Certified Nurse Educator Exam

The Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) certification recognizes
specialized knowledge, skills, and abilities inherent in nurse education that
strengthen the use of core competencies and contributes to the professional
development of nurse educators.


Before you sit for the CNE exam, you must meet the following

  • Option 1
    • Valid, unrestricted license in the country of
      practice, and
    • A master’s or doctoral degree in nursing with:
      • An emphasis in nursing education, or
      • Post-master’s certificate in nursing education,
      • Nine or more graduate-level education course
  • Option 2
    • Valid, unrestricted license in the country of
      practice, and
    • A master’s or doctoral degree in nursing, with major
      emphasis in a role other than nursing education, and
    • Two or more years employment with an academic
      institution’s nursing program within the last five years

Test design

The three-hour exam consists of 150 multiple-choice
questions, each with four possible answers. Questions on the exam consist of
three cognitive levels – recall, application, and analysis – divided into six
content areas:

  • Facilitate learning – 22% of the exam

As a nurse educator, you will be expected
to effectively use teaching strategies based on educational theory and
evidence-based practices. This entails knowledge and skill to modify learning experiences
to enhance a student’s educational experience based on their learning style.
Using oral and written communication, you will create a positive learning
environment where each student has the opportunity to develop their critical
thinking skills in a safe environment.

  • Facilitate learner development and socialization
    – 15% of the exam

Your goal as a nurse educator is to provide
the resources necessary for learners with diverse needs and skills while
creating an environment of peer and self-evaluation. Through your encouragement
and guidance, each student will strive for professional development.

  • Use of assessment and evaluation strategies –
    19% of the exam

As an active contributor to the educational
environment, you will provide input that enhances the nursing program and
assists in policy development. As a professional intent on excellence, you will
utilize methods available to assess and evaluate learning in the cognitive,
psychomotor, and affective domains. You will use proven evaluation methods to
assess learner development, the effectiveness of content delivery, and program

  • Curriculum design and evaluation of program
    outcomes – 17% of the exam

You will use your knowledge and experience
in curriculum development. You will analyze and revise the curriculum utilizing
program outcomes, learner needs, societal and health care needs, and
stakeholder feedback. You will continually strive for program improvement using
appropriate change theories and strategies.

  • The pursuit of continual self and quality
    improvement in the Academic Nurse Educator role – 12% of the exam

As a nurse educator, you will continually
strive for professional growth and positive role modeling through engagement in
continual self-education, professional organization memberships, and management
of responsibilities required or influenced by the nurse educator position.

  • Engagement in scholarship, service, and
    leadership – 15% of the exam

Your role of nurse educator requires your ability to function as a change agent and leader within the educational and professional community. Through the scholarship of teaching, you will exemplify the aspects of a professional nurse and life-long learner.


Registration, cost,
and location

Registration for the Certified Nurse Educator exam is
$400.00 for National League for Nursing (NLN) members and $500.00 for
non-members. A candidate may take the exam four times per year with a 90-day
waiting period between each attempt.

Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc (AMP) delivers the
computer-based exam at over 180 testing centers worldwide. Appointments are
available Monday through Saturday, holidays excluded. Registration is online
and once completed, an email notification is sent identifying the date and time
of your exam.

Test Day

Refer to your email notification for test location, date,
and time. Leave your personal belongings at home. After you complete the
sign-in process, a test proctor will direct you to your testing station, and
provide you with a pencil and scratch paper.

Before you begin the exam, you have an opportunity to take a
short pre-test to familiarize yourself with the program. At the conclusion of
the pre-test, your examination will begin. If time remains, you may review your
answers before submitting your exam. There is no penalty for guessing.

Exam scoring and

After you submit your answers, the computer will indicate
your pass or fail status with information on your raw score for each content
area. The difficulty of the exam and the number of correct answers determine
the passing score.

Your official report is provided to you before you leave the testing facility. In five to six weeks, you will receive your official certificate in the mail.

How Can I Prepare for the Certified Nurse Educator Test?

That’s a great question.  We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.

  1. Do yourself a favor and study.  Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try.  Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
  2. Take care of yourself.  Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping.  All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance.  If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
  3. Get a study guide or set of flashcards.  Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them.  We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam.  Below you’ll see links to both!

Study Guide



Last Updated: November 9, 2023