Tips for Preparing for Certification

Considering becoming certified? Don’t know where to start? Preparation and planning takes time, and we want to share advice on how to get started. Each year our test takers complete a survey giving us feedback on what was most helpful during their preparation. Based on these surveys, and our own personal experience, we want to provide you with the following advice:

  1. There are many options on how to prepare yourself for this examination. You have a choice of many urologic textbooks to use as your resource. CBUNA does offer an examination preparation guide for each test level (associate, nursing or nurse practitioner). This guide can be purchased on the CBUNA website  (click here to learn more/purchase). The guide may be helpful in assisting you to prepare for the examination by offering: test taking tips, a list of recommended reading resources, exam outline, sample questions, and a test blueprint to assess your strengths and weaknesses. Use of this guideline does not imply that you will pass the examination.
  2. We know that a majority of urology nurses do not have experience in all areas of urology. Some only work with men, others with women, and many have no pediatric experience at all. Recent practice analyses show us where nurses are working and what they are doing. As a result, our tests reflect this data, and there are very few questions on pediatric topics.
  3. Pick a date and a site for the examination. A popular option is to take the exam during the SUNA Annual Conference. The day before the exam, SUNA offers a comprehensive certification course, which we highly recommend.
  4. Explore our website and learn more about CBUNA and the exams. We have added many new sections to our site, including answers to frequently asked questions.
  5. Consider these test-taking strategies:
  • Prepare in advance. Avoid cramming. This is not the best way to prepare for any examination, as much of the information is never converted into long-term memory.
  • Make a study schedule. This will help keep you on track, and ensure that you have sufficient time to cover all the necessary topics.
  • Be selective about what you study. Be confident in what you already know and don’t waste time studying it. Aim to understand the information in other areas instead of simply memorizing it.
  • Quiz yourself periodically. This will help establish how successful your preparation has been.
  • Create a study group. Some adult learners find it very helpful to study in groups; this allows each member of the group to take advantage of other members’ expertise.
  • Read each item carefully. Formulate an answer before you look at the available choices. Compare the available options to what you think is the correct response, and be sure to read over all options before answering. Multiple-choice questions often require critical thinking.
  • Attempt to answer every item. If you are unsure, consider the nursing process and ”ABCs” of nursing practice. Choose the option that reflects good nursing judgment.
  • Skip questions if you need to. But check your answer sheet to make certain that numbers consistently match up.
  • Don't keep changing your answer. Your first answer is the one that is most likely to be correct . . . but do not be afraid to change your answer.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before the test.

Remember that these tests are constructed on a 3-year cycle, explaining why the tests do not contain questions regarding some of the cutting-edge procedures seen on the job or the newest medications. Before new modalities are considered appropriate for any certification examination, there must be time to establish that changes represent a move forward in patient care. With a plan and some time for preparation, anyone can be a successful examination candidate.

Finally, do not forget that all of us on CBUNA Board are an excellent resource. After all, we were once in your shoes! If you wish to contact us, please call the CBUNA National Office at 856-256-2351 or email us at CBUNA@ajj.com.