How Tough is Passing the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam?

If you’re a pediatric nurse practitioner student, chance are you’re already thinking about the certification exam you’ll take when you graduate. Once you’ve secured your diploma, taking the ‘boards’ is the next step on the road to eligibility for practice. 

Pediatric nurse practitioners have two options when it comes to certification. Both the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) offer the exam. While the exams offered by these organizations are pretty similar overall, questions do differ. So, certifying with one organization over the other can mean that you’re more or less likely to pass your boards. Will the ANCC or the PNCB test give you the best odds?

The following table shows certification pass rate data published by the ANCC and PNCB (2015-2016). 


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Based on these certification statistics, it seems that pediatric primary care nurse practitioners would do well to take the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) exam. With a success rate of 92 percent, test-takers perform significantly better on the PNCB test than the ANCC’s version, with a passing rate of just 79 percent. 

We should note that only 92 PNP graduates took the ANCC exam in 2015, compared with the 1,030 going the PNCB route. Some of this disparity between test results may be attributed to sample size. Regardless, it looks like pediatric nurse practitioners would be best served by sticking with the organization focused on their specialty. 

What organization will you choose for your pediatric NP certification exam?


You Might Also Like: Top ICD-10 Diagnoses of Nurse Practitioners Taking the Certification Exam 


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