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CPN Certification Your Guide To

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1 CPN Certification Your Guide To

2 Why certify? Nurses seek certification for different reasons:
For Themselves Employment and Professional Culture Patient Outcomes / Public Accountability

3 Benefits for You Personal sense of accomplishment
Increased confidence in clinical skills Respect from colleagues Links to more job satisfaction An edge on career advancement Proof of professional growth Meets a national standard for specialized knowledge

4 Employment / Professional
Special appreciation Nurses Week, Certified Nurses Day Recognition in patient areas Potential financial rewards Bonuses Salary differential Meets an objective, respected third-party standard for the profession Certified RNs = quality indicator for Magnet® Wall of Distinction at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Sibley Heart Center

5 For the Public Increases consumer confidence Promotes accountability
The public is becoming more and more aware of nursing certification. Nearly 8 out of 10 people surveyed in were aware that nurses could be certified in a specialty area—in fact more aware of nurse certification than teacher or physician certification. Harris Interactive, Inc. American Association of Critical Care Nurses Survey. November 2002.

6 Impact on Patients & Advancement
Nurses who are nationally certified carry a body of knowledge that directly impacts patient outcomes. Patient outcomes are a large part of advancing on the clinical ladder. - Debbie White, MSN, MSA, RN, ACNS-BC, NEA-BC Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Saint Luke's Hospital, Kansas City, MO From State of Nursing Salaries: 2011

7 Who is PNCB? National nursing certification board established in 1975 by: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) Largest certification board for nursing professionals who care for pediatric populations. Strengthening care for kids is at the heart of everything we do!

8 PNCB vs. ANCC $295 to test About $60/yr to renew
Only certifies peds specialties 2,945 tested in 2011 Specific CPN credential $395 to test About $70/yr to renew Certifies many specialties 174 tested in 2011 Generic RN-BC credential PNCB certification is considered the gold standard for pediatric nursing. PNCB’s exams are endorsed by the Society of Pediatrics (SPN), the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

9 CPN Exam Eligibility The Certified Nurse Exam is for RNs with extensive experience in pediatric practice and who demonstrate knowledge and abilities related to pediatric nursing beyond basic RN licensure. To apply, you will need: 1800 hours of pediatric clinical practice in the past 24 months A current, active, unrestricted RN license in the U.S., Canada, or U.S. territory

10 Eligibility FAQs Q: What counts for clinical practice hours?
Q: Do I need a BSN to take the exam? A: No. You can hold a Diploma, Associate’s Degree, or Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Q: If I have 1800 hours of experience before I reach the 24-month point, do I have to wait to apply? A: No. This timeframe just makes sure the experience is recent. Q: What counts for clinical practice hours? A: Direct patient care, teaching, administration, clinical research, school-based care, home health care, or consultation in pediatric nursing.

11 PNCB Preparation Resources
1 Exam Content Outline 2 CPN Reference List 3 CPN Exam Prep 4 Test-taking Strategies Modules

12 Content Outline (or Test Blueprint)
#1 most valuable tool for your study Describes all subject areas on the exam and number of questions per category Questions will not include true/false or knowledge recall Tests your ability to apply knowledge & think critically Goal = determine one best answer among choices Access the content outline here

13 Reference List A list of over a dozen respected texts
Several are used by our test item writers Consider using 1 textbook you’re familiar with Not inclusive of all resources that could be used Access the reference list here What texts are available where you work? Are funds available to create a study library?

14 Not a study or review course. See PNCB’s website for current pricing.
CPN Exam Prep Optional online practice test 50 questions See how questions are presented In-depth rationale for right and wrong answers Score report can show weak areas and help you focus studies Not a study or review course. See PNCB’s website for current pricing.

15 Test-taking Strategies Module
Optional online learning activity Exam preparation tips Strategies for answering multiple- choice exam questions Techniques to manage test anxiety Not a study or review course. See PNCB’s website for current pricing.

16 Preparation FAQs Q: Do I have to take a review course?
A: PNCB does not require that you take a review course. Q: Does PNCB offer a review book or course? A: No. Doing so would be a conflict of interest, especially if a tester failed the exam after paying for a PNCB review. Q: Can PNCB recommend the best text? A: PNCB can’t endorse specific texts or review courses, but we recommend using one peds nursing textbook you’re familiar with. Tip! Know colleagues who recently passed? Ask what texts or other resources they found most helpful.

17 Steps in Applying & Testing
1 Complete Online Application 2 Receive Eligibility Notification 3 Schedule Exam with Prometric 4 Take Your Exam

18 How do I apply? Allow 15 minutes to complete the online application. Have your RN license info handy. Go to and access the CPN application Create your account if new to the website Enter requested information Basic info about you RN licensure Education and employment Pay the exam fee Tip! You will need to take your exam within 90 days of applying. Be sure you’re ready to schedule your test within that timeframe when you submit the application.

