The Primary Care Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP-PC)

Role, competencies, settings & ethics

CPNPs at Annapolis Pediatrics from left to right: Nichole Tucker, Alicyn Bassler, Gwyn Reece, Kristen Medina,Erin Merli, Kendra Nagey, and Gina Friel

The Primary Care CPNP (CPNP-PC®)

The CPNP-PC exam is for the pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) who has graduated from a master's degree or DNP degree program or post-graduate certificate program for primary care pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs). This exam is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and meets the National Council of State Boards of Nursing's APRN criteria for certification programs.



The role of the primary care pediatric nurse practitioner is to provide care to children from birth through young adult with an in-depth knowledge and experience in pediatric primary health care including well child care and prevention/management of common pediatric acute illnesses and chronic conditions. This care is provided to support optimal health of children within the context of their family, community, and environmental setting.

The Primary Care CPNP role is designed to meet the specialized healthcare needs of individuals from birth through young adulthood, including physical, psychological, and social concerns of children in the areas of health maintenance and promotion, and assessment and management of disease processes.

The primary care PNP role is distinct and separate from the acute care PNP role. Read about the acute care CPNP role for comparison.

For documents about the primary care CPNP role, see resources at the CPNP-PC Corner.


CPNP-PC Competencies

The competencies of CPNP-PCs are built upon nurse practitioner core and pediatric population competencies and are demonstrated through clinical practice, teaching, consultation, advocacy, and professional leadership activities. Published by the American Association of Faculties of Nursing (AACN) in 2021, the updated Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education serve as a foundation. For an in-depth overview of pediatric competencies, see page 55 of Population-Focused Nurse Practitioner Competencies (PDF) published by NONPF (2013).

CPNP-PCs assess, screen, evaluate, and diagnose children from birth through young adult to provide the full spectrum of primary care health services. They prescribe a comprehensive therapeutic treatment plan including pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies, patient and family education, as well as referral to collaborative members of the health care team when indicated.


CPNP-PC Practice Setting

CPNP-PCs provide pediatric primary care in a variety of health care settings including, but not limited to, private practice, ambulatory and outpatient clinics, school-based clinics, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers.


Questions about DNP Impact?

Read PNCB’s statement on DNP Impact on Certification to learn more about this evolving topic.


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!

Tyneisha Orr, CPNP-PC Swope Health Central Pediatrics Kansas City, MO
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