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Certification Exam Statistics and Cut Scores

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Exam Statistics

This summarized statistical data is for the past three calendar years. Aggregate data itemized for each certification program includes total number of exam candidates tested for the year, first-time pass rate for the year and total number of certificants.


2016

Exam Candidates Tested First Time Pass Rate Total Certificants
CCRN (Adult) 12,323 79.1% 69,567
CCRN (Neonatal) 257 79.5% 1,254
CCRN (Pediatric) 1,019 78.4% 5,182
CCRN-E 60 89.1% 311
CCRN-K (Adult) 107 86.7% 1,821
CCRN-K (Neonatal) 2 100% 33
CCRN-K (Pediatric) 10 77.8% 149
PCCN 3,812 74.9% 16,137
PCCN-K 3 100% 40
ACNPC-AG 337 73.4% 541
ACCNS-AG 139 83.3% 406
ACCNS-N 5 100% 15
ACCNS-P 10 75.0% 41
CMC 429 67.3% 1,805
CSC 478 71.4% 2,047
*CCNS (Adult) 0 n/a 1,049
*CCNS (Neonatal) 0 n/a 51
*CCNS (Pediatric) 0 n/a 39
*ACNPC 0 n/a 264
*Renewal Only


2015

Exam Candidates Tested First Time Pass Rate Total Certificants
CCRN (Adult) 12,205 73.7% 67,586
CCRN (Neonatal) 190 76.0% 1,138
CCRN (Pediatric) 1,030 68.3% 4,843
CCRN-E 17 93.3% 255
CCRN-K (Adult) 90 91.3% 1,017
CCRN-K (Neonatal) 2 100% 16
CCRN-K (Pediatric) 7 66.7% 86
PCCN 3,655 75.1% 14,808
CCNS (Adult) 93 80.9% 1,055
CCNS (Neonatal) 1 100% 51
CCNS (Pediatric) 2 50% 39
ACNPC 13 60% 264
ACNPC-AG 223 76.4% 326
ACCNS-AG 138 88.1% 301
ACCNS-N 5 100% 10
ACCNS-P 12 100% 33
CMC 375 66.4% 1,722
CSC 437 71.3% 1,940


2014

Exam Candidates Tested First Time Pass Rate Total Certificants
CCRN (Adult) 11,824 71.7% 65,081
CCRN (Neonatal) 217 71.4% 1,088
CCRN (Pediatric) 915 69% 4,487
CCRN-E 33 75% 229
CCRN-K (Adult) 17 75% 236
CCRN-K (Neonatal) 0 0% 2
CCRN-K (Pediatric) 2 69% 20
PCCN 3,903 75.5% 13,358
CCNS (Adult) 146 81.7% 1,018
CCNS (Neonatal) 6 75% 51
CCNS (Pediatric) 3 100% 38
ACNPC 21 54.5% 239
ACNPC-AG 111 62% 179
ACCNS-AG 103 91.8% 183
ACCNS-N 5 100% 5
ACCNS-P 5 100% 19
CMC 365 66.8% 1,622
CSC 393 72.4% 1,820


Exam Cut Scores

The cut score (also known as the passing 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" (see Exam Statistics above), 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 87 10/15/2015
CCRN (Pediatric) 150 125 86 10/15/2015
CCRN (Neonatal) 150 125 86 10/15/2015
CCRN-K (Adult) 150 125 87 10/15/2015
CCRN-K (Pediatric) 150 125 86 10/15/2015
CCRN-K (Neonatal) 150 125 86 10/15/2015
CCRN-E 150 125 87 10/15/2015
PCCN 125 100 68 06/26/2013
PCCN-K 125 100 68 09/07/2016
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-AG 175 150 107 01/23/2013
CMC 90 75 54 12/01/2016
CSC 90 75 52 12/01/2016