How to Earn the PPCNP-BC Credential

Are you a pediatric nurse ready to advance your career? If you’re looking to get away from the grind of hospital life but continue to care for children, you may want to consider the new role of Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The commonly known pediatric nurse practitioner title has transitioned to the pediatric primary care nurse practitioner role. Becoming a PPCNP-BC will open up the world of office-based primary care to you. Better hours, better pay, and more responsibility await you if you’re willing to put in the work!

The first step in any form of career advancement is to find the right program for you. Many advanced practice nurse programs are almost entirely online, which makes them perfect for busy nurses. Be sure that any program you choose is accredited; accreditation is required in order to sit for the PPCNP-BC exam. Read on to learn the additional requirements for eligibility to sit for the PPCNP-BC exam.

In order to be eligible to sit for the Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner certification exam, you must hold an unencumbered and active registered nurse license in the U.S. If you are from another country, the legally recognized equivalent is appropriate! Additionally, you need to have successfully completed a pediatric primary care nurse practitioner program that has been accredited by the CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education) or the ACEN (Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing) and earned your MSN, DNP, or post-master’s certificate from the program. The important courses from the program are advanced pathophysiology with lifespan considerations, advanced health assessment, and advanced pharmacology. In order to successfully pass the exam, you will need to be knowledgeable in health promotion and maintenance as well as differential diagnosis/disease management. Although the didactic coursework is important for the exam, you must also have completed a minimum of 500 clinical hours that were supervised by faculty. You will need to find your own preceptor for your clinical hours. Start networking now! However, your program or current place of employment may be able to facilitate this process.

Following completion of your pediatric primary care nurse practitioner program, you will need to schedule your exam! It is always a good idea to take the test as soon after graduation as possible – you don’t want to lose any of your hard-earned knowledge by wasting time! First, register for the exam with the American Nurses Credentialing Center. You will need to submit transcripts and a validation of education form to the ANCC. Please note that there is a non-refundable administrative fee totaling $140 included in your application fee. Once you’ve received confirmation of your registration, visit the Prometric website to schedule your exam. On this website, you can schedule your test, locate test centers, reschedule your exam, and find helpful information about preparing for test day.

Although the road is long, earning your pediatric primary care nurse practitioner certification will open many doors for you in your career. If you are considering this career change, begin networking with pediatric primary care nurse practitioners to learn more about the profession as well as how to navigate this process. You will be rewarded with a long and happy career providing care to some of the most vulnerable patients – children.