• Certifications and Licenses
  • RNC-OB - Registered Nurse Certified in Inpatient Obstetrics

    • Cost $325
    • Renews every 3 years


    In Person


    The Inpatient Obstetric Nursing (RNC-OB) certification is designed for registered nurses (RNs) with two years of professional experience specializing in obstetric, gynecologic, or neonatal nursing in the U.S. or Canada. Nurses may apply to take the certification exam through the National Certification Corporation (NCC). RNC-OB credentials demonstrate highly specialized skills in the care of hospitalized mothers and babies during the antepartum, intrapartum, postpartum, and newborn periods.

    Course Format

    Test Format

    The RNC-OB exam is a timed 3-hour test containing 175 multiple-choice questions. From the total, 150 items are scored, and 25 are used to gather statistical data but don't count towards the final results. Candidates score points for items answered correctly, used to calculate an ability level. There's no penalty for wrong answers. The final score will be pass/fail, based on ability level. The NCC re-evaluates test content every 3 to 5 years to stay current. The current test is the 2019/2020 version.

    Test Fees

    Computer Exam Fee $325, includes a $50 application fee


    After testing, candidates will receive an email from the testing company with instructions about the results. Official results and a final score report are mailed from NCC within 15 business days.

    In Person

    PSI Computer Testing Centers across the country offer in-person, computer-based RNC-OB testing.


    Applicants may test online using PSI's Live Remote Proctoring (LRP), with appointments available 24/7. They may test from home, work, or another remote setting that meets remote proctoring requirements. LRP candidates must:

    • Run a system and webcam test to confirm compatibility and technical requirements

    • Have broadband Internet, microphone, and detachable web camera

    • Candidates with built-in web cameras that can't be moved around to scan the entire testing room must have a 5-inch x 6-inch or larger handheld mirror the virtual proctor can use to scan the room

    • Not use a tablets, which doesn't allow for screen sharing

    • Use a Windows or Mac laptop or desktop computer

    • Close most applications running on the computer

    • Have current version of Google Chrome or some other Chromium-based browser

    • Download and install PSI’s secure web browser

    • Sign-in to NCC account 15 minutes early on test day

    • Initiate the exam launch process

    • Present two forms of ID to the live proctor before the exam starts by holding it up to the webcam

    • Scan the testing room with the webcam so the live proctor can verify the room is empty and the desk doesn't have any unpermitted items on or near it

    • Utilize the in-exam chat tool to speak to the live proctor if necessary

    • Complete the exam



    1. A current and unrestricted RN license in the US or Canada

    2. Two years (24 months) and 2,000 clinical hours of experience working in the inpatient setting with a thorough understanding of pregnancy and childbirth. 

    3. Verified employment history in a hospital setting during the past two years that provided direct clinical practice, education, administration, or research. 

    Applications for the NCC RNC-OB exam must be submitted online. Applications sent by fax, mail, or email are rejected. Applications are typically approved within two weeks. Candidates who are approved receive eligibility letters by email and through the NCC online portal. They must schedule their exam 30 to 90 days from approval.

    Steps for Testing

    • Determine eligibility

    • Submit application online through the NCC website

    • Save email confirmation of application receipt

    • Email confirmation should arrive within 30 minutes

    • Wait for application approval

    • This process can take up to 2 weeks

    • Receive notification of eligibility to test via email and NCC account

    • Schedule an exam appointment within the first 30 days of the eligibility window that's within the 90-day testing window


    NCC’s Maintenance Program requires certification renewal every three years. The RNC-OB renewal requires:

    • Continuing Competency Assessment (CCA) for individualized education plan

    • Maintenance application

    • Documentation of Continuing Education (CE) activities

    • Maintenance fee $100, discounted if using NCC CE credits

    Other Resources

    NCC doesn't provide any review courses or study materials for the RNC-OB exam. However, it does have a preview test available. You also receive detailed test outlines and suggested resources upon receipt of your application.

    Suggested Resources:

    Download NCC Candidate Guides The RNC-OB Candidate Guide contains:

    • Sample questions

    • Competency statements

    • Detailed test outlines

    • List of book/periodical references

    • All NCC Policies related to the test administration process

    Related Certifications

    • Electronic Fetal Monitoring (C-EFM) Certification

    • Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) Certification

    • Registered Nurse Certified in Maternal Newborn Nursing (RNC-MNN)

    • Registered Nurse, Certified Inpatient Antepartum Nursing (RNC-IAP)

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    Frequently asked questions

    What are some certifications I can pursue after obtaining Registered Nurse Certified in Inpatient Obstetrics certification?
    How long does it take to get RNC OB results?

    You should have your official results, with the score report, in your NCC account within 15 business days of taking the computer exam. Your certification date is the date of the official results, not the exam date.

    What should I study to help me pass the RNC-OB?

    NCC doesn't provide any review courses or study materials for the RNC-OB exam. Suggested topics to study that may help with the exam include:

    • Maternal Factors Affecting Newborn

    • EFM strip analysis/labor physiology

    • Induction Guidelines

    • OB complications

    • Fetal Assessment/Testing Guidelines

    • Postpartum/Newborn Care

    • Professional Communication

    • Negligence

    • Malpractice

    How long is my RNC-OB certification valid?

    You must renew your RNC-OB certification every two years.

    What is the difference between OB nurses and labor and delivery nurses?

    Obstetrics nurses care for pregnant patients during the prenatal, intrapartum and postpartum phases of childbirth. Labor and delivery nurses are only involved in the intrapartum period, which is the time between the onset of labor and delivery of the placenta.