PNCB Continuing Competence Updates

PNCB Continuing Competence Update: July 2019

Our Continuing Competence Task Force continues to move forward in exploring how to maintain standards of care, especially as PNCB certificants progress in their careers. In the past 6 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, as well as a presentation at a national conference in 2016.
  • In fall 2017, a respected third party will interview selected stakeholders. The goal of these interviews is to test our focus group work. Interviewees will be asked about their career experiences, concerns, insights, work environment, and the role certification plays in their professional life.    

In July 2019, all PNCB certified nurses are being asked to give input in a major survey.  

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 – You'll be invited

In July 2019, we'll launch a study via an online survey so PNCB-certified nurses, nurse practitioners and other stakeholders (e.g., members of the public) can respond to our mindset concept and see how well it resonates. We will also ask you to give input on possible recertification activities.

In the study, nurses will be 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.


Please look for your survey in July 2019

Your input in the Stakeholder Survey is crucial. To date, most of our research has been done with small groups, and now it is time to hear from all certificants. 

The findings will be shared in a future Continuing Competence Summit. Stay tuned for more announcements, and be prepared to help!


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