PNP Certification

PNP Certification Exams

After completion of an advanced practice degree in pediatric nursing graduates of accredited programs are qualified to take a certification exam to attest to minimum competency to practice.  There are three exams offered by two organizations, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB).  Examinations can be taken to certify a PNP as a Primary Care provider and/or as an Acute Care provider depending upon the NP’s educational background.  The ANCC and PNCB both offer Primary Care PNP certification examinations (PNCB, 2011a). The PNCB is the only certifying body for Acute Care PNPs.

There are resources available for examination preparation.  Information on these resources can be found on the certifying body’s websites (ANCC, 2011; PNCB, 2011b).  Additionally, examination review courses are often offered in conjunction with NAPNAP’s annual conference.  Outside sources also intermittently offer examination review courses.

After successful completion of a certification exam, a graduate NP may apply for state licensure and prescriptive authority.  Current PNP certification must be maintained in order to be a licensed provider.  Recertification is an ongoing process that occurs according to the requirements of the individual certifying organizations (Hittle, 2010).  Go to to read NAPNAP’s Position Statement on Certification.



Hittle, K. (2010). Understanding certification, licensure and credentialing: A guide for the new nurse practitioner. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 24(3), 204-206.