Skip to main content

Certification exams

How do I apply?

Available certification exams

« Back to certification

Complete overview and details can be found in the Registration Catalogs

Core certification

Nurse Practitioner certification

Subspecialties

Download NCC credentials


Exam fees and eligibility

« Back to certification

Fees may vary depending on the test you apply for and current credentialed status, please see listing below.  Please check the registration catalog for additional fees that may apply.   All applications must be submitted online at the NCC website. To qualify for fee discounts for being an RNC, you must sign in to the website with your email and password to earn it.  No refunds will be issued if you fail to do so.  The $50 application fee is non-refundable.

Core Certification Exams leading to the RNC or NP-BC Certification:

  • Paper/pencil: $325 application registration fee
  • Computer: $325 application registration fee

Subspecialty Exams leading to a Certificate of Added Qualification:

Electronic Fetal Monitoring and Neonatal Pediatric Transport

  • Paper/pencil
    • $150 application registration fee for current NCC RNCs, NP-BCs or Certificate Holders
    • $210 application registration fee for all others
  • Computer
    • $150 application registration fee for current NCC RNCs, NP-BCs or Certificate Holders
    • $210 application registration fee for all others

Eligibility requirements vary depending of the exam you are interested in taking.

For Inpatient Obstetric Nursing, Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing, Low Risk Neonatal Nursing and Maternal Newborn Nursing the following requirements must be met to apply:

  • Current licensure as an RN in the US or Canada
  • 24 months specialty experience as a US or Canadian RN comprised of a minimum of 2000 hours
  • Employment in the specialty sometime in the last 24 months
  • Both practice time and hours must be met. This is not a either/or criterion.

For Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner the following requirements must be met to apply:

  • Current licensure as an RN in the US or Canada
  • Successful completion of a formal nurse practitioner program that prepares neonatal or women's health care nurse practitioners and awards either a graduate's degree (Master's, a post-Master's or DNP) in the specialty
  • You must be a graduate of a program in 2006 or later to be eligible.
  • You must take the certification examination within 8 years of graduation.

For Electronic Fetal Monitoring Subspecialty Exam the following requirements must be meet to apply:

  • Current licensure as nurse, NP, physician, physician assistant or nurse midwife.

For Neonatal Pediatric Transport Subspecialty Exam the following requirements be met to apply:

  • Current licensure as a RN, NP, physician, respiratory therapist, paramedic or physician assistant.
  • No practice experience is required but it is recommended that for the best possibility for successfully completing the credentialing process is that you have a minimum of two years of experience. Review more details in the registration catalog

How computer testing works

« Back to certification

When and how can I apply

  • There are no application deadlines and a candidate may submit an application and fee at any time.
  • All candidates must be determined eligible by submitting the appropriate application and required documentation.
  • Applications must be submitted online at the NCC website..

Application processing

  • It will take approximately 4 weeks to process an application.
  • Confirmation of receipt of an application is done by email.
  • Once you are  determined eligible, you will be notified in writing (eligibility letter) of your 90-day testing window during which time you must schedule and take the exam.
  • Eligibility letters are mailed after your application has been approved twice a month on the 15th of the month and the last day of the month (business days only). Testing window periods start on the 5th and 20th of each month.

How to schedule an exam

  • You will schedule your own exam appointment with AMP either by phone or via the internet. Only those who have been found eligibile and have been notified in writing can schedule an exam.
  • Contact information for scheduling your appointment will be provided with your eligibility letter.

Where can I take the exam

  • Exams will be delivered via computer at over 200 AMP Assessment Centers geographically located throughout the United States.
  • Exams will be administered by appointment only Monday through Saturday at 9:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
  • Candidates are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • AMP Assessment Centers are typically located in H&R Block offices. Review the current list
  • Core exams are 3 hours long.
  • Subspecialty exams (EFM) are 2 hours long.
  • There are no breaks during the testing time

What kind of computer skills are necessary

  • If you can press on a key on the keyboard or click on a mouse, you have all the requisite skills to take an NCC computer exam.
  • Prior to attempting the examination, you will be given the opportunity to practice taking a test on computer. This does not count against your testing test.
  • You can mark questions for re-review before submitting them at any time during the testing.
  • You will have the opportunity complete a survey about your testing experience.

