Excelsior College Nursing Exams

Nursing Exam Choices

Excelsior College® Examinations (ECEs) in Nursing Theory

The Excelsior College Examinations in Nursing Theory serve as the primary method of documenting the required theoretical knowledge in the program's nursing component. They assess essential knowledge of medical, surgical, maternity, pediatric, and psychiatric nursing as integrated with knowledge related to growth and development, nutrition and pharmacology, ethical and legal issues, and arts and sciences.

Associate degree examinations


Beginning with the Fall 2015 trimester we will introduce a third option to completing the nursing requirements for the Associate degrees in nursing. We call these the Nursing Theory Series. The Nursing Theory Series will include the nursing courses, the nursing theory examinations and a new option called the Nursing Theory Conference Examinations (NTCXs). The NTCXs will roll out between the Fall 2015 trimester through the Summer 2016 trimester. With this option all our nursing theory examinations will be packaged with newly designed online conferences that will provide you with a trimester experience to facilitate your preparation for each examination. This means you will retain the flexibility of an independent learner while benefiting from an organized approach to the examination preparation process. Read the details here.

Focused Clinical Competencies Assessment® (FCCA®)

To be eligible for the FCCA you will need to complete all Nursing Theory exams and be within 10 General Education credits of completing your degree. The FCCA is graded as Pass/Fail and is worth four credits when passed.

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Clinical Performance in Nursing Examination CPNE®

The CPNE is a skill-based assessment designed to measure a student's ability to demonstrate the expected behaviors and skills of a beginning-level associate-prepared nurse. The exam evaluates a student's application of the nursing process and nursing-practice technical components in the care of adults and children who are experiencing potential, actual, and/or recurring health problems requiring maintenance and restorative interventions. Critical thinking, diagnostic reasoning, use of knowledge from nursing and related disciplines, effectiveness of interventions, and standards of care are measured in this exam.

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Other Nursing exams, not designed specifically for Excelsior's Nursing programs, and available to learners outside the Nursing programs, are part of the UExcel credit-by-exam program.

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Excelsior College Test Administration
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Test Preparation Advisory

Test Preparation Advisory

Preparation for Excelsior College® Examinations, though based on independent study, is supported by Excelsior College with a comprehensive set of exam learning resources and services designed to help you succeed.

These learning resources are prepared by Excelsior College so you can be assured that they are current and cover the content you are expected to master for the exams. These resources, and your desire to learn, are usually all that you will need to succeed.

There are test-preparation companies that will offer to help you study for our examinations. Some may imply a relationship with Excelsior College and/or make claims that their products and services are all that you need to prepare for our examinations.

Excelsior College is not affiliated with any test preparation firm and does not endorse the products or services of these companies. No test preparation vendor is authorized to provide admissions counseling or academic advising services, or to collect any payments, on behalf of Excelsior College. Excelsior College does not send authorized representatives to a student's home.

Depending upon your individual learning style and needs, you may consider using the services and products of a test preparation vendor to help you prepare for an Excelsior College Examination. Some students have found such materials beneficial while others have not. The decision to purchase the services and products of any of these vendors is entirely up to you.

Excelsior College does not review the materials provided by test preparation companies for content or compatibility with Excelsior College Examinations.

To help you become a well-informed consumer we suggest that you consider the following before making any purchase decision regarding study materials provided by organizations other than Excelsior College.

Does the company:

  • Clearly articulate that it is an independent business enterprise, separate from Excelsior College, and that it is not a degree granting institution?
  • Clearly inform you that the products and services it provides have not been reviewed, nor are they endorsed, by Excelsior College?
  • Openly indicate that it is not an agent of Excelsior College, that it is not authorized to provide admissions counseling or academic advising regarding Excelsior's degree requirements, and that all its costs and fees are separate from those you will pay to the College?
  • Have a record of unresolved complaints/disputes with consumer protection agencies, nursing boards, attorneys general offices, or other similar organizations?
  • Require clients to commit to long-term, binding contracts to access its products and services?
  • Provide data to substantiate the satisfaction of its clients with its products and services?

We have been made aware of several recent incidents in which a test-preparation firm has contacted an Excelsior College student requesting access to their Excelsior College Examinations ® preparatory materials, including practice exams. Sharing learning resources with a test-preparation firm is a clear violation of the academic honesty code. Students found to have engaged in academic dishonesty at Excelsior College will be subject to disciplinary action.

If you are approached by any individual or third-party about sharing any Excelsior College provided study materials, please contact us at PR (at) excelsior.edu.