No Pass, No Pay FAQs

Answers to common questions about PNCB's no-risk testing program
Now No Minimums!
PNCB no longer requires a minimum number of nurses testing per year for No Pass, No Pay participation.

No Pass, No Pay FAQs

Explore the categories and answers below for more details about No Pass, No Pay (NPNP). Contact us at npnp@pncb.org or 888-641-2767 ext. 332 for further assistance so we can help.

Completing the agreement and renewals 

Our legal department is requesting edits to the agreement. How should we handle this? 

Request the Word version of the agreement from npnp@pncb.org, then ask those who are requesting edits to turn on Track Changes so we can easily see each requested edit. Our leadership and legal staff will review your edits and be in touch. 

What date should we put on the contract?

We recommend you date your 12-month agreement period for a day which occurs immediately before submitting your agreement to the PNCB. This gives your nurses the fullest timeframe to enroll for the exam. 

We are a large hospital with several satellite locations. How do we extend No Pass, No Pay to their staff? 

There are several options for you to manage this. You can name the hospital system in the agreement. You can send an addendum to include them in your existing agreement. You could have each hospital sign their own agreement. The advantages of the last option are that annual reports would be location-specific, and code dissemination and enrollment approval lists may be more easily managed. Feel free to call 888-641-2767 ext. 332 to discuss this in detail. 

Who signs the agreement on behalf of my facility? 

The agreement can be signed by anyone at your facility who is authorized to do so. This may be your CEO, your CNO, a member of your contracts or legal department, a department/unit manager, or clinical educator. PNCB does not require the signature of a particular person or party, and will accept a signature from any party who is authorized to make a contract on behalf of your facility. 

How do I return the agreement? 

PNCB does not require a hard copy of the signed agreement. You may return your contract via scanned PDF (preferred) to npnp@pncb.org or by fax to 301-330-1504. Should your legal or contracts department require a signed hard copy of the agreement, PNCB will gladly accept one. However, we suggest you also send a copy via PDF or fax to expedite the enrollment process. PNCB will also supply a final countersigned agreement upon request. 

We've returned a completed the agreement. What happens next? 

For full details on what to expect next, and for the next 12 months, see our Next Steps page. 

We've been notified of renewal. What date should we use as the renewal date? 

We suggest you use your actual renewal date so your current 12-month period runs its full course and you don't lose any time.

Personnel managing your program

Who should we designate as the No Pass, No Pay contact person at our hospital? 

That's entirely up to you and your leadership, but usually this person has close contact with nurses seeking professional development. Examples of hospital-based No Pass, No Pay contacts include — but are not limited to — clinical educators, the chair of your clinical ladder board, staff development leaders, Magnet Program Directors, and unit managers. This individual has oversight for the program at the hospital level. Oversight includes managing the code for disseminating to eligible nurses and monitoring weekly interim reports of nurses who apply using the code. At some hospitals, contacts also serve as key resources for information about the exam process. 

If you find this contact needs to be changed during the agreement, simply submit your request via the online form or via email to npnp@pncb.org for us to update. 

Can we designate more than one No Pass, No Pay contact person? 

Yes. This is very helpful at large hospitals, or if someone expects to take leave for extended periods. 

Can we change our contacts?

Yes. Submit your request via the online form or via email to npnp@pncb.org

Who should we designate as the financial contact from our hospital? 

This person is usually someone in accounts payable who can process the monthly invoice promptly within the 30-day due date. Sometimes the No Pass, No Pay contact person also serves in this role and is efficient in sharing the emailed invoice with accounts payable for timely processing. 

I've misplaced our code. Who do I contact? 

Email npnp@pncb.org or call 888-641-2767 ext. 332 so we can promptly re-send your special code and link information. If you believe the security of your code has been compromised, that can also be managed at this time. 

We are about to renew our agreement. Does our unique charge code change? 

No. Your hospital's special charge code will remain the same as long as you are participants in the No Pass, No Pay program. Even if your hospital takes a hiatus from the program, your code will be the same upon your return. Charge codes will only change at the specific request of the hospital, or if it is believed that the security of the code has been compromised.

Financial & Invoicing

Are there any fees for our hospital to sign up or renew? 

