The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Commission on Certification retired the Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (PPCNP-BC) exam on December 31, 2018 and therefore those seeking certification as a primary care PNP will need to sit for the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care (CPNP-PC) exam. According to a joint statement by the PNCB and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC): “Due to a continual low volume of test takers and the availability of the PNCB certification, the ANCC Commission on Certification decided to retire the PPCNP-BC certification. Candidates deemed eligible for the ANCC PPCNP-BC will continue to have the opportunity to test until December 31, 2019.”
Current PPCNP-BC Holders
That doesn’t necessarily leave current PPCNP-BC holders out in the rain. According to the statement, “Nurse Practitioners currently holding a PPCNP-BC can continue to use their credentials and maintain the certification by fulfilling the published renewal requirements. Effective January 1, 2019, nurses seeking certification as a primary care PNP will need to apply to the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) for initial certification as CPNP-PC.”
That’s good news, because according to the PNCB, as of December 31, 2017, 2,965 nurses actively held the PPCNP-BC credential. Another 16,255 held the CPNP-PC certification. Renewal is a detailed process that you can read about on the nursing world website. But to give you a quick review, here are the basic steps to renew your PPCNP-BC credential, as reported by the ANCC:
- You must complete a mandatory 75 continuing education hours (CH), plus one or more of the eight ANCC renewal categories which include:
- Continuing Education
- Academic Courses
- Presentations and Lectures
- Publication or Research
- Professional service
- Practice hours
- All APRNs—CNS and NP—are also required to complete 25 CH of pharmacotherapeutics as a portion of the mandatory 75 CH in the CNS or NP certification held.
- You may submit a renewal application as early as one year prior to your certification expiration date. If your certification is not renewed before the expiration date, you may be ineligible to practice
- You can renew online or by mail.
- You can enter all of your professional development activities online in your account.
- After you submit your renewal, You will receive confirmation of receipt, followed by communication by mail, phone, and/or email if there are any questions about your application or supporting documents. Once approved, you will receive a letter, followed by a new certificate, pin, and certification card in the mail.
Resources for Renewal
To renew your certification appropriately, you will need to review the following ANCC resources:
- If you have been deemed eligible for the ANCC PPCNP board certification examination and want to test or retest through December 31, 2019, you can read the details here.
- If you have questions you can contact [email protected] or 1.800.284.2378.
Those are the details of this most recent exam change. As always, healthcare is a fluid, dynamic environment and it pays to stay updated on the fine details to protect your active certification.