CPNP-PC Exam Resources

Check your readiness and prepare

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CPNP-PC Exam Resources

The Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Primary Care (CPNP-PC) exam is 3 hours and asks 175 multiple-choice questions based on categories in the content outline, an essential study reference. Create a personal study plan and prepare using the resources below.

The content outline/test blueprint is your #1 tool to start your study. It describes all subject areas covered by the exam and questions per category.

PNCB certification exams are comprehensive tests, so be sure to study all areas of the content outline.

Tip! This exam tests your ability to apply knowledge and use critical thinking skills to determine one best answer among answer choices.

The current content outline is based on our 2017-18 Job Task Analysis (JTA) research. This routine, required research ensures that exam content accurately represents current pediatric primary care nurse practitioner practice in the U.S. Content for the updated exam has not changed considerably, and you do not need to study differently. After the JTA, a passing point determination follows construction of new exam forms and establishes minimum passing scores using standard psychometric methods, such as Item Response Theory and Modified-Angoff scoring. See full details about the latest 2017-18 study in our executive summary of highlights and 2017-18 CPNP-PC Exam PowerPoint.

We recommend you use ONE pediatric textbook that you are familiar with to review for the exam. This text should also focus on the subject areas covered by the exam content outline.

Our primary care exam item writers and committee members have found the most current edition of the following references useful for their review. Additions or deletions to this list are a result of exam committee member input and anonymous faculty surveys.

You do not need to study all the references listed below. PNCB does not endorse nor have any proprietary relationship with any of the following textbooks or their publishing companies.


  • American Academy of Pediatrics - 2018-2021 Red Book
  • Kliegman, Stanton, St. Geme, Schor & Behrman - Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics
  • Burns, Richardson & Brady - Pediatric Primary Care Case Studies
  • Carey, Crocker, Coleman, Ellis & Feldman - Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics
  • Dixon & Stein - Encounters with Children: Pediatric Behavior and Development
  • Duderstadt K - Pediatric Physical Examination
  • Green (Ed.) - National Center for Education Bright Futures - Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children in Maternal & Child Health and Adolescents
  • Hay, Levin, Deterding & Sondheimer - Current Pediatric Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital: Harriet Lane Handbook
  • Maaks, Starr, Brady, Gaylord, Driessnack, Duderstadt - Burns' Pediatric Primary Care
  • Neinstein, Gordon, Katzman, Callahan, Joffe & Rickert - Adolescent and Young Adult Health Care: A Practical Guide
  • Paller, Mancini - Hurwitz Clinical Pediatric Dermatology: A Textbook of Skin Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence 
  • Richardson - Pediatric Primary Care: Practice Guidelines for Nurses
  • Taketomo, Hodding, & Kraus - Pediatric Dosage Handbook
  • Weston, Lane & Morelli - Color Textbook of Pediatric Dermatology
  • Zitelli & Davis - Atlas of Pediatric Physical Diagnosis


  • Buppert - Nurse Practitioner’s Business Practice and Legal Guide
  • Hamric, Hanson, Tracy, & O'Grady - Advanced Practice Nursing: An Integrative Approach


  • AAP, ACOG, MMWR, CDC, Safekids - Injury Prevention

CPNP-PC Practice Tests offer in-depth rationale for right answers to enhance critical thinking. Score reports can help you focus studies.

The cost is $50 per module. You receive unlimited attempts of 75 questions for 150 days.

PNCB's Test-taking Strategies resource is a free PowerPoint developed to help you learn exam preparation tips, strategies for answering multiple-choice exam questions, and techniques to manage test anxiety. Not a study or a review course.

What review course should I take? Which books are the best? Do you offer a review course?

The PNCB can't conduct a review course because this would be a conflict of interest. We also can't endorse a specific review course or book, but we do recommend you consider the following when selecting a course or title:

  1. How are the instructors or authors prepared? Do they have rigorous academic credentials? Do they hold the credential you seek? What about their practice experience?
  2. Are the topics covered consistent with the exam's content outline?
  3. Do the books offer practice questions after each chapter?
  4. Does the course offer testimonials? If so, evaluate the comments offered by your peers.
  5. Does the review course ask for feedback? Do they post survey results on their website?
  6. Talk to others who have taken a specific review course. Were they satisfied?

You may also want to check your membership organization website for books that are recommended. We hope this gives you an idea of things to look for as you make your decisions.

Sample Questions for the CPNP-PC Exam

Please note 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 is located at the bottom of the page. For more questions with correct answer rationale, consider PNCB's practice tests for your exam.

Select the one answer that is best in each case.

Sample Questions

1. The STRONGEST risk factor for pediatric primary hypertension is:

A. family history of primary hypertension

B. elevated body mass index

C. low birth weight

D. sleep apnea

2. The benefit of fluoride is achieved through which of the following mechanisms?

A. destruction of milk sugars

B. prevention of plaque adherence

C. remineralization of carious lesions

D. bacteriocidal effect on Streptococcus mutans

3. An 18 month old presents with moderate symptoms of croup of 8 hours duration. Which is the MOST appropriate therapy?

A. oral dexamethasone 0.6 mg/kg

B. helium-oxygen inhalation therapy

C. racemic epinephrine by nebulization

D. oral amoxicillin 40 mg/kg divided TID for 10 days

4. Significant findings on physical assessment of a 14 year old female who complains of constipation and fatigue include:

PC Sample Item

Which of the following tests should be obtained?

A. chromosome analysis and serum thyroxine

B. serum thyroxine and thyroid-stimulating hormone

C. serum luteinizing hormone and chromosome analysis

D. serum luteinizing hormone and thyroid-stimulating hormone

5. A healthy 24 month old can be expected to have achieved which of the following language milestones?

A. tells a story

B. states full name

C. speaks using 30 - 50 words

D. counts three objects correctly

Answers and References:

1. Answer: B

  • Kliegman RM, Stanton B, St Geme J, Schor NF, Behrman RE, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2019.

2. Answer: C

  • Burns CE, Dunn AM, Brady MA, Barber Starr N, Blosser CG, eds. Pediatric Primary Care. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Saunders; 2017.

3. Answer: A

  • Burns CE, Dunn AM, Brady MA, Barber Starr N, Blosser CG, eds. Pediatric Primary Care. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Saunders; 2017.

4. Answer: B

  • Burns CE, Dunn AM, Brady MA, Barber Starr N, Blosser CG, eds. Pediatric Primary Care. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Saunders; 2017.
  • Kliegman RM, Stanton B, St Geme J, Schor NF, Behrman RE, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2019.

5. Answer: C

  • Kliegman RM, Stanton B, St Geme J, Schor NF, Behrman RE, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2019.

Faces of Certification

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

Clayton Collins, CPN Shriners Hospitals for Children - Galveston Galveston, TX
Leticia Cole, CPNP-PC, CPN Sniffles & Giggles Waxahachie, TX
Renee Flippo, CPNP-PC Louise Herrington School of Nursing | Baylor University Dallas, TX
View more Faces of Certification