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Certification exams

How do I apply?

Available certification exams

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Complete overview and details can be found in the Registration Catalogs

Core certification

Nurse Practitioner certification

Subspecialties

Download NCC credentials


Exam fees and eligibility

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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:

Computer: $325 application registration fee

Subspecialty Exams leading to a Certificate of Added Qualification:

Electronic Fetal Monitoring and Neonatal Pediatric Transport

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

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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 up to 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 time frame during which time you must schedule and take the exam. 
  • Once you receive the letter, it is recommended that you schedule your testing appointment as soon as possible as testing times cannot be guaranteed if you wait.  
  • You will also receive a email when your eligibility letter is to be sent approximately three days before it is mailed.
  • 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.
  • If you do not receive your eligibility letter within 4 weeks of your examination application submission confirmation, contact info@nccnet.org.  
  • It is recommended that you read the Candidate Guide for the exam you are taking so you can become familiar with all NCC policies and procedures.  You will be subject to them so it is to your advantage to understand the certification process and rules.

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.  It is recommended that you schedule your testing appointment as early as possible.
  • 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).
  • Test scores are NOT available by phone or on the NCC website.

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?

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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 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 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
• 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

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Individual Paper & Pencil Testing - is NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Changes to Testing Modes will be Coming and Posted Late Fall 2014

 


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 Paper and Pencil test date & filing deadlines

Individual Paper & Pencil Testing - is NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Changes to Testing Modes will be Coming and Posted Late Fall 2014

 


Change a paper and pencil test or withdraw

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Individual Paper & Pencil Testing - is NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Changes to Testing Modes will be Coming and Posted Late Fall 2014

  

Sponsored Individual Test Sites for Paper & Pencil Testing- is NO LONGER AVAILABLE

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 Changes to Testing Modes will be Coming and Posted Late Fall 2014

 

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

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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, 676 N. Michigan Ave., #3600, 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

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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 NCC examinations.

CCPR 
www.ccprwebsite.org
800-951-9195

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

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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

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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