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Clinician Resources / Education / How to Pass Your PNP Acute Care Certification Exam

Nursing school may be behind you, but what if you still have to pass the PNP Acute Care Exam? No worries! We have a strategy to help you succeed.

Here's an encouraging statistic: According to the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB), 74% of test takers in 2016 passed the Acute Care Certification exam on the first try. You can too! With thorough preparation, effective studying, and practice, we know you'll accomplish your goal and receive your Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Acute Care Certification (PNP-AC).

Insider's Tips on The Pediatric Acute Care Certification Exam

The CPNP-AC exam will test your ability to apply knowledge and use critical thinking skills to choose one best answer among several choices.  That's why you'll want to adequately prepare and have a strategy to answer multiple choice questions. It's not enough to just know the material. You'll also need to know how to apply it effectively to different scenarios. But if you think about it, that's not so different from the day-to-day responsibilities of a working PNP! The exam includes questions on primary care and acute care topics. However, the split is about 30/70, with the majority of questions focused on acute care. Therefore, it's a good rule of thumb to spend about 30% of your time studying primary care, and the remaining 70% on acute care.

Your Game Plan to Study for the Pediatric  Acute Care Certification Exam

  • Create extensive notes broken down by categories like Assessment, Diagnosis, Outcome Identification, Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation, Communication and Family-Centered Care, and Professional Role. Also, break down the 18 areas that cover clinical problems by body system.
  • Allow enough time to study. According to, you should give yourself about 6-8 weeks to study and spend two hours each day. If life takes over and you do not have enough time to study, then you may want to consider rescheduling your exam.
  • Don't go it alone. Use resources, study exams, and join a study group in-person or online. Here are a few options to consider.
  • Check out study resources from the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNBC) including recommended study guides and sample practice tests.
  • Sign up for a live Certification Review Course through NAPNAP, conducted by pediatric healthcare experts.
  • Rest Up for Your Exam Day. Be sure to spend the week before the exam getting plenty of rest, eating properly, and staying hydrated. Relax and be confident that you will do well!

Set yourself up for success

With so many opportunities available to Nurse Practitioners today, finding the perfect job to ease your transition to practice can be a challenge. The same care you put into your schooling should go into finding your first job.

To take advantage of our specialized job matching services visit our job board and sign up for job alerts.  The best part? There is never a fee for candidates to work with us! Take a look at some of these great job openings!

This article was originally published on Melnic. It was recently acquired by DirectShifts.

Post by DirectShifts
September 15, 2022


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