CNE Practice Test

If you’re going into nursing education, then obtaining the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) certification may be a step you want to take. The certification establishes the field of nursing education as a way for nursing faculty to demonstrate their expertise. The National League of Nursing (NLN) provides the certification, which has been granted accreditation from the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

This page will cover the CNE exam, what information the examination covers, the number and type of questions you can expect, the score you need to pass, and everything you need to register for the assessment.

Click “Start Test” below to take a free CNE practice test!

CNE Exam Eligibility

To be eligible to take the CNE exam, you must meet one of the two eligibility options below:

Option 1

You must meet BOTH of the main criteria to qualify:

  • Licensure: You must have proof of a valid license, or you must provide some documentation proving your unencumbered practice in your country of residence.
  • Education: You must possess a master’s degree or doctorate degree in nursing. You must ALSO have one of the following:
    • A major emphasis in nursing education
    • At least nine credit hours of graduate-level education
    • A post-master’s certificate in nursing education

Option 2

You must meet ALL THREE of the main criteria to qualify:

  • Licensure: You must have proof of a valid license, or you must provide some documentation proving your unencumbered practice in your country of residence.
  • Education: You must possess a master’s degree or doctorate degree in nursing. You must also have a major emphasis in something other than nursing education.
  • Experience: You must have accrued at least two years of employment in an academic institution’s nursing program. This experience must have been accrued within the last five years.

CNE Exam Outline

There are 150 multiple-choice questions on the test, 20 of which are unscored and are being tested for future exams. You will have 3 hours to complete the exam.

The CNE exam evaluates you on three cognitive areas: recall, application and analysis:

  • Recall: Recall or recognize specific information
  • Application: Comprehend, relate, or apply knowledge to new or changing situations
  • Analysis: Analyze and synthesize information, determine solutions, or evaluate the usefulness of a solution

The CNE is split into eight major content areas:

1. Facilitate Learning (47 questions)

The questions in this section focus on your ability to implement, use, and modify a variety of teaching strategies. You will also be tested on your ability to communicate effectively, model reflective thinking, foster a positive learning environment, respond effectively to unexpected events that affect instruction, and more.

2. Facilitate Learner Development and Socialization (18 questions)

These questions asses your ability to identify individual learning styles and unique learning needs of a diverse group of learners, create learning environments that facilitate self-reflection and socialization, encourage professional development, and more.

3. Use Assessment and Evaluation Strategies (18 questions)

The questions in this section test your ability to enforce nursing program standards, provide input for the development of these standards, create and use assessment instruments to evaluate outcomes, provide timely and constructive feedback to learners, and more.

4. Participate in Curriculum Design and Evaluation of Program Outcomes (13 questions)

This section of the exam focuses on your ability to actively participate in the design of the curriculum, collaborate with community and clinical partners, implement and evaluate program assessment plans, and more.

5. Function as a Change agent and Leader (9 questions)

These questions asses your ability to evaluate organizational effectiveness, adapt to changes created by external factors, create a culture for change within the institution, design and evaluate strategies for change, manage conflict effectively, and more.

6. Pursue Continuous Quality Improvement in the Academic Nurse Educator Role (9 questions)

These questions will test your ability to engage in socialization-promoting activities, mentor and support faculty colleagues, engage in self-reflection to improve teaching practices, demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning, use feedback to improve role effectiveness, and more.

7. Engage in Scholarship (7 questions)

This section of the exam focuses on your ability to foster a culture of scholarly inquiry, design and implement scholarly activities, demonstrate qualities of a scholar, and disseminate the outcomes of scholarly activities.

8. Function within the Organizational Environment and the Academic Community (9 questions)

This section of the exam focuses on your ability to apply knowledge of historical and current trends and issues to decision-making, incorporate the mission and foals of the nursing program, maintain professional role boundaries as an educator, seek opportunities to mentor and support faculty colleagues, and more.

CNE Exam Registration

To register for the CNE, visit the Certification Portal on NLN’s website. You will need your credit card and RN license number and expiration date to finalize your application. The fee for NLN members is $400, and the fee for non-members is $500.

Once your registration is finalized, you will have 90 days to schedule and take the exam.

Test Day

There are two ways the CNE is delivered: in person at a testing center or via live online proctoring.

In-person Testing

To be admitted to the testing area, you must bring a valid photo ID. Failure to do so will count as a missed appointment, and your exam fee will not be refunded.

You are not allowed to being the following into the exam room:

  • Camera
  • Notes
  • Recording devices of any kind
  • Pager
  • Cell phone
  • Calculator
  • Personal items/valuables
  • Weapons
  • Guests/visitors/family members

Before the exam begins, you will be given the chance to take a quick practice test to become familiar with the testing process. Once you are comfortable with the process, you can end the practice test and begin the exam.

Remote Testing

To take the exam via the Live Online-Proctored (LOP) method, you must first meet the technical requirements listed below.


  • At least 2 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 2 GB RAM (32-bit or 64-bit)
  • 16 GB available disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • Audio output capability (if the examination being delivered includes audio components)
  • Webcam
  • Microphone
  • Screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768 (1920 x 1080 or higher is recommended)
    • Click here to see the resolution of your screen


  • Windows 7 or higher, or Mac OS X v10.6 or higher
  • Fully updated mainstream web browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, etc.)

It is strongly recommended that you test your computer’s systems before scheduling your exam.

Before the exam begins, you will be asked to use your webcam to show the proctor a 360-degree view of your room.

Once the exam begins, the proctor has complete access to your computer to monitor for unauthorized activities, such as accessing other software applications, using multiple monitors, or having someone else take the examination remotely. The proctor can terminate the testing appointment for integrity reasons at any time.

How the CNE is Scored

There is not a set passing score for the CNE, meaning that the number of correct responses needed to obtain a passing score will vary slightly for each person. Your score is based on the Angoff method, which means that your score is based entirely on your performance and is not based on how well other test-takers did.

Once you have completed the exam, your proctor will provide you with a score report that simply indicates “pass” or “fail” status, and may provide more detailed information about your scores per content category.

Retaking the CNE Exam

If you have to re-take the test, you may do so up to four times per year, or once every 90 days.

The original test fees will need to be paid again for each retest. These fees will be forfeited if you show up more than 15 minutes late for the exam; fail to show up for the exam; or fail to reschedule at least two business days prior to the original exam date.


How many questions are on the CNE?

There are 150 questions on the test, or which 130 are scored. The other 20 are unscored and are being tested for future exams.

How long is the CNE examination?

The CNE exam is timed at 3 hours.

How much does the test cost?

The CNE costs $400 for National League of Nursing (NLN) members, and $500 for non-members.

How long is the CNE certification good for?

Your CNE certification will remain valid for five years. It can be renewed by fulfilling professional development requirements or by retaking the CNE exam.

By Kate Nockunas

Kate has been Mometrix’s Nursing and Medical Editor for over four years. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Vanderbilt University, a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Marymount University, and a master’s degree in Education from Johns Hopkins. Kate is a critical care registered nurse who still works occasionally in the ICU and PACU.

CNE Study Guide Customer Success Stories

Our customers love the tutorial videos from Mometrix Academy that we have incorporated into our CNE test study guide. The CNE study guide reviews below are examples of customer experiences.

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: September 21, 2023

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