CPNP-PC Exam Resources

Check your readiness and prepare

CPNP-PC Exam Resources

The Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Primary Care (CPNP-PC) exam is 3 hours and asks 175 multiple-choice questions based on categories in the content outline, an essential study reference. Create a personal study plan and prepare using the resources below.

The content outline/test blueprint is your #1 tool to start your study. It describes all subject areas covered by the exam and questions per category.

PNCB certification exams are comprehensive tests, so be sure to study all areas of the content outline.

Tip! This exam tests your ability to apply knowledge and use critical thinking skills to determine one best answer among answer choices.

The current content outline is based on our 2017-18 Job Task Analysis (JTA) research. This routine, required research ensures that exam content accurately represents current pediatric primary care nurse practitioner practice in the U.S. Content for the updated exam has not changed considerably, and you do not need to study differently. After the JTA, a passing point determination follows construction of new exam forms and establishes minimum passing scores using standard psychometric methods, such as Item Response Theory and Modified-Angoff scoring. See full details about the latest 2017-18 study in our executive summary of highlights and 2017-18 CPNP-PC Exam PowerPoint.

We recommend you use ONE pediatric textbook that you are familiar with to review for the exam. This text should also focus on the subject areas covered by the exam content outline.

Our primary care exam item writers and committee members have found the most current edition of the following references useful for their review. Additions or deletions to this list are a result of exam committee member input and anonymous faculty surveys.

You do not need to study all the references listed below. PNCB does not endorse nor have any proprietary relationship with any of the following textbooks or their publishing companies.


  • American Academy of Pediatrics - 2018-2021 Red Book
  • Kliegman, Stanton, St. Geme, Schor & Behrman - Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics
  • Burns, Dunn, Brady, Starr & Blosser - Pediatric Primary Care
  • Burns, Richardson & Brady - Pediatric Primary Care Case Studies
  • Carey, Crocker, Coleman, Ellis & Feldman - Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics
  • Dixon & Stein - Encounters with Children: Pediatric Behavior and Development
  • Duderstadt K - Pediatric Physical Examination
  • Green (Ed.) - National Center for Education Bright Futures - Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children in Maternal & Child Health and Adolescents
  • Hay, Levin, Deterding & Sondheimer - Current Pediatric Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital: Harriet Lane Handbook
  • Neinstein, Gordon, Katzman, Callahan, Joffe & Rickert - Adolescent and Young Adult Health Care: A Practical Guide
  • Paller, Mancini - Hurwitz Clinical Pediatric Dermatology: A Textbook of Skin Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence 
  • Richardson - Pediatric Primary Care: Practice Guidelines for Nurses
  • Taketomo, Hodding, & Kraus - Pediatric Dosage Handbook
  • Weston, Lane & Morelli - Color Textbook of Pediatric Dermatology
  • Zitelli & Davis - Atlas of Pediatric Physical Diagnosis


  • Buppert - Nurse Practitioner’s Business Practice and Legal Guide
  • Hamric, Hanson, Tracy, & O'Grady - Advanced Practice Nursing: An Integrative Approach


  • AAP, ACOG, MMWR, CDC, Safekids - Injury Prevention

CPNP-PC Practice Tests offer in-depth rationale for right answers to enhance critical thinking. Score reports can help you focus studies.

The cost is $50 per module. You receive unlimited attempts of 75 questions for 150 days.

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.

What review course should I take? Which books are the best? Do you offer a review course?

The PNCB can't conduct a review course because this would be a conflict of interest. We also can't endorse a specific review course or book, but we do recommend you consider the following when selecting a course or title:

  1. How are the instructors or authors prepared? Do they have rigorous academic credentials? Do they hold the credential you seek? What about their practice experience?
  2. Are the topics covered consistent with the exam's content outline?
  3. Do the books offer practice questions after each chapter?
  4. Does the course offer testimonials? If so, evaluate the comments offered by your peers.
  5. Does the review course ask for feedback? Do they post survey results on their website?
  6. Talk to others who have taken a specific review course. Were they satisfied?

You may also want to check your membership organization website for books that are recommended. We hope this gives you an idea of things to look for as you make your decisions.

Sample Questions for the CPNP-PC Exam

Please note that these are only sample question types you may encounter and do not reflect the scope or degree of difficulty of the exam. The answer key is located at the bottom of the page. For more questions with correct answer rationale, consider PNCB's practice tests for your exam.

Select the one answer that is best in each case.

Sample Questions

1. The MOST likely cause of bilateral purulent conjunctivitis in a 1 day old is:

(A) adenovirus infection

(B) chlamydia infection

(C) gonorrheal ophthalmia

(D) syphilitic ophthalmia

2. In a family with a chronically ill child, which of the following circumstances is MOST suggestive of excessive stress?

(A) mother provides the majority of the care for the child.

(B) parents stop participating in a support group.

(C) father takes a second job to meet financial responsibilities.

(D) sibling exhibits decline in school performance.

3. The MOST appropriate treatment for documented Lyme disease in a 5 year old, who weighs 56 lb (25.5 kg) is

(A) erythromycin 250 mg given orally BID for 14 - 21 days.

(B) doxycycline 100 mg given orally TID for 14 - 21 days.

(C) amoxicillin, 425 mg given orally TID for 14 - 21 days.

(D) ceftriaxone 2500 mg given IM once.

4. Significant findings on physical assessment of a 14 year old female who complains of constipation and fatigue include:

PC Sample Item

Which of the following tests should be obtained?

(A) chromosome analysis and serum thyroxine

(B) serum thyroxine and thyroid-stimulating hormone

(C) serum luteinizing hormone and chromosome analysis

(D) serum luteinizing hormone and thyroid-stimulating hormone

5. Which of the following children require a language referral for further evaluation?

(A) 1 year old with a 5-word vocabulary

(B) 2 year old who speaks in one-word sentences

(C) 2 year old with a 30-word vocabulary

(D) 3 year old who is understandable to parents



Faces of Certification

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

Joaquin Adame, CPNP-PC Children's Health Specialty Center Dallas, TX
Heraldine Flores, CPN Baker College Chicago, IL
Joanne Wintersgill, PMHS Cumming Pediatric Group Cumming, GA
View more Faces of Certification