CPN® Exam Administration

Exam Information: The CPN® computer-based exam contains 175 multiple-choice items. Of these, 150 questions are pre-selected as scored questions and 25 are non-scored pretest questions. Total testing time for the exam is 3 hours.

Computer-Based Testing

The CPN® Exam is delivered by computer at over 280 locations through Prometric Testing Centers located throughout the United States and the U.S. territories of Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The exam is also offered in Canada, Germany, Japan, Jordan, Korea and the United Arab Emirates. For information regarding the availability of international computerized Testing Centers please visit the Prometric website.

Locate a test site: Access the Prometric list of sites to find addresses and driving directions closest to you.

Notification of exam eligibility: After you apply, eligibility is determined. The PNCB will then notify you both by email and postcard to inform you of your assigned 90-day testing period so that you can schedule your exam. The PNCB notification will also share information about accessing preparation materials, such as your exam's content outline, candidate testing handbook and study resources. You may then make an appointment with Prometric to sit for the exam. If you are unable to test during your assigned 90-day testing window, click here to apply for an extension.

Scheduling Your Exam: Make your appointment as soon as possible to obtain your preferred testing time and place. Many organizations use Prometric for testing, and waiting to make your appointment may jeopardize scheduling needs. Exams are administered by appointment only from Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Candidates are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Using the computer to test: A tutorial is provided prior to the exam to explain how to select answers and move from question to question. This tutorial does not reduce your testing time. We work with Prometric to arrange specific accommodations for disability-related needs. The need for special accommodations must be indicated during exam application.

Receiving your exam results: You'll receive your exam score report before leaving the testing center. The personal exam report will inform the candidate of their exam status: pass or fail. Within three weeks, candidates receive official notification from the PNCB about their status as a CPN®. Passing candidates are mailed an official certificate with an assigned certification number, a certification identification wallet card, a CPN® lapel pin, and annual recertification information.

Unsuccessful candidates: You may repeat the CPN® Exam. There is no waiting period before applying for re-examination. PNCB's eligibility requirements must be met at time of application. On receipt of an application and re-examination fees, a new 90-day testing period will be assigned.

PNCB Review of Scores: The PNCB and Prometric are responsible for the validity and integrity of the scores they report. On occasion, occurrences such as computer malfunction or misconduct by a candidate may cause a score to be suspect. The PNCB and Prometric reserve the right to void or withhold examination results if, upon investigation, violation of its regulations is discovered.

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