Gearing up to take the Excelsior CPNE. Help?


I'm gearing up to take the CPNE for the Excelsior (used to be called Regents, I believe) LVN-to-RN program. I've heard some nightmarish tales, and I've talked to others who passed it the first time around, no sweat. I'm a bright nurse, who, at my best, excels at school/work, etc. That being said, I have the habit of psyching myself out, have a history of performance anxiety, and am just generally worried about the whole thing. Thanks for reading, and for advise you may have to offer.


1,007 Posts

Has 6 years experience.

Good luck. I wish I could do Excelsior but my state doesn't recognize any online programs so I couldn't get my license if I did it. If the state ever changes its mind I'll do it!

toekneejo, ADN

60 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

Well I guess I would go into your category of no sweat. :) Not really though. I do think it depends on the individual. You do need to be self motivated, you will have minimal guidance!! And I do mean minimal however, they do have practice exams to make sure you are prepared prior to taking the theory exams. I also found that they have a discussion board for all of the exams but I didn't know about them until I was studying for the CPNE. If you decide to go to EC you will need to figure out how to control your nerves during the CPNE many say it is the most stressed they have ever been. I wouldn't go that far but it is definitely right up there! Best of luck to you in whatever you decide.


4 Posts

Realize your there for testing, and not total patient care like you do everyday. Know your neumonics for each of their skills, that is what your tested on with the patient. practice the friday night skill stations the way they want it done. Most of the anxiety is because you don't know what to expect, not because you can't do it. If you can go to a prep class,do it just to get the feel of the test, and helpful hints,. I went to clinical prep exam with Lynn Fredrick, it helped with the skills, but more importantly it helped to know what to expect. If you can't just get the study tapes, and watch them a lot. The book for the exam can be overwhelming. Good Luck!


24 Posts

Has 100 years experience.

what is your test date and where?


1 Post

Where is the best site for the CPNE exam?


268 Posts

Specializes in geriatrics, hospice, private duty.

I'm gearing up as well. Here's some stuff I've done or am doing (or am going to do XD).

1. Get the CPNE guide printed and bound. I also bought dividers to better organize the study guide. I pulled units I-III out and put them in a seperate binder because your main study material is Unit IV. I also used dividers to mark each section of unit IV to break it down into more managable chunks. I plan to also make a seperate "study binder" that will go everywhere with me and will include all the critical elements and procedures and anything else that can be studied outside of my lab.

2. Set up a CPNE practice lab and then practice, practice, practice! I've actually started a thread to get ideas to add to my lab if you want to check it out. I've gotten some excellent advice already.

3. Take a workshop. The CPNE pass rate is 61% but pass rates for students who take workshops are 97% and up. I'll be signing up for Sheri Taylor's workshop as soon as I get through the study guide cover to cover once and get my lab completely set up.

4. Finally, look at old posts here. There is tons of good information! Ec also has its own CPNE message board (which I still have yet to check out). I've heard it has great info as well.

Good luck! We can do it!


3 Posts

I have yet to sign up, and still waiting to take that last online course that takes two months, so it may be a while. Any thoughts on what testing site I should try for?


268 Posts

Specializes in geriatrics, hospice, private duty.

Depends on what your criteria is. If you want the fastest test dates, NPAC is the way to go. I've heard unpleasant things about MPAC, but mostly from people who failed so that is something to consider. Even people who fail at NPAC still speak highly of it though!


3 Posts

Where is NPAC?


208 Posts

Even though I am not eligible to take the CPNE yet, how can I get the study guide?

JustBeachyNurse, LPN

1 Article; 13,952 Posts

Specializes in Complex pedi to LTC/SA & now a manager. Has 13 years experience.
Even though I am not eligible to take the CPNE yet, how can I get the study guide?

You cannot gain access to the study guide until you are eligible for the CPNE. There are pretty stringent rules about that.