I’ve been MIA this past week STUDYING as much as I possibly can for a big test I took this morning… 

I’m so proud to announce that I have passed my Certified Flight Registered Nurse exam this morning!!! (Also known as CFRN) 

This exam is 180 questions. I had 180 minutes to take it. Only 150 of the questions are actually scored and 30 of the questions (mixed in) don’t count towards your score. I got 119 out of 150 correct to give me a passing score! You must get at least 109 questions correct to pass. 

Any registered nurse can take this exam – there is no minimum of experience or hours like there are with other certifications or specialties. For example, to take your CEN or CCRN (certified emergency nurse or critical care registered nurse exam) you must work in that field for X number of hours before qualifying to take the test. 

In fact, the CFRN is *sometimes* required prior to being hired as a flight nurse which is why I took it – I’m working to make myself the best possible and prepared candidate when a position becomes available! 

This test cost $370 just to schedule so I had a chunk of change on the line if I were to pass. I also took a 24 hour live review course one weekend in June that was priced at $400 but proved to be worth every penny. 

I took 4 separate practice exams over the past week – 130 questions each and gone through EVERY SINGLE rationale. I honestly have just been putting so many hours into this! The content is really intense and really focused on a cellular level. 

A huge shout out to Flight Bridge Ed – I learned so much from the review course, their practice exams, their book, their podcasts, I HIGHLY recommend their content and courses if you’re looking to pursue the CFRN exam. 

So if you’re curious, 

$370 to test

$400 review course (I had a discount code so it was only $240)

+ study materials (my book/practice exams came with the course thankfully) 

But now I’m happy to say I have 4 new letters behind my name! 

Kalissa Friedman BSN RN CFRN EMT-B

So what’s that mean? I’m going to keep gaining critical care experience in CCU, enjoy my extra shifts in the ER, and wait patiently for a flight nurse opening in the tri-state area!! 

Some bases require nurses to pass the CFRN exam within x years of hire, some don’t require it at all, but I’m so glad I took the leap, took the review course, and spent the last month pouring over the material. 

I was explaining it to Craig – it’s like the content is so far zoomed in – for example, you don’t just need to know heart attacks, you need to know where and why that blockage is and how to treat that particular blockage in that particular vessel. What’s the initial dose of thrombolytics to treat that kind of blockage? Do they meet the criteria for receiving thrombolytics? It’s so in depth and it’s like looking at each condition or disease process that a body can have on a cellular level + how to treat it with which meds and why those medications work. I’ve never learned more about physics and chemistry in my entire life. I’ve never studied so hard for a test or enjoyed the content more. 

And considering there is a 58% chance of passing the CFRN on the first try, I’m pretty dang proud of myself! Especially coming from a B/C average student. It’s amazing how much easier it is to study after finding content that you love! 

Whenever I reach this kind of milestone in my career, I think back to the 16 year old Kalissa, working in the nursing home who just failed her first attempt at the CNA skills exam. I was so broken hearted. I was late and flustered and rushed through it. I think to myself – what if I would have quit there? I’m so glad I didn’t because she would be so proud of me right now!

(Also shout out to Kelli Jo Hanken for driving me to my test this morning) ❤️

ALSO! T shirt update! Look for new shirts coming out early next week!!! I’m so excited!!!

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  1. Colleen
    July 7, 2021 / 10:54 pm

    A big congratulations!!

  2. Hedy
    July 7, 2021 / 11:43 pm

    Congratulations! You worked hard and you made it! Time for a happy dance.

  3. Karen Mottram
    July 8, 2021 / 12:20 am

    Congratulations!! I’m very proud of your “get up and go”. You are going to have a very interesting and rewarding professional career. From a retired nurse.

  4. Barbara Glover
    July 8, 2021 / 12:54 am

    Congratulations! You’ve earned every right to be proud of your accomplishments.

  5. Penni
    July 8, 2021 / 6:17 am


  6. Barbara Snyder
    July 8, 2021 / 12:10 pm

    Congratulations! That is quite the accomplishment!!

  7. Elle
    July 8, 2021 / 1:42 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!! I do understand the huge undertaking of a specialty exam and the work, commitment and $$ that go into it. 16yo Kalissa is cheering loudly! I can hear her???

    I have no doubt that God will put a Flight job in front of you at exactly the right moment for you and your family. Your 10y of patient care experience with constant growth will be an asset to every patient in your care.

    Happy Thursday Kalissa ??

  8. Susan the Farm Quilter
    July 8, 2021 / 10:22 pm

    So incredibly proud of what you have achieved!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! It definitely helps to be interested in a subject when you are studying it, but a really good teacher will lure you in!! Doing the happy dance here for you!! So, question for ya – O2 SAT of 84, HR of 37 and 6 minutes later O2 SAT of 94, HR of 93…sedentary throughout, no meds. I’m off to my doc to see if he can figure it out and I’d love to know your take on it.

    • thepinkshoelaces
      July 12, 2021 / 4:29 am

      I say you need a new monitor!!!

  9. Carolyn+Sullivan
    July 8, 2021 / 11:10 pm

    WO HOO! congratulations! you deserve it!

  10. Nancy
    July 8, 2021 / 11:51 pm

    Yeah !!!! Congratulations ?. I remember taking that exam in fact it was the very first year it came out and was so happy to have added that to my Arsenal at that time as a flight nurse. Keep going! You’ll achieve it all!!!!

    • thepinkshoelaces
      July 12, 2021 / 4:30 am

      That’s SO COOL Nancy! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!! Glad to join the club!

  11. Missy Reynolds
    July 9, 2021 / 6:35 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! I know how much work you put into this. I did the same prep for the CCRN and NE-BC certifications. It’s a major accomplishment and so rewarding! Good for you!!!

    • thepinkshoelaces
      July 12, 2021 / 4:30 am

      Thank you Missy <3 I appreciate when someone recognizes how hard it is to achieve!

  12. Kristie
    July 10, 2021 / 1:48 pm

    Way to go Kalissa. That is a huge accomplishment!,

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