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Thorough preparation is the key to success.
To help you prepare for the CPNE we offer:
See Preparing For the CPNE for all the details.
Select a test site in a Regional Performance Assessment Center (RPAC) most convenient to you:
Find a Test Site (available only to enrolled Associate degree in nursing students - login required)
How to apply and pay for your CPNE:
See details for each step in Application and Payment.
During the CPNE
After taking the CPNE
Sixty three percent of the first time test takers of the CPNE are successful. Successful students are well-prepared, have the critical elements memorized, are comfortable performing nursing skills, and are able to remain focused during a stressful examination.
Yes, the requirements are explained in the CPNE application. Briefly, you will need to provide evidence of a current health history (on an Excelsior College Health Status Report Form) and evidence of current Basic Life Support/Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (BLS/CPR) certification.
It will take a minimum of two to three months for your application to be processed. Confirmation of your test date will be sent to you at that time.
The average waiting period from when you send in your application to getting a test date is three to eight months. However, this will vary for each of the Regional Performance Assessment Centers (RPAC). You may want to call each RPAC to find out what their waiting period is for test dates before mailing in your application packet to a specific RPAC.
You may take the CPNE a total of three times after which you will be dismissed from the Associate Degree Nursing Program.
Expect to take at least three months to study for the CPNE. The CPNE is an 8-credit course. For a typical theory 4-credit course offered over 16 weeks, you would spend approximately 180 to 220 hours of class and preparation time, which is approximately 11 hours per week including classroom and independent study. Therefore, you should expect a total of 360 to 440 hours preparing for the CPNE.
Casual professional non-uniform clothing is to be worn on Day 1. A clean and pressed, white, one or two-piece uniform, tailored pullover with collar, button down shirts or scrub top and pants are worn for all the Patient Care Situations (PCS). White socks or stockings should be worn. White uniform shoes are to be worn. Clogs are not permitted. Sneakers are not acceptable unless they are professional wear and are all white. A name tag will be provided for you at the beginning of the orientation to the examination on Friday.
The only books you are permitted to bring to the hospital units are Mosby’s Handbook of Nursing Diagnosis and a drug book. Both books are to be free of any notations. However you may highlight your books. If you bring your Study Guide or any other textbooks, you will leave them in the meeting room and may use them during your breaks between Patient Care Situations (PCS).
Invasive procedures such as starting intravenous lines (IVs) or inserting nasogastric tubes (NG) are not a requirement of this examination. However, you may be assigned to insert a urinary catheter or perform tracheal and nasal bulb suctioning. You will not be assigned to hang blood or work with blood products during this examination.
You will have the opportunity to repeat each failed Simulation Laboratory station following your Patient Care Situations (PCS) on either Day 2 or Day 3. This will vary by test site.
The CPNE will be concluded at that time and scored as a failure. The Clinical Associate will speak with you about the exam process and provide you with an application to repeat the CPNE.
You will have the opportunity to repeat one adult and one pediatric Patient Care Situation (PCS). Depending on the testing site, it may be possible that you can repeat the failed PCS on either Day 2 or Day 3.
Yes, the CPNE Study Guide provides guidelines on how to write and submit your appeal letter to the Dean, School of Nursing. Remember that although you may feel that you should have received a passing grade, the Appeals Committee follows specific guidelines to make a decision of either Uphold failure, Repeat without penalty without fee, or Reverse to pass.