FAQ – CPAN Exam For International Nurses

Frequently Asked Questions About the CPAN Exam For International Nurses


Q: In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements for the examination, are there any extra requirements before signing up for the examination?
A: You must have a current email address to register online to take the examination. ABPANC, and our testing partner, PSI, will communicate with you primarily through email to confirm your test date and testing site. You will be required to enter an email address during the registration process. If you do not have a current email address, you can obtain one through a free service such as Gmail (www.gmail.com) or Yahoo (mail.yahoo.com).

Q: Why am I being asked to provide verifiers?
A: The Learning Builder System asks that individuals add the names of at least two people who can attest to their clinical eligibility and licensure. Individuals applying for initial certification will need to show at least 1,200 hours of direct clinical experience in the last two years. Verifiers are not contacted during the application or testing process, only after the candidate achieves a passing score.

Q: How much does it cost to take the CPAN® examination?
A: International candidates are offered the reduced examination fee of $350.00 USD for the examination. Planning to take the CPAN Exam? Consider applying for one of ABPANC’s Scholarships


Q: What if I am unable to sit for the examination when I scheduled it?
A: Specific information about canceling a testing appointment is available in the Certification Candidate Handbook.

Q: How do I reschedule a testing appointment?
A: Candidates who need to re-schedule a testing appointment should contact PSI. Specific information on rescheduling a testing appointment is available in the Certification Candidate Handbook.

Q: How many times can I sit for the examination?
A: Candidates can sit for each examination once per testing window.

Q: What should I do if I’m requesting special accommodations?
A: You must contact PSI to arrange for Special Testing Accommodations at +1-800-367-1565, ext 670 or email eaalerts@psionline.com. You will also need to provide appropriate documentation from a healthcare provider. Once your request has been received, the PSI Special Accommodations team will contact you. ABPANC complies with the American Disabilities Act (ADA).

Exam sites

Q: Where can I sit for the examination?
A: Candidates can take the examination at many of the hundreds of test sites that our testing partner, PSI, operates. When you apply to take an examination, you will be able to access a full list of test sites so that you can choose the location that is most convenient for you. You also have the option to take the exam via Live Remote Proctoring (LRP).

LRP is a safe, secure and convenient way to schedule and sit for your certification exam from the convenience of your home or office!

Remote proctoring uses a non-invasive platform that allows professional proctors and technology to monitor test candidates live while they complete the certification exam. This method of test delivery enables the CPAN candidate to take the certification exam from their home, office or a remote site, using their own computer.

This online remote exam means that a remote proctor is actively watching the exam candidate during the time of the test administration in order to safeguard the exam integrity and validity. This is similar to the role of a proctor during an in-person exam at a testing center. You can find out more about LRP here.

Q: What test dates are available for the CPAN examination?
A: ABPANC offers two, eight-week-long testing windows for candidates to take the CPAN examination.

Please note: the last day of the registration window is the FINAL deadline. Applications submitted electronically after 11:59 PM ET on this date will NOT be accepted.

Annual Registration Windows for the Exam:

  • 1 January – 30 April
  • 1 July – 31 October

Annual Testing Windows:

  • 15 March – 15 May
  • 15 September – 15 November

Note: PSI Test Center seats fill up quickly, so it is highly recommended that you register for your exam and schedule your exam appointment as soon as you receive your eligibility confirmation email. The later you apply and schedule, the fewer options you may have for test date, location and method.

Q: How do I schedule my testing appointment?
A: To schedule your exam appointment, log into your Learning Builder account and click on the Exam Appointment link. Follow the prompts to schedule the date, time and location of the exam you wish to take.

You will receive a confirmation email after you have made your exam appointment.

If you are unable to find the site information to schedule your own appointment online, please feel free to contact PSI directly at +1-866-830-1145 for assistance.

Q: What will I need to get into the testing site?
A: One form of identification, including valid photo identification, is required for admission to the examination test site. Please see the Certification Candidate Handbook for more information.

Q: Are the testing sites noisy because other test candidates are typing?
A: PSI testing sites use state-of-the-art keyboards that are the quietest available to keep the testing site noise level at a minimum. You may bring soft ear plugs to the test site.


Q: Do I have to be an experienced computer user to take the computer-based examination?
A: No prior computer experience is necessary. At the beginning of an examination, each candidate will receive a brief tutorial on how to use the computer to answer questions and review responses. Test center staff members are always available to answer questions. The complete tutorial lasts 15 minutes and does not count against your overall testing time.

Q: How much time do I have to take the examination?
A: You have three hours to complete the examination. The computer has a clock to monitor your time. The clock will also count down the time remaining.

Q: Is there a practice test I can take before sitting for the computer-based examination?
A: Yes! There are practice examinations available for purchase for the CPAN examination. Click here for more information and for instructions on how to purchase the CPAN Practice Exams.

Q: How is the examination scored?
A: The passing score for the CPAN examination is initially determined based on a criterion referenced system. Candidate scores are determined based on the number of test questions answered correctly (raw score). To ensure fairness of the examination process, a statistical method called equating is used. Following equating, raw scores are mathematically converted into scaled scores (ranging from 200-800). The passing score for the CPAN examination has been set by ABPANC at 450. Therefore, for the CPAN examination, a score of 450 scale score units must be obtained to pass. Detailed information about scoring is available in the Certification Candidate Handbook. Detailed information about scoring is available in the Certification Candidate Handbook.

Q: Will my score be available as soon as I finish the examination?
A: When you finish the exam, or after the three hour time limit has lapsed, you will receive your final, official Score Report that indicates whether or not you passed.

Q: How do I get my CPAN certificate?

A: Your certificate and wallet ID verifying your CPAN certification are available for download in Learning Builder. Here are three easy steps to access your certificate and wallet ID:

  1. Log in to Learning Builder at https://cpancapa.learningbuilder.com/account/login/ and go to the “My Account” section in the top, right-hand corner. This takes you to your “Account Details” Section.
  2. Scroll down to the blue ribbon that says “CPAN/CAPA and Practitioner.”
  3. Click on your certification and scroll down to the bottom of the section. You will see “Download Certificate” and “Download Wallet ID” links. You can now print the downloaded certificate.

We encourage you to print and frame your certificate and laminate your wallet ID. ABPANC will no longer send certificates and wallet IDs in the mail.

Q: Is the exam offered in any language other than English?
A: No. Currently, the CPAN exam is only offered in English.

Q: What is the composition of the CPAN Exam?
A: The CPAN exam is written based on U.S. clinical practice standards. The exam form includes updated measurements using the metric system, use of Celsius and Fahrenheit for temperature, as well as other measures.

Credential Verification

Q: Where can I get my license verified?
A: ABPANC requires licenses be verified by one the following organizations:

Q: Do I need to get my license verified?
A: If you were licensed outside of the United States, ABPANC requires license verification, as recognized by the Accreditation Board of Specialty Nursing Certification.