CPNP-PC vs. PPCNP-BC

Make an informed choice with this chart

CPNP-PC and PPCNP-BC: What's the Difference?

Most PNP graduates choose PNCB's Primary Care Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP-PC) credential because nursing care for children and adolescents is the sole focus of everything we offer and it shows in the quality of our exams.

The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP), the Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (AFPNP), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) endorse our exams. CPNP-PCs provide leadership on our Board of Directors.

Make an informed choice with this comparison chart. PNCB is happy to answer your questions about what sets us apart. Contact info@pncb.org so we can help.

Question Comparison

What credential is earned?

PNCB: Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP-PC)

ANCC: Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified (PPCNP-BC)

What is the certifying body?

CPNP-PC: Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB)

PPCNP-BC: American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)

How many nurses actively hold each credential as of December 31, 2017?

CPNP-PC: 16,255

PPCNP-BC: 2,965

How many nurses tested in 2017?

CPNP-PC: 1,115

PPCNP-BC: 67

Is the certification endorsed by a pediatric specialty organization?

CPNP-PC: Yes, by the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP), the Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (AFPNP), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

PPCNP-BC: No

Is the certification recognized by all state boards?

CPNP-PC: Yes

PPCNP-BC: Yes

Is the certification program accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)?

CPNP-PC: Yes

PPCNP-BC: Yes

How does the organization support the pediatric profession?

CPNP-PC:

  • Attends national NAPNAP annual conference to answer student and certificants' questions
  • Attends national AAP conference to promote the hiring of CPNPs
  • Created the Institute of Pediatric Nursing to encourage NP students to choose pediatrics

PPCNP-BC:

  • Has not recently exhibited or sponsored events at NAPNAP

Do PNPs serve on the current Board of Directors?

CPNP-PC:

  • 4 CPNPs
  • CEO is also a CPNP

PPCNP-BC: No

Certification Exam Details

Question Comparison

What was the pass rate for first time testers in 2017?

CPNP-PC: 90%

PPCNP-BC: 87%

Are exam eligibility criteria the same?

Yes

Can you test prior to DNP graduation?

CPNP-PC: Yes

PPCNP-BC: Yes

How much does it cost to apply?

CPNP-PC:

  • $385 for initial exam
  • $270 for retest
  • Expedited 5-day application processing: Free

PPCNP-BC:

  • $395
  • $270 for ANA members; ANA membership ~$290/year
  • $270 for retest
  • Expedited 5-day application processing: $200

Are electronic transcripts accepted?

CPNP-PC: Yes

PPCNP-BC: Yes

Is a fee charged to your PNP program for curriculum documentation?

CPNP-PC: No fee

PPCNP-BC: Yes, $800

How many questions are on the exam?

CPNP-PC: 175

PPCNP-BC: 200

How long is the exam testing time?

CPNP-PC: 3 hours

PPCNP-BC: 3.5 hours

Are free sample questions offered?

CPNP-PC: Yes

PPCNP-BC: No

Is a practice test available?

CPNP-PC: Yes, $50 for 75 questions

PPCNP-BC: No

What is the wait time to re-apply if unsuccessful?

CPNP-PC: 2-3 weeks

PPCNP-BC: 60 days

Will free verification be sent to state boards upon initial certification and each recertification?

CPNP-PC: Yes, to all you list on the application

PPCNP-BC: Only to 1 state board

What is the cost to verify my certification for employers?

CPNP-PC: $40

PPCNP-BC: $50

Staying Certified

Question Comparison

What is the duration of my certification?

CPNP-PC: 1 year

PPCNP-BC: 5 years

What is the cost to recertify?

CPNP-PC: $65 to $160 depending on option

PPCNP-BC: $350 ($200 for ANA members; ANA membership ~$290/year)

What are the options to recertify?

CPNP-PC: 15 contact hours or accepted equivalents (e.g., academic credit, clinical practice, lecture, authorship, posters, committee leadership, record review year). Online modules and pharm hours are required over a 7-year period. See recertification for details.

PPCNP-BC: 150 contact hours or accepted equivalents. Options include Professional development + practice, or Professional development + testing

What are the pharmacology hours required for recertification?

CPNP-PC: 15 hours per 7 years

PPCNP-BC: 25 hours per 5 years

Are free contact hours available?

CPNP-PC: Yes, for anyone

PPCNP-BC: Yes, for ANA members

Faces of Certification

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

Dorothy Chinnock, CPNP-PC Northern Valley Indian Health Chico, CA
Raulin Feria, CPN Huntington Memorial Hospital Pasadena, CA
Latasha Ivey, CPN Sibley Heart Center Cardiology Atlanta, GA
View more Faces of Certification