expose you to diverse clinical scenarios and new study materials. Forums such as those provided by ANA (American Nurses Association) offer a platform for interaction and access to various educational resources​​.


ItemCost for ANA MembersCost for Non-Members
Exam FeeUSD 295USD 395
Review CourseUSD 269USD 359
Study Materials (General Estimate)VariesVaries

The cost of obtaining the Medical-Surgical Nurse (MedSurg) board certification varies depending on several factors including application fees, membership discounts, study materials, and exam fees.

  1. Exam Fees:
    • The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) charges USD 395 for non-members and USD 295 for ANA members to take the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification (MEDSURG-BC™).
    • The Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) exam fee by the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB) is also in a similar range. However, details were not specified in the retrieved documents.
  2. Study Materials and Training: Review courses and training materials are available to help prepare for the exam. For instance, the ANCC offers a Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Review Course priced at USD 359 for non-members and USD 269 for members. Similarly, MSNCB provides review courses that cost around USD 199 for non-members and USD 149 for members.
  3. Additional Costs: There may be additional costs associated with preparation books, practice tests, and other study materials which can vary widely based on the provider and depth of resources chosen.
  4. Post-Exam Fees: Certification needs to be renewed periodically. The ANCC requires renewal every 5 years, with a fee typically similar to the initial application fee, though specifics can vary.
  5. Membership and Discounts: Being a member of related nursing organizations like the ANA or AMSN can significantly reduce the costs of both the exam and study materials through member discounts. MSNCB also offers a Failsafe Certification Program which allows eligible nurses at participating facilities to attempt the CMSRN exam twice within a twelve-month period, potentially saving costs on retesting if the first attempt is unsuccessful.

In summary, the overall costs include the exam fee, preparation and study resources, and membership fees for applicable nursing organizations. The cost efficiency can be improved through organizational memberships that offer discounts on these expenses.

Reliable Study Materials and Resources

Here are some excellent online resources for preparing for the Medical-Surgical Nurse (MedSurg) certification exam:

  1. American Nurses Association (ANA): Offers a comprehensive Medical-Surgical Nurse Certification Test Prep Bundle that includes online tools and resources essential for exam preparation. This bundle is tailored to help you review key concepts and practice test-taking strategies. 
  2. Mometrix Test Preparation: Provides an extensive online prep course that covers a wide range of topics necessary for the MedSurg certification. This course includes practice questions, videos, and detailed lessons on different aspects of medical-surgical nursing. 
  3. Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN): Offers a Certification Review Course, which is a detailed, interactive review covering common diseases, symptoms, and necessary nursing assessments and interventions. AMSN also provides practice questions and a test simulation through their partnership with Test Run. 
  4. Springer Publishing: Offers a variety of study materials including Q&A practice and review guides specifically designed for the MedSurg exam. These resources provide practice questions and answers to help gauge your readiness.
  5. PESI HealthCare: Provides a comprehensive Medical-Surgical Certification Exam Prep package that includes video lectures, a manual, and an online practice test. This resource focuses on a variety of medical-surgical topics and offers continuing education credits upon completion.

Each of these resources provides a different approach to learning and revising for the exam, so you might find it beneficial to use a combination of them to ensure thorough preparation.

Tips for Exam Day

To excel on your Medical-Surgical Nurse (MedSurg) exam, consider these well-recommended strategies:

  1. Utilize Practice Questions and Study Guides: Engaging with a variety of study materials such as the AMSN Core Curriculum for Med-Surg Nursing or other recommended guides from your institution can be highly beneficial. Many successful test-takers emphasize the importance of using practice questions and test banks to get familiar with the exam format and frequently tested concepts​.
  2. Join Professional Organizations: Membership in organizations like the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) can offer resources such as discounted exam fees, access to specialized journals, and additional educational materials which can significantly aid in your exam preparation.
  3. Focus on Key Areas: Pay special attention to major topics covered in the MedSurg exams like Assessment and Diagnosis, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation, and Professional Role. Specific areas such as Gastrointestinal, Pulmonary, Cardiovascular, and Diabetes are crucial. Understanding the underlying pathophysiology and nursing interventions for these conditions will be essential​.
  4. Review with Flashcards and Interactive Tools: Tools like the Medical-Surgical Flashcards from LevelUpRN can help in breaking down complex concepts into manageable bits of information, making it easier to retain critical information​​.
  5. Simulate Exam Conditions: Practicing under timed conditions can help you manage the actual exam’s pressure better. This includes familiarizing yourself with the question format and timing yourself to ensure you can complete the exam within the allotted time​​.
  6. Day of the Exam Tips: On the exam day, ensure you have a good night’s sleep before, eat a balanced meal, and arrive early at the exam center to avoid any last-minute stress. During the exam, carefully read each question and avoid rushing through the answers.

By integrating these strategies into your study routine, you can enhance your readiness and confidence for the MedSurg exam.

Post-Exam: Next Steps

After taking the Medical-Surgical Nurse (MedSurg) exam, there are several strategies you can follow to continue your professional development and prepare for the results:

  1. Engage with Practice Exams: Utilize online resources like Nurseslabs, which offers free practice exams for various nursing topics, including medical-surgical nursing. These exams provide immediate feedback and help you identify areas for improvement​​.
  2. Study and Review: Consider using comprehensive review books like “Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination” which offers detailed test-taking strategies and practice questions​.
  3. Participate in Online Forums: Engage with other professionals on platforms such as Nurseslabs where you can discuss exam strategies, share experiences, and receive support from a community of peers​.
  4. Review and Learn from Your Exam: Once you receive your exam results, review areas where you excelled and identify those that need improvement. Use this analysis to guide your continuing education and preparation for any future certifications.

Each of these steps will help you not only to reinforce what you’ve learned but also to prepare for potential retakes or further certifications in your nursing career.


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  2. American Nurses Credentialing Center. “Medical-Surgical Nurse.” ANCC,
  3. American Nurses Credentialing Center. “Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Interactive.” ANCC,
  4. Springer Publishing. “Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Practice Q&A.” Springer Publishing,
  5. PocketPrep. “ANCC Med-Surg BC.” PocketPrep,
  6. Nurseslabs. “Medical-Surgical Nursing.” Nurseslabs,
  7. IntelyCare. “Med-Surg Certification Overview and FAQ.” IntelyCare,
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  13. Straight A Nursing. “Tips to Study Med-Surg.” Straight A Nursing,
  14. Mometrix University. “MedSurg.” Mometrix,
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  20. Simple Nursing. “How to Study with Med-Surg Test Bank.” Simple Nursing,
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