PNCB Continuing Competence Updates

PNCB Continuing Competence Update: February 2020

Our Continuing Competence Initiative continues to move forward as we explore core pediatric nursing competencies, when PNCB certificants attain them and how they progress over time. 

In the past 7 years, we've reached conceptual and logistical milestones to build a framework for next steps. See 2013 background and FAQs.

The project has resulted in great strides to understand how practitioners and stakeholders think about continuing competence, including what is important to each stakeholder, and how those priorities align with PNCB’s mission.

  • Focus groups have been involved from 2013 to this point, and a presentation was given at a national conference in 2016.
  • During 2017 and 2018, a respected third party interviewed selected stakeholders. Phase 1 interviews tested our focus group work, asking interviewees about their career experiences, concerns, insights, work environment and the role certification plays in their professional life. Phase 2 interviews explored the value of having pediatric nurses and nurse practitioners as part of a healthcare team. Interviewees were asked about experiences working with pediatric nurses and nurse practitioners, the value of certification, and the competencies needed now and in the future. 
  • In July 2019, all PNCB certified nursing professionals were asked to give input in a major survey about possible recertification activities. They were also asked to review our pediatric nurse mindset concept and see how well it resonated. More than 16,000 certified RNs and PNPs responded!  
  • Also beginning in February 2020, we asked a sampling of Certified Pediatric Nurses to validate our Continuing Competency Framework. The goal is to collect nationwide data to describe the evolution of pediatric nurse professional competence across six key roles and how increased proficiency may evolve over time during their careers. PNCB will use findings to evaluate current CPN recertification activities. 

If you haven't read background details, including why we are doing this, objectives, and FAQs, please keep reading.


Concept Defined for CPNs and CPNPs

In our exploration of what makes PNCB’s certifications unique, we hit upon a central theme: CPNs and CPNPs all approach practice not as a collection of clinical skills, but also with an attitude. We identified a “Pediatric Nurse Mindset” that represents not just a set of competencies, but a way of approaching care for children that sets certificants apart. As we all know, children aren't little adults. We used the Mindset concept as a focal point for our exploration of the ways certificants currently demonstrate competence. We presented more about the national landscape of continuing competence efforts at National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) in Atlanta in March 2016 and received positive feedback from attendees. See the Prezi below for information presented at NAPNAP.

 These are a few of the discovery questions to be asked:

  • How does specialization and advancement in a pediatric nurse’s career impact continuing competence?
  • What is the public's awareness of or expectation for renewal activities of pediatric nursing professionals?
  • What activities are appropriate and reasonable for the nurse / nurse practitioner?

Note that any changes to requirements will be introduced through a process that respects the commitments nurses have already made.


Study Initiated – All certificants were invited

In July 2019, we launched a study via an online survey so PNCB-certified nurses and nurse practitioners can respond to our mindset concept and see how well it resonates. We also asked you to give input on possible recertification activities. More than 27% of all PNCB-certified nursing professionals responded! 

In the study, nurses were asked to help us test several hypotheses:

  • Non-cognitive methods (e.g., practical skills demonstrations) of demonstrating competence may be preferable to a purely cognitive methods (e.g., continuing education or multiple-choice tests).
  • Competence for the newly certified is different from competence for someone who has been certified multiple years.
  • Specialization in some competencies at the expense of others is acceptable within forthcoming PNCB guidelines.
  • Clinical practice is a strong indicator of competence but is neither solely sufficient nor necessary to maintain competence.
  • A well-designed recertification program will accommodate many forms of demonstration of competence, when the demonstration method aligns with the competency.

In addition, PNCB launched an employer survey in February 2020 to learn about activities used to evaluate continuing competence in the workplace. Findings will help ensure that PNCB recertification activities stay relevant for employers.

Also beginning in February 2020, we asked a sampling of Certified Pediatric Nurses to validate our Continuing Competency Framework. The goal was to collect nationwide data to describe the evolution of pediatric nurses’ professional competence and how increased proficiency may be achieved during their careers. PNCB will use findings to evaluate current CPN recertification activities. We invite you to read the executive summary: The Development & Validation of a Competency Framework for Pediatric Nurses

Please look for survey highlights in the coming months

Your input in the Stakeholder Survey was truly appreciated.

The findings will be shared in a future Continuing Competence Summit. Stay tuned for more announcements!


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