CPN vs Board Certification in peds


I'm looking in to obtaining certification in pediatrics. I was planning to do the CPN cert but while I was looking around the net for resources I noticed that you can also be board certified in pediatrics. I'm not really clear on what the difference between the two certifications is or which is better to have. Does anyone have any experience with either certification? Is one more challenging to obtain or seen as being superior?


~PedsRN~, BSN, RN

Specializes in Acute Care Pediatrics. Has 4 years experience. 826 Posts

I know CPN is the certification that my facility pushes.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 45 years experience. 7,899 Posts

My facility pays for CPN for general peds nurses. I work in PICU and after passing CCRN, I opted to take the ANCC Pediatric Nurse exam. I have heard that the CPN focuses on well-child a little too heavily for inpatient nurses.

The ANCC exam did have content on home care, which I found interesting.

Mickey9700, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, PICU, Pediatric Urgent Care. Has 14 years experience. 36 Posts

I know this post is 7 years old, but I have this exact same question. I'm studying for the CPN, but was just wondering which is more valuable....

Certified Pediatric Nurse or Board Certified in Pediatric Nursing?

The letters you put after your name are different.

Thanks if anyone sees this!


llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 45 years experience. 13,469 Posts

The CPN exam is given by the Society of Pediatric Nurses.

The other exam (Board Certified in Pediatric Nursing) is offered by the American Nurses Association through its American Nurses Certification Board.

Both organizations legitimate and well-respected, as are both credentials. It is simply a matter of 2 different professional organizations offering certification in the same field. The CPN is much more popular -- I think because it existed first. Also, some people like that you renew it every year (and pay for 1 year at a time) rather than the ANCC one that gets renewed every 5 years (and you pay for 5 years at that time). Finally, I believe the initial requirements are a little higher for the ANCC one than the CPN.

It's really just a matter of personal preference. I recommend reviewing the specific details of both and choosing the one that suits you the best.

Mickey9700, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, PICU, Pediatric Urgent Care. Has 14 years experience. 36 Posts

Thank you so much for the information. I will do some more research as I study. I appreciate your time in answering my question.

Mickey9700, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, PICU, Pediatric Urgent Care. Has 14 years experience. 36 Posts

Thanks so much!

I know sometimes we see these posts so many years later, but sometimes better late than never!


lilRN16, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psych/Med Surg/Ortho/Tele/Peds. Has 6 years experience. 82 Posts

I don't know any pediatric nurses that have either one of these designations, but I just passed PED-BC. 

I just crammed like I was studying for NCLEX, but focused on infants through adolescence, and passed. 

I don't expect any financial gain, it was just a goal I had set for myself and I'm proud to put these initials behind my name.