How will results be disseminated?

  • After completing the examination, a preliminary score report will be issued at the test site.
  • These results are not official. Official results will be mailed from NCC within 21 days of exam administration (date of certification is based on the date on the official results not the exam date).

Verification of certification or cerificate of added qualification

  • Verification of certification status to third parties cannot be made until after the official results are received in the mail.
  • Verifications are done ONLY through the online verification system. There are fees for sending verifications. This process is initiated by the certified nurse or the holder of the certificate of added qualification. This verification is for primary source verification, meaning the entity requesting the verification requires the verification to come from NCC directly and not the individual certified professional. 
  • NCC does not send verifications to state boards of nursing or any other entity automatically. The individual holding the NCC credential must initiate the verification process via the online verification system.
  • Verification of eligibility to test should be submitted with the registration application or can be submitted separately. There is no fee for this service. This is not a verification of certification.
  • Official documentation of the NCC credential is available to the individual certified professional at any time free of charge from their NCC account on the NCC website.   This information password protected and to access the individual must sign in with their email  and password to the website first. 

Extending or deferring my computer test date: What happens if you can't take the exam?

« Back to certification

Change your Testing Date, Method of Testing or Exam Category

Candidates who cannot take their currently scheduled examination, have missed their testing date or need to take a different exam - can request a change. Candidates may request to change their examination category, reschedule their testing date or even change their method of testing, provided that they meet the requirements listed below. Candidates are only allowed one change option (ex. if you reschedule your examination date, you will not be able to change your examination category). All change requests must be approved by NCC and you may be required to provide additional information. There will be no refund of original fees or Change Request Form fees. Candidates who fail to take the examination under this change option must re-apply with full fees.

Candidates Requesting a change MUST:
• Submit the change request within one calendar year from
— the date of the exam you are changing for paper/pencil, ICP or PEC candidates
— the last date of your assigned testing window for computer candidates
•  Submit a non-refundable fee of $125 with the Change Request Form
•  Use the NCC website online Change Request Form (changes requested in any other format, will not be accepted)

To reschedule or change method of testing:
• Candidates changing a current computer test must have canceled or never made their appointment to take the exam at an AMP center
• Candidates changing from a paper/pencil test must have their assigned test site code
• Candidates changing from an ICP test must have their assigned test site code
• Candidates changing from a PEC test must have their assigned PEC class code
• Candidates changing to a PEC test must have already enrolled in the PEC course and have their assigned PEC class code

To change examination category:
Eligibility must be re-established for the new exam category, and additional documentation and fees may be required. The time to consider eligibility for the new category will count toward the original assigned 90 day computer testing window.  Examinees must take the exam for which they have been determined eligible. No changes will be permitted on examination day.  If a candidate knowingly or unknowingly takes an examination other than the one she/he was found eligible to take, the examination will not be scored. No refunds will be allowed, and all fee policies will apply if the candidate reapplies for an examination.

• Computer Candidates must submit their request at least 30 days prior to the end of their testing window
• Paper/Pencil Candidates must have their assigned test site code and submit their request at least 45 days prior to testing date
• ICP Candidates must have their assigned test site code and submit their request at least 45 days prior to testing date
• PEC Candidates CANNOT change their examination category

Click here to access online Change Request Form!

Withdrawing from the examination process

Withdrawal policy - Computer Testing

  • Only the applicant/candidate can withdraw from the examination process.
  • All withdrawal requests must be submitted online at the NCC website BEFORE the final day of the assigned testing window and provided that:
     > the candidate has not made an appointment to take the exam at an AMP center or
     > if the candidate has made an appointment with AMP, it must be cancelled no later than four business days prior to the scheduled testing date.
  • No refund will be considered after the exam date.

Refunds for Withdrawing Candidates

  • Candidates withdrawing from a Core or NP Certification exam will receive a $160 refund of their $325 payment.
  • Non-NCC credentialed candidates withdrawing from a Subspecialty exam will receive a $105 refund of their $210 payment.
  • NCC credentialed candidates withdrawing from a Subspecialty exam will receive a $85 refund of their $150 payment.
  • Anyone who has previously requested an extension or deferral is not eligible to withdraw.

