Sample Questions

The Certified Pediatric Nurse Exam is composed of multiple-choice questions. Samples of these question types follow. Please remember that these are only sample question types you may encounter and do not reflect the scope or degree of difficulty of the exam. The answer key follows the question samples.

We also offer online CPN Practice Tests to help you assess your strengths and weaknesses prior to taking your exam. Each CPN Practice Test offers 50 questions, in-depth explanations of all right and wrong answers, and a score report. Visit our Practice Tests page for full details.

Select the ONE answer that is BEST in each case. Note the use of the words LEAST and EXCEPT in some items.

1. Petit mal (absence) seizures are characterized by:

(A) infrequent occurrence

(B) frequent association with vocalizations

(C) aura preceding the incident

(D) induction by hyperventilation


2. The most appropriate precaution that the staff of a hospital unit can take to minimized the communicability of diarrhea is to:

(A) limit the interaction of infants and toddlers with older children

(B) keep the diaper disposal out of the reach of the children

(C) clean and disinfect toys frequently

(D) wash their hands properly after each diaper change


3. The parents of a 20-month-old toddler ask your advice concerning their son's "stubborn streak". He says "no" to their requests and seems to do the opposite of everything they ask. Your counseling should be based on the knowledge that children of this age are in the developmental stage of:

(A) oral gratification

(B) autonomy versus shame and doubt

(C) preconceptual thinking

(D) industry versus inferiority


4. Which of the following is most consistent with non-organic recurring abdominal pain in children?

(A) Symptoms are aggravated during times of tension or stress

(B) The pain does not completely resolve during intervals between episodes

(C) An intra-abdominal abnormality is demonstrable in most cases

(D) Pain is localized


5. Of the following social characteristics, the LEAST likely to characterize a 2-year-old toddler is the:

(A) need for rituals and stability of routine

(B) use of "no" as an assertion of independence

(C) resistance to restrictions of their freedom

(D) interest in conforming to parental expectations


Answers: 1-D, 2-D, 3-B, 4-A, 5-D

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