Apply for the Exam

Review the CNL Certification Guide, the Application & Exam Process Flowchart, the Application Checklist, and the CNL Standards of Conduct. Candidates must submit all required documents to CNC by the published deadline.

Apply to take the CNL exam in these short easy steps!

  1. Determine if you are eligible to sit for the exam. 

    CNL Eligibility flowchart
     
  2. If you meet the Eligibility Requirements, please review the Exam Dates and Fees
     

  3. Once you have determined your exam date, you need to log into your MyCNC Profile. Be sure to complete all of the fields within your profile. Once you have saved your profile, look under the My CNL Certification tab and click on Apply for Certification to submit the Online CNL Exam Application with payment. All fees are subject to change and are non-refundable. Please review our CNL Exam Application Tutorial to help you complete your exam application.  

  4. After submitting your application, contact your CNL Program Director and remind them to complete the Online Education Documentation Form (EDF). They will receive an email to complete the online form as soon as your exam application is submitted to CNC. The form is due by the registration deadline for the testing period you apply for.
     

  5. Note: Only the CNL Program Director can complete the EDF once they receive the email notification from CNC. All CNL Program Directors receive a  password to access the form from CNC. 
    For Faculty Only: Only the Dean of the faculty applying for the exam is able to submit the CNL Faculty Eligibility Form (FEF). The Dean will receive an email notification from CNC when the faculty completes the exam application. The FEF is due by the registration deadline for the testing period you apply for.

  6. If you require ADA accommodations, be sure to select this option within your online exam application.

  7. Once your application, payment, and documentation is verified, CNC will email you a confirmation letter (up to 2 weeks after applying) with important exam information. 

Need to change your exam date? Please review the policy to Request Testing Date Changes. Note that you will need to request approval from CNC first in order to change your exam date. Email CNC at CNL@aacnnursing.org to confirm approval of being able to change to another testing period. 

CNL Program Directors: If your school is not listed as an Eligible CNL Program and you are interested in applying, the school Dean or equivalent must submit the CNL Education Program Verification Form to CNC.  

Eligibility Requirements

CNL Certification Eligibility Requirements for Students and Graduates

To be eligible to sit for the CNL Certification Exam, an individual must:

To be considered for full certification, a candidate must meet the following requirements:  

  • Registered Nurse licensure (The candidate will be ineligible if currently being disciplined by a state nursing board.)
  • Submission of the candidates’ Education Documentation Form by the CNL Program Director.   

Certification will be awarded by CNC upon documentation and verification of RN licensure and submission of the CNL Education Program Documentation form by the CNL Program Director.

CNL Certification Eligibility Requirements  for CNL Faculty

To be eligible to sit for the CNL Certification Exam, faculty must:  

  • Have an active and current Registered Nurse license. 
  • Hold a graduate degree in nursing or a related health care discipline (such as health care administration or public health) from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. 
  • Teach in an existing CNL education program. Current teaching experience must include:
  1. Clinical experience mentoring CNL immersion projects or;
  2. Didactic experience focused on the CNL skill set and aligned with CNL competencies.
    1. NOTE: If not teaching in an existing CNL education program, faculty may submit an appeal request letter to CNC's Appeals committee via email at CNL@aacnnursing.org before submitting the exam application. View Appeals Request Letter Guidelines.

To be considered for full certification, faculty must meet the following requirements:  

  • Registered Nurse licensure (The faculty will be ineligible if currently being disciplined by a state nursing board.)
  • Submission of the candidates’ Faculty Eligibility Form by the Dean or equivalent.

Certification will be awarded by CNC upon documentation and verification of RN licensure and submission of the Faculty Eligibility Form by the Dean or equivalent where the faculty member is employed.