The American Board of Certification for Gastroenterology
Nurses (ABCGN) develops and maintains this exam for candidates seeking the
credentials CGRN (Certified Gastroenterology Registered Nurse). This exam tests
them for skills, knowledge, and competencies that are required for successful
nurses in this specialty field.

Who is Eligible?

All applicants for certification must:

  • Have a current and unrestricted RN license in gastroenterology and gastroenterology/endoscopy
  • Have at least two years of full-time experience in supervisory, administrative, clinical, research capacities, or teaching/education in a private practice or institutional setting (or 4000 hours of part-time experience within the last five years)

Supporting documentation for these requirements will need to be provided.

Current fees for certification are $420 for SGNA members and $505 for non-members. This includes a $90 non-refundable processing fee.

When and Where is it Taken?

Once your application has been approved, you will be sent an email with information on how to schedule your exam appointment.

This computer-administered exam is offered at over 300 Prometric testing centers throughout the U.S. There are two testing windows each year: during May and October. Registration deadlines do exist for each window so be sure to know when these are.

For those with disabilities or who may not be able to test under normal conditions, special accommodations are available upon request. This request must be made during registration and will require supporting documentation.

Once you have scheduled your testing session, you will be sent a confirmation notice with information about your specific date, time, and place. This will also include information about to change or cancel your appointment. Be sure to print this and out and keep it handy as you will need it on test day for admission.

Should you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment, you may do so by contacting Prometric at least five days before your original testing session. Changes cannot be made after this period and will result in the forfeiture of any fees.

What Does it Cover?

The ABCGN certification exam is made up of 175 multiple-choice questions. 25 of those are unidentified pretest items for use on future exams. These will not count towards your score.

You will be given four hours to complete the exam.

The exam covers four main domains or mains sections:

  • General Nursing Care (24% of questions)
  • Gastroenterological Procedures (33% of questions))
  • Patients Care Interventions (27% of questions))
  • Environmental Safety, Infection Prevention and Control (16% of questions))

What to Expect on Test Day?

It is crucial that you arrive at least 30 minutes early for your exam appointment. This is to ensure that you have time to complete a check-in process before you are seated to test. Those who arrive late will not be allowed to test that day and will have to reschedule, forfeiting any fees.

Along with your above-mentioned confirmation letter, you will need to bring at least one government-issued photo ID with you to the testing site. This must include your full name as it appears on your application and your signature. If your ID contains missing or incorrect information, it will not be accepted and you will either be asked for another one or not be allowed to test.

All personal items that are not left at home must be checked into a locker at the testing center. This includes but is not limited to cell phones, purses/bags, study materials, watches, food/drinks. If these items are found in the testing area, you will immediately be dismissed and your scores voided.

When Do I Receive my Scores?

You will receive an email containing your score results immediately after you have finished your exam. This will contain your total score and sub-scores for each main section of the exam. Scores are based on what each candidate can do or knows, not on their performance in comparison to others.  

Scores will only be released to third parties upon written consent from the applicant.

For those that pass, your certificates and pins will be mailed out between the 15th and the 30th of the following month. Your certification is good for five years, after which you will need to be recertified.

Candidates who fail the exam may apply for ABCGN’s Quest for Success program and be allowed to retake it during the next testing window for a discounted price. Applicants must re-register and submit fees for this opportunity.

How Can I Prepare for the CGRN Exam?

That’s a great question.  We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.

  1. Do yourself a favor and study.  Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try.  Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
  2. Take care of yourself.  Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping.  All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance.  If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
  3. Get a study guide or set of flashcards.  Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them.  We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam. Below you’ll see links to both!

Study Guide



Last Updated: November 9, 2023