Beginning in 2020, nurses seeking certification as a primary care pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) will no longer be able to take the ANCC PPCNP-BC exam and must instead opt to take the PNCB CPNP-PC exam. We explain why these changes took place and what test takers can expect on the exam.

In late 2018, the ANCC Commission on Certification (COC) announced that it would be retiring its Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner-Board Certification (PPCNP-BC) examination. Candidates who were eligible to sit for the exam could still sign up to test for the certification through December 31, 2019.

ANCC and PNCB Exam Comparison

Beginning January 1, 2020, nurses seeking a certification to become a primary care pediatric nurse practitioner now must refer to the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) for certification as an CPNP-PC®. This particular certification has been available since 1977 and has been a leader in the industry. It is also accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and meets the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s APRN criteria for certification programs.

The CPNP-PC has been a popular choice for nurses over the years. For comparison, 67 nurses tested for the PPCNP-BC in 2017 while 1,115 nurses tested for the CPNP-PC. As of the end of 2017, a total of 2,965 nurses actively held the PPCNP-BC credential while 16,255 held the CPNP-PC credential. The exam eligibility requirements for the exam are the exact same.

To view a detailed list of the differences between the PPCNP-BC and CPNP-PC certifications, visit this page on the PNCB’s website.

PNCB CPNP-PC Exam Content for 2020

The Detailed Content Outline (DCO) for exam takers in 2020 is reflective of the 2018 DCO. This means that the last time the PNCB updated the DCO was in 2018, and test takers in 2020 should prepare for the exam using the 2018 information.

The latest Detailed Content Outline (DCO) for the PNCB CPNP-PC exam is as follows:

I. Health Maintenance and Promotion (30%)
II. Assessment and Diagnosis (35%)
III. Management (30%)
IV. Professional Role and Responsibilities (5%)

To view the DCO in its entirety, view this PDF from the PNCB.

How has Pocket Prep addressed these changes?

Our ANCC PPCNP-BC content has been retired. Our PNCB CPNP-PC exam preparation is up-to-date for 2020 and can be found in the Nursing Pocket Prep app, expected to launch in the App Store in March 2020. Coming soon to Android and web later in 2020.