About Us

The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board

Thank you for making us the leader in certification for nursing professionals who provide care to children and adolescents. Our caring team members, like these staff from Customer Service, Exam & CE Development, and Volunteer Services, are honored to support you.


PNCB exam candidates are in the essential workforce category for Prometric testing centers. Find links to Prometric updates here, such safe distancing policies, site openings / seat capacity statuses, and FAQs.

Prestigious. Acclaimed. Respected.

These are just a few of the ways leaders in the specialized field of pediatric nursing have described our rigorous certification programs. We remain the largest independent pediatric nursing certification organization in the country. More than 95% of all pediatric nursing professionals who certify choose the PNCB. And they stay certified... 96% of all PNCB-certified nurses recertified for 2020.


PNCB promotes optimal outcomes in global pediatric health by providing certification services that validate specialized knowledge and continuing competence in pediatric nursing.


Every child receives care from a PNCB certified nursing professional.


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 of perspective.


PNCB's Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) and Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP) programs have met the rigorous national accreditation standards of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

We invite you to explore our history below and our current strategic plan.

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).

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 19,000 CPNP-PCs.

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 25,000 nurses actively hold the CPN credential.

Our name is changed from the National Certification Board of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and Nurses to the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.

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 2,000 PNPs have earned the credential.

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.

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.  

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.

Beginning in 2014, Canadian regulators chose our CPNP-PC exam for licensure validation of their PNPs.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Faces of Certification

PNCB-certified nursing professionals work in a variety of roles and settings throughout the US and beyond. Share your photo today!

Tonya Brooks, CPNP-PC Sniffles & Giggles Waxahachie, TX
Jose Ramirez, CPN Doctors Hospital at Renaissance Edinburg, TX
Shacarah Fordjour, CPNP-PC, PMHS Penn Medicine Plainsboro, NJ
View more Faces of Certification