No. The only fees a No Pass, No Pay hospital will pay is each passing exam fee by nurses using your special charge code. 

How will invoices be shared? 

We send the invoice via email to the person you have designated as your Responsible Financial Contact on your agreement. PNCB will send all invoices electronically unless otherwise notified. For other invoicing arrangements contact PNCB's accounting department at aburns@pncb.org

Can the PNCB share the code with our nurses? 

No. Since you know your local situation — who is eligible, how much funds are available to pay for passing exam fees, etc. — your No Pass, No Pay designated contact(s) would be solely responsible for sharing the code. In fact, if any nurses call or email PNCB saying they have lost the code, we will provide contact information for the employer code designees and not release the code to the nurse. 

All unsuccessful CPN candidates will have the opportunity to re-test one time at no additional cost. Does this mean that if they fail a third time, the hospital will be billed for the exam fee? 

No, the hospital is not billed. These nurses would be restricted in our database from using the No Pass, No Pay code again during your current 12-month period (in which they have already failed twice). The nurses will have to apply through the regular application process, pay on their own, and seek any reimbursement benefit the employer offers, or wait for the next 12-month period when the code is renewed. 

However, if a nurse fails twice during your 12-month agreement period, and then you renew, they can now have two additional opportunities to test again during that new 12 month-period under the No Pass, No Pay benefit. They would just need to wait to apply until a new 12-month period begins for your site. 

Our hospital requires that PNCB complete a W-9 and/or Vendor Form. Will you be able to complete this? 

Yes. Please send these forms to aburns@pncb.org for prompt completion. 

We did not renew, and we received an invoice for an exam passed after our 12-month agreement had concluded. Are we obligated to pay? 

Nurses enrolling through No Pass, No Pay during your 12-month agreement period are still entitled to a 90-day testing window. Unless you notified us within 2 business days during your regular review of nurse candidates on your Interim Activity Report that you would not pay for these candidates, you will need to pay for these exam fees. 

What if I receive an invoice and disagree about a charge for a particular nurse who passed the CPN exam? 

The interim activity report is your guide to nurses who have applied for the exam using your site's code. It is critical that the designated No Pass, No Pay contact review this list upon receipt. If you find a discrepancy, you must immediately notify PNCB at exam@pncb.org or npnp@pncb.org after reviewing the interim activity report, and within two business days of interim report receipt. Once a nurse has taken and passed the CPN exam, the employer is responsible for payment. 

Example 1: A nurse used the code and passed the exam while employed at your site. After passing the exam, the nurse left the employment of your site. An invoice is sent to the employer listing this nurse and charging the employer for this invoice. The employer is responsible for payment of this nurse's passing exam fee. 

Example 2: A nurse used the code and appears on your interim report, but this individual has submitted formal intent to resign. Since you promptly checked the report per policy, you will now immediately contact PNCB. Our staff will notify the nurse that he or she is welcome to proceed with testing, but ask for personal payment. The nurse will be removed from your interim report, and the employer will not be billed should he or she pass the exam. 

Can the No Pass, No Pay invoice be paid by credit card? 

PNCB is able to accept credit cards for No Pass, No Pay invoices. Please contact aburns@pncb.org to pay by credit card. 

Can the No Pass, No Pay invoice be paid by ACH (electronically)? 

PNCB is able to accept ACH for payment of No Pass, No Pay invoices. Please contact aburns@pncb.org to pay by ACH. Your hospital/employer most likely needs a form to be completed.

Nurses Testing

What's the best way to share information about this benefit with our staff? 

There are many ways! Announce the benefit at special events like Certified Nurses Day or National Nurses Week. Email eligible nurses about this new benefit and include details about any additional benefits you offer once they earn certification. Mention it during review courses or hand out our free materials at skills fairs. Ask your most enthusiastic CPNs to serve as certification coaches, or encourage them to apply for our CPN Champion program. And you can hand out or mail our free No Pass, No Pay postcards. Contact info@pncb.org any time for free materials or to brainstorm ideas. You can also use our online materials request form

How do nurses apply, and when do they test? 

Nurses will apply online with the special code and link you will be given. A guide to applying will be sent to you for sharing with staff. Nurses will not schedule an actual test date/time or location during this part of the process. 

