About PNCB Established in 1975 by AAP and NAPNAP Largest independent certification board for nursing professionals caring for pediatric populations Primary Care CPNP exam launched 1977 Acute Care CPNP exam launched 2005
PNCB Mission & Vision Mission PNCB provides the highest quality certification services for nursing professionals who care for pediatric populations. Vision Every child receives care from a PNCB certified nursing professional.
Why PNCB? Rigorous, respected exams Strong Recertification programs Focused solely on pediatrics CPNPs are on staff and board of directors Over 95% of your peers choose PNCB
Credentialing Overview Credentialing Overarching term to mean formal recognition of meeting a standard Describes processes of licensure, professional certification, education, and accreditation Offers a way to document this recognition for employers and the public
Accreditation Overview Validates quality of credentials offered by an organization, institution, business, etc. Requires a renewal process to ensure on-going quality of processes Examples: Hospitals are accredited by JCAHO University nursing programs are accredited by CCNE or NLNAC
What does this mean for you? Accreditation means that: Certification programs are vetted by a higher authority Processes are validated against a rigorous industry standard On-going, regular reviews are conducted by a third-party Testing, scoring, and recertification requirements are trustworthy PNCB exams are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). NCCA was the first accreditation board to be recognized by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). PNCB was the first nursing certification board to earn NCCA accreditation.
Certification: The process that… Recognizes individuals for meeting pre- determined standards, usually by exam Validates your qualifications, knowledge, and expertise in a defined clinical area in nursing Awards you a specific credential Allows you to apply for state board NP authority to practice as required in 47 states Renewing your certification is not the same as renewing your state license
Licensure: The process that… Grants you authority to engage in the practice of a profession within your state Authorizes you to use a particular title Protects the public by requiring an entry level of professional competence Requires its own renewal process – renewing your license is not the same as renewing your certification
State Licensure Tips After you pass the CPNP exam… All states accept PNCB’s verification documentation. Please do not submit your state’s forms to us after passing the exam. The process is automatic. PNCB documents each verification for you in your online account as a PDF file. You can see the date it was sent, and to whom it was sent for your state board. Please remember to update your PNCB record immediately after your renew with your state board, or if you change states.
More Licensure Tips The National Council of State Boards of Nursing has an in-depth state-by-state resource showing: What your “authority to practice” is called in your state Independent practice & prescribing Titles and roles
Steps in Testing 1. Register to create an online account with PNCB 2. Complete the online application and submit payment 3. Arrange to have documentation sent 4. Await staff review 5. Receive eligibility notification 6. Schedule your appointment with a Prometric Testing Center 7. Take your exam
Steps in Applying Go to 1. Navigate to choose your exam type 2. Register at the site to create online account if you haven’t already 3. Complete the online form with payment 4. Arrange for documentation to be sent
Tips Create your online account before arranging to have documentation sent. Applying lets PNCB staff connect your documents with your account faster. Your name on your application must match your official government identification. Type your name with appropriate capitalization so your PNCB documents (wallet card and wall certificate) look professional.
What info will I provide? You’ll answer brief questions about: Contact information and demographics Education and employment Current RN license Attestation that the information is true
Tour the exam application In the following slides, we show the Primary Care CPNP exam form. Acute Care program graduates use the AC version.
Getting started Go to Choose Certify, then select your exam type:
Find the application On your exam’s application home page, click the link to apply If you have not already created an online account, you will be automatically prompted to do so. The application appears after registration. Creating an online account is not the same as applying for the exam.
Select your exam
Learn about optional resources
Enter Basic Information
Education & Employment
Employer We also ask if you currently work in a hospital
Documentation Reminder Next we remind you about required documentation. Update effective May 2012: Students will be contacted if a Documentation of Education Form is needed. Students in programs with up to date participation in PNCB’s Program Resources will not need to submit this form.
Current Licensure You can enter more than one license if needed.
Membership & Mailing List Please note that third-party mailing list preference does not include your free Pediatric Annals and Infectious Diseases in Children subscriptions. This special benefit is managed separately.
Attestation Statement Simply type your name and confirm the date after reading.
Enter Payment Click the button beside payment type to open the section to enter details.
Confirm Order You’ll have a chance to review your order and click the Place Order button. ed receipt arrives in minutes. Check your spam box. Once your application has been reviewed, your exam status will be changed to “Awaiting Information.”
Next Steps After we receive your application, fees, and required documentation, we review all materials to determine eligibility status within 2 weeks. After this review, you are notified by the PNCB via and postcard informing you of your assigned 90-day testing period. Once notified of eligibility, make your appointment to sit for the exam with a Prometric Testing Center near you.
Your 90-day Testing Window Don’t delay in scheduling your test appointment. Hundreds of organizations use Prometric’s services. Waiting to schedule increases the risk not getting your preferred day or time.
Extensions Unable to test within your 90-day window? You may purchase an extension. Visit for full policies regarding extensions.www.pncb.org You may purchase a non-refundable extension at The new testing period begins once your application for an extension is processed and does not grant you a total of 180 days to take the exam. You must apply for an extension 5 business days before termination of the 90-day testing period. If you have already scheduled a testing date and time, you must cancel your appointment with Prometric per their cancellation schedule.
Rescheduling / Cancellations Managed by Prometric per their policies Read and refer to your Candidate Testing Handbook. If you need to reschedule/cancel, don’t wait. Prometric charges a fee if you wait until 15 days before your previously scheduled test date to make changes. Please show for your exam appointment. PNCB is billed if you do not show, and you forfeit fees. Remember to bring the required photo ID.
