ACTivate Your Commitment to Adolescent Care

Empower Adolescents Through Your Expert Knowledge

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Now more than ever, adolescence is a critical time in a child’s development. ACTivate, the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board’s (PNCB) new competency building certificate program, is an engaging, expert-designed program that provides deep, meaningful learning to help you increase your confidence and competence as a resource for adolescents. ACTivate consists of two separate programs – Core Concepts in Adolescence and Essential Knowledge in Adolescent Health & Well-Being – that deepen your knowledge of areas that affect adolescents on a daily basis, such as growth and development, social and global factors, behavioral and mental health, sexual health and more. 



Wherever and However You Support Adolescents - We Can Help 

ACTivate offers a unique educational opportunity to develop or expand your expertise to help youth lead healthier lives! Whether you are a health care team member or interact with adolescents in communities or schools, ACTivate can take your level of comfort and expertise to the next level wherever and however you support adolescents. Some of these settings could include:   


Family Practice

Behavioral & Mental Health

Women’s Health

Emergency Care

Schools, Clubs & Sports

Social Work & Community Services

Public Safety

ACTivate Your Potential



Two Pathways to Elevate your Adolescent Care Skills

ACTivate consists of online, self-paced courses that strengthen the adolescent-specific knowledge and communication skills you may already possess. Specialized support from adults in their world helps adolescents thrive and become healthier, more resilient adults in the future.


Start your journey in ACTivating your commitment to adolescent well-being by growing your foundational knowledge of CORE CONCEPTS IN ADOLESCENCE. Through in-depth courses, engaging video, virtual reality, and actual insights from teens and global experts, you will learn how adolescents grow and develop as well as the social and global challenges they face. A special focus on effective communication with this age group will boost your comfort level and expertise supporting this unique age group.


  • Foundational Concepts in Typical Adolescent Growth & Development
  • Social Factors that Impact Health & Well-Being
  • Effective Communication with Adolescents
  • Global Voices: Experts Discuss Issues in Adolescent Health


Building off of core concepts in adolescent care, ESSENTIAL KNOWLEDGE IN ADOLESCENT HEALTH & WELL-BEING delivers next-level content to expand your expertise to help youth lead healthier lives. This program is open to all members of the health care team and anyone engaged in supporting this age group.

This program is open to all.


  • Seven Building Blocks for Adolescent Wellness
  • Behavioral & Mental Health
  • Sexual Health
  • Safety, Risk & Injury Prevention


Your Journey to Adolescent Care Excellence

Both of these pathways offer meaningful ways to differentiate yourself professionally. Here is what to expect after you apply for one of our ACTivate certificate programs:


Within 90 days of enrollment, complete the four courses and open-book assessments


Upon completion you’ll receive

  • A certificate of completion
  • Contact hours of continuing nursing education

Within 90 days of earning your certificate, sign up for your microcredential exam. Within seven days of signing up, complete your closed-book online exam in one sitting. Upon passing, you’ll receive a microcredential pass email that includes:

  • Access to digital badge
  • Tips on how to market your achievement
  • How to renew your microcredential (after 2 years)

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Frequently Asked Questions


How will ACTivate benefit me?

PNCB’s ACTivate keeps the focus on the adolescent age range and transforms high quality content through state-of-the-art technology. You’ll experience in-depth educational modules at your own pace to accommodate your busy schedule. After earning the certificates of completion, you can advance to test for the corresponding microcredentials and digital badges. ACTivate represents a fresh way to show employers, colleagues, and others that you are committed to helping adolescents thrive—and that you’ve gained knowledge to support that commitment. 


What is a certificate program? How is a certificate program different from board certification? 

Certificate programs offer bite-sized learning at your own pace. You’ll grow your knowledge about a specific topic by accessing education, then pass assessments to confirm what you learned. 

With board certification, candidates meet eligibility criteria and bring knowledge to an examination. Upon passing the test for a rigorous body of knowledge, a credential is earned and corresponding letters can be added behind your name.  


Will ACTivate let me put letters behind my name?

No letters are added behind your name after earning a certificate or microcredential. For ACTivate, after successfully completing a course, you can choose to earn a microcredential with a digital badge for your portfolio, email signature, and/or practice website. 


What do the digital badges look like?

I’m a student in a health-related field. Can I take this program?

Absolutely! Not only will you receive the same educational experience that your future peers do, the certificates, microcredentials, and digital badges will help your resume and employment applications shine. 

I do not work in a health-related field. Can I take this program?

Yes! The first certificate program, Essential Knowledge in Adolescent Health & Well-Being, is education that will help everyone who interacts with adolescents. Sports coaches, teachers, school counselors, club leaders, juvenile justice team members, and many others will benefit from this education.


Can someone outside of the United States take this program?

Yes! We welcome all international advocates for adolescent health and well-being to participate! The course is offered in English.


Will I Earn Continuing Education Credits?

After you successfully finish a program, you receive nursing contact hours and a certificate of completion. The contact hours are accredited by the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP). If your field is outside of nursing, please check with your certification or licensing body to see if these credits are accepted for your field. 



Coming Spring 2024!

Join our email list for exciting program launch updates.


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Faces of Certification

PNCB-certified nursing professionals work in a variety of roles and settings throughout the US and beyond. Share your photo today!

Tyneisha Orr, CPNP-PC Children's Hospital & Medical Center Omaha, NE
Amairani Jimenez, CPN Tripler Army Medical Center Honolulu, Hawaii
Gia Nguyen, CPNP-AC St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Arlington, VA
View more Faces of Certification