Progressive Care Certified Nurse Certification 2025

pccn nursing

PCCN Exam 2025 is a test designed for nurses in the Progressive Care Area (PCU), step-down and telemetry units. It is administered by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Certification Corporation.

You can take the PCCN Exam online or at more than 300 testing sites nationwide. Eligible applicants must practice as an RN or APRN for at least five years and have at least 2,000 hours of direct care of acutely ill adult patients.

Free PCCN Practice Test Online

PCCN Practice Questions

Taking the Progressive Care Certified Nurse exam can be intimidating, but a top-rated PCCN review course can help reduce test-taking anxiety and improve memorization skills. The best online PCCN review courses include a variety of study materials and offer the option to collaborate with other students. These features make the PCCN exam preparation process much easier and more efficient.

The Progressive Care Nurse (PCCN) exam is a multiple-choice exam designed to assess the knowledge of nurses who work with acutely ill adult patients. It includes questions based on the AACN Synergy Model for Patient Care and provides an in-depth look at the progression of disease states. The exam is available as a computer-based or paper-and-pencil version. The computer-based version results in a score report immediately after the exam, while the paper-and-pencil version is mailed six to eight weeks after the exam date.

The exam consists of 125 questions. A hundred of these are scored, while the remaining questions gather data used to guide exam development and scoring. This data helps AACN create future exams that are fair, accurate, and predictive of real-world clinical situations.


The PCCN is a certification for nurses who provide care for patients who are on the less acute side of critical-care acuity. This includes patients in areas such as step-down or telemetry units. The PCCN is also a good choice for nurses who might influence patient care but don’t directly deliver the care themselves.

The CCRN and PCCN exam blueprints are based on the AACN Synergy Model of Caring and include items that focus on clinical judgment and inquiry, as well as professional caring and ethical practice. Both exams require a minimum of 100 CERPs to renew.

Taking an exam review course can help you decrease test-taking anxiety and build your confidence. These courses can improve your memorization skills, as well as teach you best practices for managing your time on the exam. Moreover, online exam prep courses allow you to study on your own time and at your convenience. They are also more cost-effective than traditional classroom courses. Lee Taylor-Vaughan is an experienced healthcare educator and author of a number of examination review books. He has been providing continuing education to healthcare professionals since 1997. He travels around the US delivering many types of certification review courses.

pccn certification

PCCN Study Guide

The PCCN Exam is a rigorous and demanding test. Those who take it need to have advanced nursing knowledge in order to pass it. Our PCCN Study Guide is designed to help you learn the essentials of the exam and get ready for it. It includes practice tests, detailed answer explanations and more.

This book is filled with the critical information you’ll need to succeed on the PCCN Exam, including the clinical judgment and professional caring and ethical practices sections. It also contains in-depth body system coverage, including Cardiovascular; Pulmonary; Endocrine; Hematology/Immunology; Neurology; Gastrointestinal; Renal; Multisystem; and Shock & Behavioral.

The book is available in either print or ebook form, depending on your preference. It is easy to read and covers all the topics necessary to pass the exam. It teaches you general test-taking strategies, such as making predictions, answering the question correctly, avoiding “fact traps”, benchmarking, milking questions, and eliminating answers. The book also contains a helpful list of recommended reference materials, including textbooks and websites. It also discusses the importance of eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep, which are all linked to brain performance.

How Hard Is the PCCN Exam

If you’re considering becoming a progressive care nurse, the PCCN exam might seem daunting. But don’t worry – with dedication and hard work, you can achieve your goals! Just remember to break your larger goals into smaller, more manageable tasks and set milestones along the way. This will help you stay motivated and ensure that you’re not giving up or getting discouraged.

To qualify for the PCCN exam, you must have been a registered nurse for at least five years and completed 2,000 hours of direct care of acutely ill adult patients with at least 144 of those hours accrued in the year prior to your application. You can also use your nursing managerial experience or supervised nursing students to meet the eligibility requirements.

To prepare for the exam, you should focus on developing a strong foundation in patient assessment and monitoring. You can find a variety of resources online and in textbooks that will provide you with the information and practice questions that you need to pass the exam.

PCCN Certification Requirements

The AACN Progressive Care Nursing Certification exam is designed for nurses who directly care for acutely ill adult patients. These patients are often found in areas such as intermediate care, direct observation, step-down, and telemetry units. The exam is offered by the AACN, the largest specialty nursing organization in the world.

To be eligible to take the PCCN exam, you must be an RN or APRN with an active license in good standing. You must also have completed 1,750 hours of direct care of acutely ill adults in the past two years. The hours must be directly related to the patient’s care; orientation hours and time spent supervising nurse students or other nurses do not count toward your eligibility.

Taking an exam preparation course is a great idea, no matter what certification you are trying to earn. But it is particularly useful in nursing, where there is a lot of information to absorb. In addition to the practice questions, the course offers detailed answer explanations so that you can learn more about the concepts you missed on the test and improve your performance in future attempts.

pccn test

PCCN Passing Score

The Progressive Care Nurse Certification (PCCN) exam is a specialized nursing certification exam that allows Registered Nurses to demonstrate their knowledge of advanced clinical practice in progressive care units. The PCCN credential is offered by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). RNs who wish to become certified in the specialty must meet eligibility requirements, including specific clinical experience and professional nursing licensure in the US.