Once the nurse's application is processed, the 90-day testing window will begin immediately. Therefore nurses should not apply until they are ready to begin their 90-day testing window. Nurses may want to test at a specific time especially if any review course opportunities are offered at your employer. In this scenario, nurses need to factor in how quickly that 90-day window will begin once they apply. The nurse will be notified via eligibility email notification with action steps. This information includes their 90-day testing window and how to schedule a test day, time, and location with Prometric Testing Centers. 

Preliminary pass/fail status is provided at the Prometric test site immediately after testing. Official results (with wall certificate if passing) are mailed within 2-3 weeks. 

Do you have any tips for nurses wishing to apply? 

Their 90-day Testing Window Starts After Application: A nurse should not apply until they are ready to begin their 90-day testing window. Nurses may want to test at a specific time and will need to factor in how quickly that 90-day window will begin once they apply. Nurses using No Pass, No Pay cannot extend their 90-day window. 

Schedule with Prometric Promptly: Encourage nurses to set their appointment soon after receiving their 90-day window information, even if they want to test later in this timeframe. Prometric administers many different exams for many organizations; waiting to schedule can lessen an RN's opportunity to get their preferred date and time. 

Rescheduling or Cancellation: Prometric will charge RNs a fee if they want to reschedule 15 days or less before a previously scheduled test date. If it's 16 or more days, there is no charge. (See Page 3 of the PNCB Exam Candidate Testing Handbook). This is a Prometric policy, and PNCB is not involved in this transaction. Cancellation policies are here as well. 

Identification: The first and last name on the required forms of ID must match the names on their PNCB exam application. Marriage-related name changes must be reflected on IDs and this requirement is strictly enforced by Prometric. Candidates without the appropriate type of IDs and IDs not matching the name on the PNCB application will not be allowed to test. 

Recertification is required to maintain certified status: CPN recertification is annual to keep costs manageable for your staff. All certification boards require a renewal process. 

Can our nurses using the No Pass, No Pay charge code apply for an extension of their 90-day testing window? 

No Pass, No Pay candidates are unable to request extensions because doing so may move a testing window beyond their employer's agreement period. 

Interim Activity Reports

What are Interim Activity Reports?

Your hospital's weekly Interim Activity Report is a list of candidates who have applied for the Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) exam using your hospital's charge code. Nurses on this list either have applied but not yet tested or are still within their personalized 90-day window to schedule their exam. Each report shows names of applicants, their order ID number, application date, and the date when their personalized 90-exam window to test will end. Once nurses test, they will not appear on the report, unless they initiate a new application.

Do we have a chance to review names of those wishing to test? 

Yes, and your site's No Pass, No Pay contact is required to review these weekly lists called Interim Activity Reports. This is a regular roster of candidates who used the code to apply. This is sent every week. Please review this report carefully for any discrepancies. If you would like a copy of the report sent to another staff member, in addition to the designated No Pass, No Pay contact, please email npnp@pncb.org with your request. 

What if we need to remove someone from the list? 

If you feel you have an unauthorized user on the list, we recommend that you first check with either the nurse or Human Resources to be sure there has not been a marriage-related name change. If the name truly needs removal, email exam@pncb.org so we can delete the nurse from the list, contact them about the employer's decision, and offer non-No Pass, No Pay payment options. You must inform the PNCB within two business days of any discrepancies on your Interim Activity Report. 

What if I receive an invoice and dispute a charge for a nurse who passed the CPN Exam? 

The interim activity report is your guide to nurses who have applied for the exam using your hospital's code. It is critical that the designated No Pass, No Pay contact review this list upon receipt. If you find a discrepancy, you must immediately notify PNCB at exam@pncb.org or npnp@pncb.org after reviewing the interim activity report, and within two business days of interim report receipt. Once a nurse has taken and passed the CPN Exam, the hospital is responsible for payment. 

Example 1: A nurse used the code and passed the exam while employed by your hospital. After passing the exam, the nurse left the employment of your hospital. An invoice is sent to the hospital listing this nurse and charging the hospital for this invoice. The hospital is responsible for payment of this nurse's passing exam fee. 