Documentation Checklist Transcript(s) Documentation of Education Form Update effective May 2012: Students will be contacted if this form is needed. Students in programs with up to date participation in PNCB’s Program Resources will not need to submit this form. Special Accommodations Form, if needed
Transcripts Master’s, Post-Master’s, or DNP transcripts must be final and show degree conferred. Transcripts must be official. Must not be in the student’s possession. Sent electronically or a hard copy mailed in a sealed envelope. PNCB only accepts electronic transcripts provided by the school sent directly from the registrar’s office or a transcript service. See website for full details. Transcripts must be requested by you. PNCB cannot request a transcript on your behalf.
Documentation of Education Form Reminder: Students will be contacted if this form is needed. Students in programs with up to date participation in PNCB’s Program Resources will not need to submit this form. Find this form online at PNCB. Your program director may also have this form on file. You will complete the top part, then ask your program director to complete and sign. Your program director will submit the form to PNCB.
Other Forms Special Accommodations Form For disabilities covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act Confidential form will be completed by you and an appropriate licensed professional Must be faxed to PNCB the same day you apply online. We need this documentation before we export your information to Prometric.
Weekly Updates Once a week after you apply, PNCB sends you an about documentation not yet received. If you feel documentation should have arrived at PNCB when it actually has not, contact your school for follow-up. You can also check your status by logging in at then click My Application Status.www.pncb.org
Essentials as You Prepare to Test Review the exam content outline/test blueprint Identify possible textbooks for reference Create a study plan Read the Prometric computer testing handbook What ID will I need? What can I bring with me? How long is the exam? How many questions? What are cancellation/rescheduling policies?
More Resources to Consider PNCB online preparatory resources Peds Exam Prep practice test 75 questions per module Score report to indentify weak areas In-depth rationale for answers Test-taking Strategies Module Strategies for answering multiple-choice questions Techniques to manage anxiety Please note that these are not review courses.
Exam Pass Rates & Scoring 2012 Pass Rates 90% of Primary Care CPNP exam testers passed 81% of Acute Care CPNP exam testers passed You need a scaled score of 400 to pass A passing score is determined for each exam by a standard setting committee who has analyzed questions and weighted them for difficulty. There are several forms of each exam and no advantage to taking one form over another.
What if I don’t pass? You will receive mailed Individual Score Report in 2-3 weeks plus a re-test tip sheet. Use score report to identify weaknesses In most instances, there is no waiting period and you can re-apply after receiving your mailed results and you feel ready to test again. Reduced cost to re-apply Can test 4 times in a 12-month period. Must meet current exam eligibility criteria when re-applying.
What happens after I pass? Pass packet (allow 2-3 weeks) Individual Score Report Lapel pin, wall certificate to promote your achievement Benefit details Important information on the annual renewal process called Recertification or “Recert” Free verification to your state board(s) Automatically sent from PNCB in 2-3 weeks
Important Recert Tips Plan ahead for Recertification Recert for your new certification starts the following year Recert will be annual, with an open enrollment window between October 1 and January 31 Explore the PNCB website for policies and options Options document completed activities – be proactive in your planning Log in to use My ReCErt Tracker to log completed activities
Are you a CPN? Some CPNPs choose to maintain their CPN certification. PNCB merges your CPN and CPNP Recert in a modified program to save you time and money. Contact PNCB for details about how this works.
How to list credentials PNCB recommends to following order: Highest nursing degree Other non-nursing degrees (e.g., MBA) Licensure Certification in order received Fellowships, awards, or honors
Examples of listing credentials Terri Moore, MSN, RN, CPNP Joan Smith, DNP, RN, CPNP-PC/AC Joseph Garcia, MS, APRN, CPNP-PC, FAANP Yu Xiao, PhD, APN, CPNP, CCRN You can choose to add -PC or -AC to show which specific credential you hold. Some CPNPs simply use CPNP.
How CPNPs can list both AC & PC Dually certified CPNPs (holding both Primary Care and Acute Care) choose how to display using these PNCB recommendations: CPNP-AC/PC CPNP-PC/AC CPNP-AC, CPNP-PC CPNP
Using DNP Avoid redundancies: Lisa Lamar, DNP, RN, CPNP Dr. Lisa Lamar, DNP, RN, CPNP Can DNPs identify themselves to as “Doctor” to the public when they practice? Contact your state board as they are the final authority on this issue.
I have my first PNP job! Congratulations! What happens now? Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Consider seeking out a mentor as you learn the ropes. Learn about coding protocols from your new employer.
Connect with your peers Consider joining a professional association. Network locally with others in your role Develop peer relationships Discuss work-related issues Find close-by CE opportunities and conferences
Become a leader Think about leadership and precepting. The overall PNP population is nearing retirement age. The PNP profession needs leaders for the future on local, state, and national levels. Consider your personal role in the future of the PNP profession and chart the course for the next generations of graduates. Help the role thrive.
Mental Health Specialty Certification Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialist (PMHS) Certification For advanced practice nurses who provide early access to care for children and adolescents with behavioral and mental health concerns. are experienced in early identification and intervention for these concerns typically seen in primary care. assess, diagnose, and manage these concerns. When needed, these providers also help patients and their families manage these concerns until specialized care is available. plays a role in collaboration and coordination of care with other professionals in medical and educational settings. Learn more at
Other PNCB opportunities Volunteer with PNCB! Short-term assignments as needed to pilot test surveys and modules on a variety of topics. Feedback helps PNCB put the final polish on these projects before sharing them with a larger audience. Periodically, test item writers are needed. PNCB provides the training and communicates via when these opportunities are available.
Questions? For more about applying, recertifying, or any other aspect of CPNP certification, visit our website at or We’re here to help, and we wish you much success in testing… and in your new PNP career!