The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) is the largest and most essential organization for the certification, continuing education, and competency development of nursing professionals who provide care for children, adolescents, and young adults.
Established in 1975, PNCB certifies more than 56,000 nursing professionals who actively hold at least one of our four credentials: Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN), Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP-AC), Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP-PC), and Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialist (PMHS).
We're passionate about the positive impact our services have on nurses, children, and families. And with an annual renewal rate of 96%, PNCB-certified nursing professionals are passionate about holding our credentials.
- Read our position statement: The Value of PNCB Pediatric Nursing Certifications
- Meet our Board of Directors
- Access PNCB's Bylaws
- Explore PNCB Governance
A driving force for quality in pediatric nursing globally.
A healthier world one child at a time.
Our core values demonstrate the ideals we strive to uphold in meeting our mission and vision. These values reflect PNCB's beliefs and the behaviors we promote to guide the actions of certificants, volunteers, and staff.
- Integrity: Acting with honesty and taking accountability for all we do and say.
- Quality: Promoting excellence throughout all our interactions.
- Innovation: Providing visionary leadership for the present and future.
- Advocacy: Supporting and promoting the pediatric nursing profession.
- Respect: Embracing collaboration and diversity.
Explore our 5-year strategic plan as we chart the course for our initiatives through 2027.
PNCB's Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN), Acute Care Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP-AC), Primary Care Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP-PC), and Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialist (PMHS) programs have met the rigorous national accreditation standards of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
PNCB is committed to cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. View our DEI roadmap.
We invite you to explore our history below.
- Curriculum development for the new Adolescent Care program continues, with an expected launch of two certificate programs in spring 2024.
- Two additional eligibility pathways were launched for the Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialist (PMHS) exam.
- The Institute of Pediatric Nursing (IPN) conducted a major workforce survey about what pediatric nurses feel are the biggest challenges for our specialty.
- Three new diversity-focused awards and scholarship programs were launched, including scholarships for RN and PNP students and a team-based award.
- PNCB continued to represent our industry at national forums and collaborate with organizations to realize our vision and support the pediatric nursing workforce.
- Expanded digital offerings became available in FY2023 to include a digital Continuing Education catalog, an online job board for both nurses and employers, and a new certificant gear storefront.
- Announced that Adolescent Care is the selected topic for our next competency program.
- Enhanced access to the Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialist (PMHS) exam through live remote proctoring, more testing windows, and two new eligibility pathways in the future.
- Published the first-ever demographic report of the PNCB-certified nursing workforce.
- Improved the learning portal user experience.
- Launched live and recorded webinars for the Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) and PMHS exams.
- Announced Institute of Pediatric Nursing (IPN) committee's selected priorities of establishing PNCB as the convener of organizations with a focus on pediatric healthcare, workforce data collection, and developing pediatric nursing leaders.
In addition to strategic planning, this year focused on the following to support the profession and ultimately health care consumers:
- Developed a new strategic plan for PNCB and completed strategic alignment planning with the Institute of Pediatric Nursing to guide their next priorities.
- Launched live remote proctoring for the Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) exam.
- Created a DEI roadmap and added demographic questions to exam and recertification applications to measure diversity in the pediatric nursing workforce.
- Initiated global outreach with 70+ international pediatric healthcare organizations.
- Redesigned website and expanded social media channels.
- Presented a Continuing Competence Summit to inform stakeholders about plans to strengthen evidence-based renewal processes and make Recert more meaningful for certificants, employers, and the public.
- Launched Ethics in Testing: A Personal Responsibility Toolkit to help students, exam candidates, influencers, and those already certified uphold and support exam integrity to protect pediatric nursing and ultimately patients.
- Promoted the Institute of Pediatric Nursing (IPN) through an awareness survey and dissemination of the new white paper Safeguarding the Future of Pediatric Care: Challenges and Opportunities for Educating and Expanding the Pediatric Nursing Workforce.
- Conducted focus groups and multiple stakeholder surveys to strengthen and grow the Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialist (PMHS) certification program.
More than 50,000 nursing professionals to date have sought and maintained a PNCB credential to advance their career—and many hold more than one! Learn about the four credentials we offer to RNs and APRNs who provide care to children and teens.
The Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) credential turned 30 this year! The number of active CPNs surpassed 30,000 in 2019 as well. If you provide nursing care to children and teens, learn about earning CPN certification.
Did you know PNCB offers accredited continuing education, with some modules at no cost? Nursing professionals demonstrated their commitment to lifelong learning in a huge way this year, ordering more than 40,000 pediatric-focused CE modules from the PNCB Marketplace. Certification is not required to grow your knowledge with PNCB modules.
To promote student interest in the pediatric specialty, the Institute of Pediatric Nursing developed the Campaign for Pediatric Nursing. Campaign initiatives include encouraging pediatric RN and PNP careers, and informing families about pediatric nursing roles.
Beginning in 2014, Canadian regulators chose our CPNP-PC exam for licensure validation of their PNPs.
In 2011, we launched the Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialist (PMHS) certification exam to improve access to care for children and adolescents experiencing behavioral and mental health concerns. Primary care advanced practice nurses can now be recognized for their added expertise in this area with a national credential.
No Pass, No Pay was introduced in 2009 as the first employer program to support nurses seeking certification. There is no cost for employers to enroll, and they only pay exam fees when nurses pass. Nurses pay no money upfront to apply.
To support the profession and collaboratively explore critical issues for nurses, educators, and families, we established a standing committee of thought leaders to optimize child health. The Institute of Pediatric Nursing offers many complimentary resources to support the profession.
This year, after careful role delineation research, we became the only certification board to offer certification for acute care PNPs. Since the launch of our Acute Care Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP-AC) exam, more than 4,000 PNPs have earned the credential.
Our name is changed from the National Certification Board of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and Nurses to the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.
In response to a national survey of pediatric RNs who indicated a desire and need to participate in board certification, we developed the Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) exam. More than 31,000 nurses actively hold the CPN credential.
Our Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Primary Care (CPNP-PC) exam continues to be the certification examination of choice for graduating PNPs. Since that time, PNCB has certified more than 24,000 CPNP-PCs.
Our story begins in 1975 when we were established to develop a certification program for primary care pediatric nurse practitioners by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP), and the Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (AFPNP).