Example 2: A nurse used the code and appears on your interim report, but this individual has submitted formal intent to resign. Since you promptly checked the report per policy, you will now immediately contact PNCB. Our staff will notify the nurse that he or she is welcome to proceed with testing, but ask for personal payment. The nurse will be removed from your interim report, and the hospital will not be billed should he or she pass the exam. 

What if a nurse has used the No Pass, No Pay code and has left employment? 

Notify exam@pncb.org or npnp@pncb.org immediately. PNCB is able to stop a nurse from testing at a Prometric testing site, if the nurse is no longer eligible to take the CPN exam through your hospital. PNCB will offer the nurse the opportunity to personally pay for the exam if he or she wants to proceed. The interim activity report lists the names of nurses who have used your hospital code and have not tested. 

A nurse paid on her own when she applied. Can she be switched to No Pass, No Pay? 

No. When she paid on her own, our database immediately began moving her forward in the testing process. To re-assign payment would require time-intensive adjustments for both PNCB and Prometric Testing Centers. There are two ways for her to manage this. She could withdraw from the exam and cancel any scheduled testing time with Prometric, then re-apply using the No Pass, No Pay charge code. Or she could proceed with testing and seek whatever regular reimbursement benefit your hospital may provide. However, all nurses who sit for the CPN exam during a hospital's 12-month agreement period will count toward the 10-nurse requirement, regardless of whether or not the code was applied. If you find that nurses are paying on their own and not using the benefit, we encourage you to talk with them about how communication about this benefit could be strengthened. 

Several nurses became certified this year before we signed our agreement. Can they be included in the No Pass, No Pay program to meet the 10 minimum so we can participate? 

No. Our programming will not be able to retroactively count them toward the 10-nurse requirement per 12 months. 

A nurse used her charge code and did not pass. Our agreement has since lapsed, but since she only used her charge code once, can she use it again? 

No. While a nurse is entitled to use the charge code two times, it must be used during a 12-month agreement period. The nurse will not, of course, have to pay for the first exam, but any subsequent exam will have to adhere to usual payment terms and procedures, unless a new agreement is established. 

What happens if a nurse uses the code then cancels her exam? 

First, if she has already made an appointment to test with Prometric, she must cancel it with them, as well as notify exam@pncb.org. Prometric bills the PNCB for "no-show" candidates, so please inform those wishing to cancel that they need to inform Prometric promptly. Secondly, the use of the code counts as one of her two usages per 12-month agreement period, even if the nurse does not ultimately sit for the exam. 

As a small community hospital, most of our eligible nurses have already tested and passed through our initial agreement. If we don't renew this year, can we renew in the future when we have 10 more eligible nurses? 

Absolutely. If in the future you are able to participate, please request a current agreement so we can welcome you back!

Why do I need to review the Interim Activity Report?

This is your chance to alert PNCB to any discrepancies. You have two business days to report an issue to PNCB. If a candidate appears on an Interim Activity Report and is allowed to go through to testing because PNCB was not alerted, the hospital is responsible for the exam fee, regardless of the candidate's employment status with the hospital or any hospital-specific eligibility criteria.

I see a name I don't recognize/didn't approve on my report. What should I do?

First, contact PNCB within two business days to let us know there is an issue. If you do not recognize a name, contact your hospital's Human Resources Department to ask about a marriage-related name change; this happens frequently. If a nurse truly needs to be removed, email exam@pncb.org so we can delete the name from the list, contact the nurse about the hospital's decision, and offer another payment option. 

If you feel that the security of your hospital's charge code has been compromised for whatever reason, please alert PNCB as soon as possible to explore generating a new code.

Why does a nurse's name show on multiple Interim Activity Reports?

When candidates apply for the CPN exam, they receive a 90-day testing window during which they will schedule their exams and test. Candidates will appear on your Interim Activity Report until they test, they cancel, or their testing window expires, so you will likely see names repeatedly.

Why does a name no longer appear on my Interim Activity Report?

The nurse has either tested, cancelled, or did not test within the 90-day window. Names of successful candidates will appear on your hospital's next monthly invoice.

I didn't save past reports. Can you send me copies?

These reports are automatically generated by PNCB's database. Any recordkeeping must be done entirely at your hospital's discretion.

A name no longer appears on the Interim Activity Report, but I never saw it on an invoice. What happened?