19 Eligibility Notification
This is your green light to schedule your exam! PNCB notifies you by and postcard that your application is approved Check your spam folder for this important You receive your 90-day testing window in the eligibility notification You must schedule your exam during that timeframe and test

20 Scheduling Your Exam Soon after eligibility notification, visit to schedule your testing day and time Changing or cancelling test dates is managed by Prometric Prometric charges PNCB a fee when a tester doesn’t show, so please honor your testing commitment A 90-day extension is available from PNCB for a fee Tip! Even before you apply, find the closest testing center to you at

21 Test Administration You will test at a proctored Prometric Testing Center Nearly 500 locations across the U.S. 3 hours testing time 175 multiple-choice questions A tutorial on using the computer is provided Pass/fail status received before leaving the center (official mailed results 2 to 3 weeks)

22 Test Administration Tips
Arrive at least 30 minutes early Bring required, unexpired IDs matching your name on your application You will be scanned by a metal detector Some Prometric centers offer a 30-minute “Test Drive” for a fee to experience check-in and testing computer You are allowed to take breaks, but they count as part of your testing time. Watch Prometic’s check-in video for more details. PNCB does not require finger tip scans.

23 Testing FAQs Q: Is the CPN exam like the NCLEX?
A: While there are similarities (e.g., testing on a computer in a secure, proctored environment), there are also differences. The CPN exam only asks multiple choice questions, while NCLEX contains alternate item formats (fill in the blanks, hot spot items, etc.). With the CPN exam, you can also return to questions and change an answer before final submission. PNCB does not use adaptive testing, which can vary the number of questions a testers sees, and ends when competence is determined. The CPN exam does not end until 3 hours are up, or unless you submit answers before that time limit.

24 More Testing FAQs Q: Is there a penalty for incorrect answers?
A: No, so it is better to answer every item rather than skip any. Q: How is the exam scored? A: The number of questions that must be answered correctly to pass is decided by a psychometrician and an expert panel of CPNs. Each question is evaluated for difficulty. Each test form is analyzed for the passing cut point. A scaled score is then determined to put all exam forms and scores in the same frame of reference. PNCB uses a range from 200 (0 correct) to 800 (all correct) with 400 being the passing cut-point for the exam. Q: What is the passing rate? A: For 2013, 73% of RNs testing passed.

25 After the Exam Passing testers
Receive pass packet by mail in 2-3 weeks Celebrate your achievement! Wear your lapel pin Frame your certificate Let your leadership know Ask if CPN can be added to your name badge Get familiar with the Recertification process Unsuccessful testers Score report mailed in 2-3 weeks Reduced fee to retest (free for No Pass, No Pay hospitals) No waiting period to retest

26 CPN Champions Program CPNs who encourage colleagues to certify can apply for this special volunteer role with benefits: Special gear and tool kit Recert gift certificate Network with Champions across the U.S Champions share materials and report on efforts 2-year term with potential for reappointment 1 Champion per location; more for larger hospitals Apply at

27 Maintaining Certification
All certification boards require a renewal process. Recertification or “Recert” documents that you’re keeping your practice and knowledge current. CPNs recertify annually.

28 How do I recertify? Follow these steps to maintain your CPN certification: Check your online wallet card and mark your calendar. You will recertify between October 1 and January 31 prior to your online wallet card’s expiration date. Mark calendar Get to know Recert Learn about what’s needed for your Recert: Spring is a good time to visit and understand options and requirements. Keep your RN license current. Earn continuing education: You need 15 contact hours or accepted equivalents each year. Your clinical work hours can count for 5 contact hours. PNCB’s site lists free/low-cost online CE sources. Does your employer offer CE? Earn CE (Optional Benefit) Add completed CE to My Recert Tracker: This free tool at PNCB’s site lets you archive contact hours and other activities right after completing them. It’s easy and convenient, but not required. Load as you go Recertify online: Visit between October 1 and January 31 – you pick the day – and tell us what you accomplished, update your info, and pay your fee. Recertify

29 Recert FAQs Q: Why annual recertification?
A: Annual keeps costs low, contact info up to date, and CE requirements manageable. Q: What are accepted equivalents for CE? A: Academic credit, precepting, authorship, posters, clinical work hours, or committee participation can count for 5 contact hours. We call these Professional Practice Learning (PPL). You can use 1 PPL per Recertification. See for full details. Q: What if I didn’t have a chance to earn CE? A: Visit for free and low cost CE online resources. And once every 7 years, you can select Record Review Year. You simply update your profile and pay a lower fee. Your certification is maintained this way. Very helpful if you have a major life event.

30 Questions? We’re here to help! Exam questions:
About Recertification: About No Pass, No Pay: Or call us at

31 Free Resources from PNCB
Unit meetings? Skills fairs? Certified Nurses Day or Nurses Week events? Order free materials here PNCB even sends free small giveaways to support your events!

32 Thank you We wish you much success in your future professional development!

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