The Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN)

Role, competencies, settings & ethics

Learn about the role of CPNs like these nurses at Children's Hospital Los Angeles


Based on the executive order issued 3/23/2020 by the Governor of Maryland, PNCB’s physical office is closed. Staff are working remotely to continue to serve candidates, certificants, and employers. Please use email addresses listed here to contact us, and thank you for understanding that there may be some delay in our response. All online systems including certificant portals and the CE / Pediatric Updates marketplace are still available 24/7. Please check back frequently for updates here.

The Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN)

The CPN exam validates knowledge and expertise of pediatric nurses beyond basic RN licensure. Eligible RNs may have a diploma, associate's degree, BSN, MSN, or higher nursing degree and must meet one of two pediatric nursing experience eligibility pathways.

CPN is a recognized certification for Magnet designation/redesignation.

More than 25,000 nurses actively hold CPN certification. See the CPN Fact Sheet.


CPN Role

CPNs practice in a variety of roles such as direct caregiver, charge nurse, educator, consultant, advocate, care coordinator, and administrator. Depending on their specific role, CPNs may:

  • assess, analyze, plan and implement nursing interventions.
  • evaluate patient outcomes.
  • facilitate initial or on-going education for pediatric nurses.
  • conduct research about patient outcomes or professional issues.
  • provide management or leadership for pediatric nurses.


CPN Competencies

Pediatric nursing includes health promotion, acute and chronic illness management and health restoration of infants, children, adolescents and their families.

To become certified as a CPN, nurses must demonstrate mastery of content tested in the areas below. For more details see the exam content outline.

  • Physical and Psychosocial/Family Assessment
  • Health Promotion
  • Management of Illness/Clinical Problems
  • Professional Role


CPN Practice Settings

CPNs provide evidence-based and family-centered care in a variety of settings.

Examples include but are not limited to children's hospitals, community hospitals, schools, home health care, military facilities, specialty clinics, special needs day care for children, public health agencies, and primary care practices. CPNs are also college or university faculty, or administrators in children's or community hospitals.


PNCB Certificant Code of Ethics

To support excellence in nursing practice, the PNCB assumes that every nurse certified by this organization will uphold and adhere to the Certificant Code of Ethics.

Faces of Certification

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

Clayton Collins, CPN Shriners Hospitals for Children - Galveston Galveston, TX
Leticia Cole, CPNP-PC, CPN Sniffles & Giggles Waxahachie, TX
Renee Flippo, CPNP-PC Louise Herrington School of Nursing | Baylor University Dallas, TX
View more Faces of Certification