Exam Passing Scores

The passing score (also known as the cut score) is the number of scored questions that must be answered correctly on an exam to achieve certification. The passing score is not a percentage but a raw number that may change over time as an exam is updated based on results of the most recent study of practice (also known as a job analysis) or when the exam forms are periodically changed and equated for difficulty. 

The passing score should not be confused with the pass rate, which is the percentage of candidates testing who are successful at passing an exam. 

Passing scores for AACN Certification Corporation exams are determined using a systematic procedure known as the modified Angoff method in collaboration with professional psychometricians from our testing service, Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. (AMP). Below are current exam passing scores and their effective dates.  

 Exam Total # of
Items on
Exam
 # of Scored
Items on
Exam
Passing
(Cut)
Score
Score
Effective
Date
CCRN Adult       150  125   89 01/13/2010
CCRN Pediatric       150  125   88 08/01/2008
CCRN Neonatal       150  125   88 09/01/2009
PCCN       125  100   68 06/26/2013
CCNS Adult       175  155 109 07/01/2003
CCNS Pediatric       175  155 109 01/01/2006
CCNS Neonatal       175   155 109 07/01/2003
ACCNS-AG       175  150   93 07/10/2013
ACCNS-P       175  150   98 07/10/2013
ACCNS-N       175  150   99 02/12/2014
ACNPC       175   150 111 04/03/2007
ACNPC-AG       175  150 107 01/23/2013
CMC        90     75   52 06/20/2012
CSC        90     75   52 06/20/2012
CNML      115   100   70 10/01/2008