This can mean several things: The candidate did not pass the exam, cancelled, or did not show to test. PNCB does not explicitly provide the names of unsuccessful candidates. However, when candidates apply for the exam, they agree that they understand pass/fail status can be inferred by a comparison between the Interim Activity Reports and a hospital's monthly invoice. After comparing these two documents, if there are still questions about a candidate's testing status, PNCB recommends you speak directly to the candidate in question.

I know one of my nurses took the exam this week. Why is her name still on the Interim Activity Report?

PNCB receives an update of who tested from our test center vendor Prometric every week (except during major holidays). If a nurse tested after the last update, her name testing/certification status will not change until the next update. If an Interim Activity Report is generated during the interval, her name will still appear. Names of the most recent successful candidates will appear on your hospital's next monthly invoice.

A candidate on my report does not have a date for the end of his eligibility. Is there something wrong with his application?

Usually not. Often this is because he submitted his application only very recently — probably within the last few days before the Interim Activity Report was generated — and our registrar has not yet assigned his eligibility date. Applicants are also subject to random audit. This process may impact timelines as well. Once an application is reviewed and accepted by the PNCB, the candidate is notified by eligibility email notification of his status and important testing dates. We encourage you to remind your nurses to watch for this important information.

When will I receive my Interim Activity Reports?

Interim Activity Reports are generated every week, usually on Friday. When a holiday or other scheduled event prevents regular delivery, PNCB's goal is to alert all No Pass, No Pay contacts in advance of the rescheduled delivery date if possible. Inclement weather or other emergencies will result in delivery on the next possible business day.

Why didn't I receive an Interim Activity Report this week?

Either no nurses at your hospital have applied or are waiting to test, or they are not using your hospital's charge code benefit when applying. Candidates who do not use the charge code will not appear on the report. Concerned about your enrollment or why nurses are paying out-of-pocket? Contact npnp@pncb.org or 888-641-2767 ext. 332 to discuss any challenges or barriers.

Can I get a copy of my Interim Activity Report from XX/YY/ZZ?

Unfortunately, no. The Interim Activity Reports are generated automatically and are not archived by our database system. When a report is created, it contains the most recent information about your hospital's charge code activity. Any recordkeeping must be done at the discretion of your hospital and its staff.

My healthcare system has several hospitals participating in the No Pass, No Pay program. Can I receive an Interim Activity Report for each separate hospital, rather than just one for the whole system?

The Interim Activity Report (in addition to all other No Pass, No Pay reporting) is charge-code-specific. If your healthcare system is using one charge code for all facilities, we will not be able to separate reporting. To explore designating a charge code for each hospital to receive separate reporting, contact npnp@pncb.org.

My hospital recently stopped participating in No Pass, No Pay, but we still have several nurses waiting to test who used our charge code to apply. Can I still receive an Interim Activity Report?

Once your charge code expires, this automatically generated report stops. Contact npnp@pncb.org so PNCB staff can manually compile this data in real-time. Please note that nurses who apply using the code prior to a contract's expiration will still be allowed to go through to testing, but the code will be disabled for use by any new applicants.

Can someone else at my hospital receive the Interim Activity Reports?

Absolutely! Email npnp@pncb.org at any time to add or remove staff managing this process. Please note that recipients of the report become an official No Pass, No Pay contact for your hospital, and they will automatically receive all program communications (with the possible exception of monthly invoices).

Miscellaneous

Our hospital has changed its name. Do we need to submit a new contract? 

No. Simply email npnp@pncb.org with the name change information, and we will update our database. Name changes are reflected in the No Pass, No Pay online application for nurses, so they will need to select the new name when applying. The former name will not show. If hospital email addresses will also be converted as a result of the name change, please advise your nurses to update their PNCB accounts as soon as possible. 

Can you send me a list of the currently certified staff at my hospital? 

Absolutely! For a list of currently certified staff, simply email info@pncb.org. Also let us know if you would like a list of current CPNs, CPNPs (PC/AC/DUL), and/or PMHSs. 

Can you send me a list of nurses who failed the CPN exam using our charge code? 

No. Due to confidentiality reasons, we cannot provide you with the names of staff who did not pass the CPN exam — whether or not they used the No Pass, No Pay charge code.

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
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