CLICK HERE to access the online withdrawal form!

 Substitutions

Candidate substitutions cannot be made for ineligible, withdrawn or extension/deferral candidates.


How paper and pencil testing works

« Back to certification

Individual Paper & Pencil Testing

Individuals (being part of a group is not required) will be able to take the paper and pencil test at designated academic centers across the country.

The next available Paper & Pencil testing date is

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Registration is now open and will close on August 6, 2014.

Upcoming Paper & Pencil Testing Dates:

Testing Date Registration Opens Registration Closes
September 20, 2014 February 26, 2014 August 6, 2014
November 1, 2014 August 13, 2014 September 17, 2014
  • Registration for individual paper & pencil testing dates will open approximately 13 weeks before test date.
  • Paper & pencil testing will be held at designated academic and/or other centers across the country. You will need to choose your test site and have the test site code in order to apply.
  • Test sites are distributed by regions throughout the year review the Upcoming Paper and Pencil Test Sites listing. If you do not see a center that is accessible to you, check another test date. Test sites are subject to change without notice.
  • An eligibility letter will be sent once your application has been processed, reviewed and approved. This can take up to 4 weeks.
  • Approximately two weeks prior to your paper & pencil test date, you will receive an admission letter that will recap the reporting time and address of your test site.
  • Test sites are subject to cancellation and candidates so affected will be reassigned to computer testing. If reassigned to computer testing, you will receive a new eligibility letter in the mail with computer testing instructions.
  • A candidate who fails to report for an examination will not receive a refund, but may change their mode of testing. Official results will be mailed from NCC within 6 weeks of exam administration (date of certification is based on the date on the official results NOT the exam date).
  • You are not certified until you receive your results in the mail.

  Application processing

  • It will take approximately 4 weeks to process an application.
  • Confirmation of receipt of an application is done by email.
  • Once you are  determined eligible, you will be notified in writing (eligibility letter).
  • Eligibility letters go out after your application has been approved twice a month on the 15th of the month and the last day of the month (business days only).

Admittance to the exam

Approximately two weeks prior to the test date, you will receive your admission letter recapping the reporting time and address of your test site. Review Paper & Pencil Testing with AMP section of your candidate guide for admission rules.

How will results be disseminated?

Test results will be MAILED to each candidate within six weeks of the date of the test administration. Results cannot be transmitted by phone, fax or email.

Verification of certification or cerificate of added qualification

  • Verification of certification status to third parties cannot be made until after the official results are received in the mail
  • NCC does not send verifications to state boards of nursing or any other entity automatically. The individual holding the NCC credential must initiate the verification process via the online verification system.

What happens if the candidate is not able to take the exam as scheduled

Change your Testing Date, Method of Testing or Exam Category
 Candidates who cannot take their currently scheduled examination, have missed their testing date or need to take a different exam - can request a change. Candidates may request to change their examination category, reschedule their testing date or even change their method of testing, provided that they meet the requirements listed below. Candidates are only allowed one change option (ex. if you reschedule your examination date, you will not be able to change your examination category). All change requests must be approved by NCC and you may be required to provide additional information. There will be no refund of original fees or Change Request Form fees. Candidates who fail to take the examination under this change option must re-apply with full fees.

Candidates Requesting a change MUST:
• Submit the change request within one calendar year from
— the date of the exam you are changing for paper/pencil, ICP or PEC candidates
— the last date of your assigned testing window for computer candidates
•  Submit a non-refundable fee of $125 with the Change Request Form
•  Use the NCC website online Change Request Form (changes requested in any other format, will not be accepted)

To reschedule or change method of testing:
• Candidates changing a current computer test must have canceled or never made their appointment to take the exam at an AMP center
• Candidates changing from a paper/pencil test must have their assigned test site code
• Candidates changing from an ICP test must have their assigned test site code
• Candidates changing from a PEC test must have their assigned PEC class code
• Candidates changing to a PEC test must have already enrolled in the PEC course and have their assigned PEC class code

To change examination category:
Eligibility must be re-established for the new exam category, and additional documentation and fees may be required. The time to consider eligibility for the new category will count toward the original assigned 90 day computer testing window.  Examinees must take the exam for which they have been determined eligible. No changes will be permitted on examination day.  If a candidate knowingly or unknowingly takes an examination other than the one she/he was found eligible to take, the examination will not be scored. No refunds will be allowed, and all fee policies will apply if the candidate reapplies for an examination.

