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Certification exams

How do I apply?

Available certification exams

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Core certification

Nurse Practitioner certification


NCC nurse and subspecialty certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) for a five year period through March 2020.

NCC nurse practitioner certification programs are accredited by both the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC) for a five year period through October 2021 and the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) for a five year period through March 2020.

Exam fees and eligibility

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• The cost of every exam includes a $50 non-refundable application fee. 
• The entire exam fee ($325 for Core/$210 for Subspecialty) must be paid when submitting application.
• All applications must be submitted online at the NCC website.
• The exam registration catalog lists additional fees that may apply. 
• Exam fees vary depending on the type of test – see listing below.

Core Nursing Certification Exams leading to a RNC Certification:
Computer: $325 exam fee

Core Nurse Practitioner Exams leading to a NP-BC Certification:
Computer: $325 exam fee

Subspecialty Exams leading to a C-EFM or C-NPT Certification:
Computer:  $210 exam fee


Core Nursing Certification Exams leading to a RNC Certification:
The following requirements must be met to apply for the Inpatient Obstetric Nursing, Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing, Low Risk Neonatal Nursing or Maternal Newborn Nursing certification exam: 

  • 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 an either/or criterion.

Core Nurse Practitioner Exams leading to a NP-BC Certification:
The following requirements must be met to apply for the Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner or Neonatal Nurse Practitioner certification exam:

  • Current U.S. nursing licensure is required. (Canadian licensure accepted if the APRN graduated from a NCC approved US program.)
  • 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
  • To be eligible you must take the certification examination within 8 years of graduation.

Subspecialty Exam leading to a C-EFM Certification:
The following requirements must be met to apply for the Electronic Fetal Monitoring subspecialty certification exam:

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

Subspecialty Exam leading to a C-NPT Certification:
The following requirements must be met to apply for the Neonatal Pediatric Transport subspecialty certification exam:

  • 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 certification process is that you have a minimum of two years of experience. Review more details in the registration catalog


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NCC offers certification by the following administration options: (download Guide to Testing Methods for complete details)

Individual testing by Computer - the test is taken at one of 250 test centers across the country at NCC's testing vendor AMP test sites.

Institutional Certification Program (ICP) Testing - these are examinations contracted with employers to give a test at the employer site.  You will have a designated test code to register.

Professional Education Consultant (PEC) Testing - these are examinations offered following a PEC educational offering.  You have to be registered for a PEC course to apply and will have a designated test code to register.

Military Testing Centers: For Military candidates, their family and non-military professionals who are overseas on military bases with computer testing centers, there may be opportunities to take the Certification exam on base. The computer testing center must have strong internet access. Prior to registering for a certification exam, the on-base personnel (Candidate) must contact the on-base testing office and ask about taking a computer exam on base. If they can provide a web-based, proctored exam on a secure platform then the candidate can register for the exam.  It is the responsibility of the candidate to discuss this option with the proctor at the on-base testing office.  The candidate must then contact PSI Services by emailing and provide them with the site information, proctor/testing officer contact information, test date and time. The candidate must have access to the base computer testing center. PSI will work directly with the proctor at the on-base testing office to set up the exam. Any testing fees that are charged by the on-base testing office must be paid by the candidate at the time of testing.  The process and protocol for taking the exam is the same as US testing centers. For more information contact Bob Wolff at  

How computer testing works

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When and how can I apply

Registration is available on demand. Apply online at the NCC website at any convenient time, 24/7.

Testing occurs in 90 day cycles beginning the 5th and the 20th of each month.

Application processing

  • We will confirm that we have received your application by email.
  • It may take up to 4 weeks to process an application.
  • During this time your application is put into a 90-day eligibility window, starting on the 5th or 20th of the month.
  • Once we have determined you eligible to take the exam, we will send an email informing you that you have been approved and providing the date we will email your eligibility letter.
  • You will receive your eligibility letter as an email.  It will provide details regarding your 90-day eligibility window: the time frame during which time you must schedule and take the exam, and how to schedule your exam. 
  • Once you receive the e-mailed letter, it is recommended that you schedule your testing appointment as soon as possible as testing times cannot be guaranteed if you wait.  
  • If you do not receive your eligibility letter within 4 weeks of your examination application submission confirmation, contact  
  • 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 eligible and have been notified by email can schedule an exam.
  • Contact information for scheduling your appointment will be provided on your email 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 & NPT) 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

  • 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 professional. 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 certification 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 certification 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 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

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

CLICK HERE to access the online withdrawal form!


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

If you have more than 25 applicants, then you should contact Betty Sobala at 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 will be excluded from the examinations as a result of age, sex, race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status or gender identity.

Any requests for special testing accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act must be made in writing and submitted to the NCC . Download the special request form.  You must upload this form to the NCC website at the Additional Submissions Portal the same day you submit your application online.  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.   Requests received after the testing windows starts may result in delays or additional fees.  Email with any ADA questions.

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.


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

Order any recent reference text from 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


PEC Professional Education Center

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

NCC has no involvement in the development of these courses.


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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
  • The exam can only be taken TWICE in a Calendar year.
  • There is no limit on how many times an individual can retest