Nurse Executive Certification Practice Test

The Nurse Executive, Advanced Board Certification Exam measures the competency and skills of established nurses who already have experience in an administrative role.
For those aiming toward the title of Nurse Executive-Board Certified, passing the exam is required.

Online Nurse Executive Prep Course

If you want to be fully prepared, Mometrix offers an online Nurse Executive Prep Course. The course is designed to provide you with any and every resource you might want while studying. The Nurse Executive Course includes:

  • Review Lessons Covering Every Topic
  • 750+ Nurse Executive Practice Questions
  • More than 350 Digital Flashcards
  • Money-back Guarantee
  • Free Mobile Access
  • and More!

The Nurse Executive Prep Course is designed to help any learner get everything they need to prepare for their Nurse Executive exam. Click below to check it out!

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What does a Nurse Executive do on a daily basis?

A nurse executive is not only a Licensed Registered Nurse (RN), they also hold managerial and administrative positions.

Nurse executives are primarily responsible for the management of patient care services, and for overseeing the daily operations of a healthcare unit. They play a very important role in medical care. They help to make sure that patients get the best medical services possible.

How much does it cost to take the exam?

The price for the exam is different for members and nonmembers of the ANA, and is as follows:

  • ANA Members: $270
  • Nonmembers: $395

*Important: Your certification must be renewed every five years. The renewal application is $350 for non-ANA members.

What do I need in order to take the exam?

There are a few things you will need in order to take the NE-BC exam:

  • A bachelors or higher in nursing
  • You need to already hold an active RN license
  • You will have held a nurse executive level administrative position, or a full-time position teaching graduate students executive level nursing-administration for a minimum of 24 months (2 years) in the last 5 years.
  • Within the last 3 years, you will have completed 30 hours of continuing education in nursing administration.
    • Keep in mind that if you hold a master’s degree in nursing administration, this requirement is waived.

What if I have a disability? Will accommodations be provided to me?

If you have a disability, accommodations will be provided to you. However, you will have to contact the ANCC with specific documentation from a doctor. This process takes time, so make sure you initiate this step as soon as possible.

How long is the exam? How many hours can I expect to be at the testing site?

The Nurse Executive, Advanced Board Certification Exam is a 3.5-hour computer-based exam with 175 multiple choice questions.150 of these questions are scored, and 25 are pre-test questions used for future exams.

During the exam, you won’t know the difference between the pre-test questions and the scored questions, so you should do your best on the entire exam.

How do I register for the exam?

You may register for the exam year round on the Nursing World website. The exam is held at Prometric testing centers. When applying, you will have the opportunity to choose a center closest to you.

What should I bring with me the day of the exam? Are snacks or drinks permitted?

The only thing you will need on the day of the exam is a photo ID with your legal name printed on it. If you don’t have a photo ID on you, you will not be permitted to take the NE-BC exam.

Unfortunately, snacks and/or drinks are not allowed during the exam, so make sure you eat beforehand.

What do I need to know in regard to topics? How many will the exam cover?

The NE-BC exam covers four major categories:

  • Structure and Process (28%)
  • Exemplary Professional Practice (29%)
  • Transformational Leadership (30%)
  • New Knowledge and Practice Applications (13%)

Further explanation of topics:

  • Structures and Processes – 42 questions
    • What you need to know:
      • Human Capital Management: You will need to knowlaws and regulations, including, but not limited to: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Rehabilitation Act, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); recruitment, retention, and recognition. Make sure you know about personal policies, including, but not limited to: Confidentiality, performance management, and employee rights. Some other topics you need to know are, human resource utilization and compensation (job description, benefits, etc.); organization, theory, behavior and development, including, but not limited to: Emotional intelligence, cultural competence, communication; staff satisfaction, engagement, and empowerment.
      • Fiscal Planning, Execution, and Accountability: This includes strategic sourcing, including, but not limited to: Group Purchasing Organizations (GPO), and contracted services; budgeting and basic accounting principles, software, and concepts; revenue management, including, but not limited to: Utilization management, denial management, and revenue cycle.
      • Community Engagement and Collaborations: Healthcare issues and public policy, including, but not limited to: health disparities, populations, and cultural diversity. This section also deals with  delivery models, including, but not limited to: Patient Center Medical Homes, and Accountable Care Organizations. Be prepared for questions that deal with disaster preparedness and response, as well as community resources and outreach strategies, for example: Hospital outreach, and focus groups.
      • Organizational Structure and Compliance: This section includes questions that deal with organization culture and climate, as well as laws, regulations, and accrediting bodies related to the work environment and clinical practices, including, but not limited to: OSHA, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Prepare yourself for questions pertaining toorganizational reporting structures and processes; management systems and information technology, including, but not limited to: Knowledge management, and information ethics. There will also be questions related to risk management concepts, techniques, and processes, including, but not limited to: Just culture, and sentinel events.
  • Exemplary Professional Practices – 44 questions
    • What you need to know:
      • Professional Practice Model: You will need to know things like patient rights, code of ethics, scopes and standards. You’ll also need to know your responsibilities as a nurse, along with things like authority, delegation, and contemporary theories related to nursing.
      • Care Delivery System: Make sure you have knowledge of the best practices in care delivery – like safety, and quality; existing standards of clinical practice, including, but not limited to accrediting bodies. You also need to know care delivery systems that support patient and professional practices.
      • Quality Monitoring and Improvement: including value-based purchasing, systems theories, and qualitative and quantitative measures related to clinical practice.
  • Transformational Leadership – 45 questions
    • What you need to know:
      • Strategic Planning: This section focuses on strategic planning principles, SWOT analysis, and alignment with the organizational mission.
      • Advocacy: Make sure you’re knowledgeable about sources of influence and power, nursing code of ethics and principles of team and relationship building.
      • Leadership and Effectiveness: Leadership and Effectiveness will test your knowledge on coaching, precepting, and mentoring, along with leadership concepts, styles, and principles. Make sure you’re prepared for questions that focus on healthy work environments.
  • New Knowledge and Practice Applications – 19 questions
    • What you need to know:
      • Research and Evidence-Based Practice: This section focuses on questions pertaining to components and techniques, including, but not limited to developing research questions, and data management. You can also expect questions that deal with distinctions between quality improvement, research, and evidence-based practice. This section also deals with evidence-based practice.
      • Innovation Adoption: Knowledge about creativity and disruptive innovation is necessary; risk-taking; technology innovations that are current, and that impact practice.

What is the maximum score you can get on the NE-BC?

The maximum score you can get on the Nurse Executive, Advanced Board Certification Exam is a 500, but in order to pass the exam, you will need to score at least a 350.

What if I fail the exam? Then what?

If you fail the NE-BC exam, don’t worry, you are able to take it again. However, you will have to wait a period of 60 days before reapplying. You should take that time to study and prepare some more.

*Important: You may only retake the exam 3 times in a 12-month period.

How Can I Prepare for the Nurse Executive 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, a set of flashcards, or an online course.  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, flashcard set, and online course for your exam.  Below you’ll see links to both!

Study Guide
Online Course


Last Updated: March 8, 2024