• Computer Candidates must submit their request at least 30 days prior to the end of their testing window
• Paper/Pencil Candidates must have their assigned test site code and submit their request at least 45 days prior to testing date
• ICP Candidates must have their assigned test site code and submit their request at least 45 days prior to testing date
• PEC Candidates CANNOT change their examination category

Click here to access online Change Request Form!

 


« Back to certification

 Paper and Pencil test date & filing deadlines

Individual Paper & Pencil Testing Test Dates and Filing Deadlines

Individuals (being part of a group is not required) will be able to take the paper and pencil test at designated academic centers across the country.

The next available Paper & Pencil testing date is

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Registration is now open and will close on August 6, 2014

Testing Date Registration Opens Registration Closes
September 20, 2014 February 26, 2014 August 6, 2014
November 1, 2014 August 13, 2014 September 17, 2014

Test sites are distributed by regions throughout the year review the Upcoming Paper and Pencil Test Sites listing to make sure that date you are interested in is accessible to you. Test sites are subject to change without notice.


Change a paper and pencil test or withdraw

« Back to certification

If you are unable to take the exam:

Withdrawing from the examination process

Withdrawal Policy - Paper/Pencil Testing

  • Only the applicant/candidate can withdraw from the examination process.
  • All withdrawal requests must be submitted online at the NCC website 30 days BEFORE their scheduled paper & pencil exam
  • No refund will be considered after the exam date.


Refunds for Withdrawing Candidates

  • Candidates withdrawing from a Core or NP Certification exam will receive a $160 refund of their $325 payment.
  • Non-NCC credentialed candidates withdrawing from a Subspecialty exam will receive a $105 refund of their $210 payment.
  • NCC credentialed candidates withdrawing from a Subspecialty exam will receive a $85 refund of their $150 payment.

CLICK HERE to access the online withdrawal form!

Change your Testing Date, Method of Testing or Exam Category!

Candidates who cannot take their currently scheduled examination, have missed their testing date or need to take a different exam - can request a change. Candidates may request to change their examination category, reschedule their testing date or even change their method of testing, provided that they meet the requirements listed below. Candidates are only allowed one change option (ex. if you reschedule your examination date, you will not be able to change your examination category). All change requests must be approved by NCC and you may be required to provide additional information. There will be no refund of original fees or Change Request Form fees. Candidates who fail to take the examination under this change option must re-apply with full fees.

Candidates Requesting a change MUST:
• Submit the change request within one calendar year from
— the date of the exam you are changing for paper/pencil, ICP or PEC candidates
— the last date of your assigned testing window for computer candidates
•  Submit a non-refundable fee of $125 with the Change Request Form
•  Use the NCC website online Change Request Form (changes requested in any other format, will not be accepted)

To reschedule or change method of testing:
• Candidates changing a current computer test must have canceled or never made their appointment to take the exam at an AMP center
• Candidates changing from a paper/pencil test must have their assigned test site code
• Candidates changing from an ICP test must have their assigned test site code
• Candidates changing from a PEC test must have their assigned PEC class code
• Candidates changing to a PEC test must have already enrolled in the PEC course and have their assigned PEC class code

To change examination category:
Eligibility must be re-established for the new exam category, and additional documentation and fees may be required. The time to consider eligibility for the new category will count toward the original assigned 90 day computer testing window.  Examinees must take the exam for which they have been determined eligible. No changes will be permitted on examination day.  If a candidate knowingly or unknowingly takes an examination other than the one she/he was found eligible to take, the examination will not be scored. No refunds will be allowed, and all fee policies will apply if the candidate reapplies for an examination.