The PCCN test is a 2.5-hour, computer-based exam that consists of 125 multiple-choice questions. 25 of these questions are unscored pretest questions, which gather data to improve future exams. The minimum passing score is 68 correct answers.

The PCCN exam is available year-round at Pearson VUE testing centers. Those who wish to take the exam should register early as test appointments fill up quickly. Registrants are required to have a valid, unencumbered US RN or APRN license that must be active at the time of the test. Additionally, the registrant must have completed 2,000 hours of direct bedside nursing practice with acutely ill adult patients.

PCCN Review Book

Designed by progressive care nurses, this quick and concise review covers the most important topics on the AACN’s PCCN exam in just a few pages. Written by bestselling authors and test-taking experts, this book has everything you need to help pass your certification exam on the first try. -Sharpen your specialty knowledge with practice questions organized by the body system. -Test your skills with the included 125-question practice test. -Detailed answer explanations show you what’s on the exam, and how to score well!

This comprehensive review follows AACN’s latest exam blueprint and includes both Clinical Judgment and Professional Caring and Ethical Practice questions. Nicole breaks down complex information into a format that is easy to digest, engaging and entertaining. Featuring real life stories, catchy cheers and case studies, this review is the perfect study tool for any nursing student preparing to take the PCCN exam!

PCCN Review Questions

PCCN Exam Practice Questions is designed to challenge your knowledge using practice questions following AACN’s test plan for the adult Progressive Care Certified Nurse Exam. This live webinar is taught by Nicole and is 4 hours & 15 minutes long with 2 10-minute breaks. If you’re interested in selling back your PCCN Exam Practice Questions: PCCN Practice Tests & Review for the Progressive Care Certified Nurse Exam book, check out BookScouter. BookScouter searches for 30+ buyback vendors and gives you actual prices instantly.

The best way to prepare for any test is by taking lots of practice tests. These practice tests give you the opportunity to see what kinds of questions are on the official test and improve your chances of passing. In addition, the practice tests include detailed answer explanations for each question.

PCCN Exam Questions and Answers

PCCN stands for Progressive Care Certified Nurse.

Regardless of the patient’s geographical location, PCCN is a specialty certification for nurses who give direct care to acutely ill adult patients.

With a 67% pass rate, this test is regarded as being of moderate difficulty.

The PCCN certification enables you to keep your understanding of the treatment of seriously ill adult patients up to date. The PCCN certification emphasizes the specialized knowledge and skills needed for progressive care nursing in addition to giving you a sense of professional satisfaction and accomplishment.

Processing ought should take two to three weeks.

You must take following actions in order to obtain PCCN certification:

  • Confirm your qualification. You must fulfill the clinical practice hour requirements in direct care of severely unwell adult patients and hold a valid RN or APRN licensure in the United States.
  • Submit your application online. You must submit your application and the exam fee, which is either $200 for AACN members or $305 for nonmembers, online through the AACN website.
  • Make an exam appointment. On the AACN website, select a testing window (January-February, May-June, or September-October) and a testing method (computer-based testing at a test center or live remote proctoring at home). – Prepare for the test. The AACN website has an exam content overview and guide that you should peruse, and you should use study tools like books, online courses, practice exams, etc., to get ready for the test. – Pass the test. You must arrive early, bring identification and your confirmation email, adhere to the rules, and finish the 150 multiple-choice questions within three hours.
  • Examine your outcomes. After taking the exam, you will see a preliminary pass/fail result on the screen. Within four weeks, you and your state board will receive your official score report. Within six weeks after the exam, you will receive your PCCN certificate and wallet card in the mail.
  • Keep your certification current. Every three years, you must renew your certification by fulfilling the requirements, which may include earning 100 CEUs or retaking the exam.

A 68 out of 100 is the minimum score required to pass the PCCN exam.

You must study thoroughly and heed specific advice if you want to pass the PCCN exam, such as:

  • Examine the guidebook and exam subject outline on the AACN website.
  • Use study resources that are in line with the scope and difficulty of the exam.
  • Regular and efficient study.
  • Control your stress and time.
  • Be optimistic and self-assured.

To renew PCCN certification:

  • Check if you have a valid RN or APRN license in the U.S. and enough clinical hours in acute care.
  • Pick how to renew: by CERPs or exam. Or choose inactive, retired, or alumni status if not practicing or retiring.
  • Apply and pay online on the AACN website ($150 for members, $230 for nonmembers).
  • Finish renewal requirements: 100 CERPs (60 in Category A, 10 each in B and C) or exams in three years. See the AACN website for details.
  • Get results: confirmation email for CERPs or pass/fail screen for the exam. Score report in four weeks. Certificate and card in six weeks if passed or met CERPs.

The extent of your preparation and experience will determine how difficult the PCCN and CCRN tests are for you. Because it includes more intricate themes and critical care nursing-related abilities than the PCCN exam, some nurses could find the CCRN exam to be more challenging.

The PCCN exam is for nurses who work directly with seriously sick adult patients in settings that support progressive care, such as step-down, telemetry, etc. The AACN exam verifies your competence in progressive care nursing and is offered by the organization of the same name.