CPN Exam Administration

What to expect

Understand policies so you don't forfeit fees or miss out on a use of your No Pass, No Pay code

CPN Exam Administration

Don't forfeit your fees or miss out on a use of your No Pass, No Pay code! It's your responsibility to understand all exam policies, procedures, and requirements. Read your PNCB Exam Candidate Handbook now.

The exam is delivered by computer at 300+ Prometric Testing Centers throughout the US by appointment only. See how to schedule.

Exam Integrity

PNCB and Prometric are responsible for the validity and integrity of the scores they report. On rare occasion, occurrences such as computer malfunction or candidate misconduct may cause a score to be suspect. PNCB and Prometric reserve the right to void or withhold examination results if, upon investigation, violation of their regulations is discovered.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the exam?

The CPN exam contains 175 multiple-choice items. Total testing time is 3 hours.

Do I need special computer knowledge?

No. You will get a tutorial on how to select answers and move between questions. The tutorial doesn't reduce testing time.

What is test center check-in like?

You will go through a secure check-in procedure. Arrive 30 minutes early with proper IDs. At this time, PNCB doesn't require biometric check-in.

What is the exam like?

Questions are multiple-choice with one correct answer. You will see all questions unless the time allotted for your exam ends. Computer-adaptive testing (e.g., NCLEX) is not used.

Does PNCB offer practice tests for my exam?

Yes!  Our practice tests can help you get familiar with question presentation and offer in-depth rationale for right answers plus a score report.

Can special accommodations be requested?

PNCB works with Prometric to arrange accommodations for disability-related needs covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Note this on your online application and promptly use the form below. Computer anxiety, test anxiety, or English as a second language are not applicable.

What if I have test anxiety?

PNCB's Test-taking Strategies resource is a free PowerPoint developed to help you learn exam preparation tips, strategies for answering multiple-choice exam questions, and techniques to manage test anxiety. Not a study or a review course.

When do I learn if I passed or failed?

You will receive official notification emailed from PNCB within 2-3 weeks in most cases.


An appeals process is available to those who wish to contest an adverse decision or proposed action affecting their application for certification, exam results, or recertification. The Executive Committee of PNCB's Board of Directors hears all candidate appeals, and their proposed remedies and decisions are final.

All PNCB policies and requirements are subject to change without notice.

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