NNP-BC - Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

  • $325
  • Renews every 3 years

COURSE FORMAT

Online
In Person

About

Registered Nurse Practitioners specializing in neonatal care can be recognized by the National Certification Corporation (NCC) with a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP-BC) certification. The NNP-BC exam for nurse practitioners tests specialty knowledge and clinical skills in caring for patients during the antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum periods. RNs must demonstrate a coordinated approach to care, risk assessment, and emotional support to mothers, newborns, and families.

Cost

The NNP-BC exam cost $325, includes a $50 non-refundable fee.

Course Format

Test Format

Tests are administered through PSI Testing Services. Candidates may test at a local testing center or virtually via online live remote proctoring. NNP-BC candidates can take online proctored exams by appointment 24 hours a day. Applicants must schedule their appointments within 30 days of eligibility.

The NNP-BC exam is a 3-hour timed test with 175 multiple-choice questions. Only 150 items are scored, while 25 pretest items are used to gather statistical data for future exams.

The NNP-BC content includes:

  • General assessment (maternal, neonatal, and family)

  • General management (thermoregulation, resuscitation/stabilization, growth, nutrition, fluids)

  • Pharmacology (drugs and breastfeeding, common drug therapies)

  • Embryology, Physiology, Pathophysiology, and Systems Management

  • Professional Considerations

Test Results

NCC exam results identify pass/fail status. They do not administer percentages or numerical scores. Official exam reports provided to examinees will give feedback on the various content areas of the examination in the form of word descriptors: very weak, weak, average, strong, and very strong.

NPP-BC candidates who do not pass the exam must complete a 90-day waiting period before reapplying. They must also pay full fees to retest. NNP-BC candidates may only take the NCC specialty exams twice a calendar year.

Certification

Here are the steps to becoming a neonatal nurse practitioner:

  1. Obtain a high school diploma or equivalent.

  2. Earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

  3. Apply to take the NCLEX-RN exam.

  4. Pass the exam and obtain an RN license.

  5. Complete a master in science in a nursing program specializing in nurse practitioner.

  6. Work as a neonatal nurse practitioner to gain experience.

  7. Apply for the neonatal nurse practitioner certification.

  8. Take the NCC NNP-BC board exam for specialty certification.

To be eligible for the NNP-BC examination, nurses must have the following:

  • An active, unrestricted registered nursing license

  • Diploma from an accredited master’s, DNP, or post-master’s graduate nurse practitioner program within the past eight years.

Nurses can apply for the examination online through NCC when all eligibility criteria are met.

Test Fees

The application fee for the NNP-BC exam is $325. Test fees are non-refundable and can be made by credit card or check. NCC does not accept split payments.

Certifications may be revoked or withheld if a returned check or credit card charge-back results in a loss of income to NCC. 

Renewal

NPP-BC certification is valid for three years. Nurses must earn 15-55 hours of continuing education (CE) credit following their education plan.

Steps to Renewal:

  1. Take the Continuing Competency Assessment in the NCC online account.

  2. Review the education plan, which shows CE requirements.

  3. Earn CE for completed continuing education activities.

  4. Add and track the activities in the NCC online account.

  5. Submit the maintenance application.

The NCC processes renewal applications in 3-5 business days but may take two weeks.

Renewal Fees

  • Fees are based on a quarterly system, depending on when certification was granted.

  • Dates: March 15th, June 15th, September 15th or December 15th

  • Maintenance fees = $100

  • Discounts if using Continuing Education (CE) modules:

    • 15 hours = $80

    • 30  hours = $70

    • 45 hours = $60

  • Alternate maintenance fee if continuing competency assessment is not completed = $175

Other Resources

The NCC offers the following resources:

Related Certifications

The NCC also offers the Womens Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHNP-BC).

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Frequently asked questions

How long will it take to become an NNP?

While career paths may vary, becoming a neonatal nurse practitioner will take six years. Generally, nursing school programs take four years, and a nurse will need two years or 500-1000 hours of clinical practice experience for their master’s or doctoral degree program. The master’s degree programs require an additional two years. 

Can I earn a NNP-BC online?

Yes you can earn a NNP-BC online.

What organization offers the NNP-BC?

The National Certification Corporation (NCC) offers the NNP-BC.

What other certifications does the NCC offer besides the NNP-BC?

The National Certification Corporation (NCC) also offers the Womens Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHNP-BC).