• Computer Candidates must submit their request at least 30 days prior to the end of their testing window
• Paper/Pencil Candidates must have their assigned test site code and submit their request at least 45 days prior to testing date
• ICP Candidates must have their assigned test site code and submit their request at least 45 days prior to testing date
• PEC Candidates CANNOT change their examination category

Click here to access online Change Request Form!

 

Sponsored Individual Test Sites for Paper & Pencil Testing

« Back to certification

NCC has discontinued Annual Paper & Pencil Testing . . . but you can still sponsor a test site at your institution if you have 1- 24 applicants!

Paper & Pencil testing dates for sponsored tests sites will start in 2014. Testing windows will be offered in 90 day cycles.

2014 Testing Windows (90 day cycle) Test Site Request Deadlines
October 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014 June 15, 2014

Requests to sponsor a test site must be submitted online, before the deadline for the requested testing window and include a $750 fee.

Click here to submit your Test Site Request Form!

There will be some changes to the prior procedures and they include:

  • You will only need to provide a room for testing
  • Professional proctors will be come to your site for test administration duties
  • The proctors will handle all test materials for delivery to your site and sending materials back to NCC
  • Test results will be issued sooner
  • Testing windows will be offered in 90-day cycles. You can select a day within your 90-day testing window cycle for test administration.
  • All NCC examinations (both CORE and subspecialty) will be available for this mode of test administration
  • There will be no minimum number of applicants required — maximum is 24
  • The institution will be charged a $750 fee to be an individualized site. Exam fees and policies for individuals testing at a sponsored test site remain the same.

If you have more than 25 applicants, then you should contact Betty Sobala at bsobala@nccnet.org for information on the Institutional Certification Plan or visit the NCC website (see Special Testing Opportunities).


ADA requests

« Back to certification

It is the policy of NCC that no individual shall be excluded from the opportunity to participate in the NCC examination program on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, age or disability.

Any requests for special testing accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act must be made in writing and submitted to the NCC office, 142 E. Ontario #1700, Chicago, IL 60611 Attn: ADA Requests.. Download the special request form. Upon receipt of such requests for special accommodations, NCC will contact the applicant. Such requests must be signed by a clinician, physician, or other qualified specialist with training and experience appropriate to diagnose and treat the specified disability.   Applications and other documentation should be submitted online.  In the future, an online option for ADA requests will become available.

How to study

« Back to certification

NCC does not provide any review courses or study materials for the examinations. NCC views the examinations as an evaluative process. Eligibility criteria have been established to identify minimum levels of preparation for the examinations. Candidates will receive detailed test outlines and suggested resources upon receipt of their application—see Candidate Guides below.

Suggested Resources

NCC Candidate Guides      Download Candidate Guides

There is a guide for each NCC examination offered. Each Candidate Guide contains the following:

  • Competency statements
  • Detailed test outlines
  • Sample questions (to familiarize candidate with item format)
  • List of book/periodical references
  • All NCC Policies related to the test administration process

Download Candidate Guides

NCC has no input into any certification preparation endeavor. You should carefully review any certificaton preparation opportunities before participating.

Center for Certification Preparation and Review (CCPR)

Offers practice examinations and study workbooks for many of NCC examinations.

CCPR 
PO Box 827
Michigan City, IN 46361-0827
www.ccprwebsite.org
800-951-9195

NCC has no involvement in the design or development of these materials.

Amazon.com

Order any recent reference text from Amazon.com. Amazon.com delivers unbeatable prices, excellent customer service, secure financial transactions and a wide range of shipping options. Click on the image below to be directly connected with Amazon.com.

Amazon.com

 

PEC Professional Education Center

www.proedcenter.com

This organization offers certification review courses throughout the U.S..

NCC has no involvement in the development of these courses.

Retest

« Back to certification

If you wish to retest

  • You must wait 90 days from the day of your last test date to apply
  • You must submit another application with full documentation
  • You must pay the current examination fee
  • If an applicant files earlier than 90 days from the last test date, the application will be returned. The applicant will be subject to the $50 nonrefundable application fee
  • There is no limit on how many times an individual can retest