Certification for Nurse Educators

CNE Exam Live Online Proctoring Now Available

New! The Certification for Nurse Educators (CNE) exam is now available by Live Online Proctoring, also known as remote proctoring. Now a choice for center testing or proctoring. When a testing application is approved, the approval email will contain information about scheduling the exam by either method.

ICE-NCCA-ACP-_resizedOn April 1, 2009, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) granted accreditation to the NLN's CNE Program for demonstrating compliance with the NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs. NCCA is the accrediting body of the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA). The NCCA Standards were created in 1977 and updated in 2003 to ensure certification programs adhere to modern standards of practice for the certification industry. The NCCA certification was renewed in 2014 and in 2020.


If you are currently registered for the CNE or CNEcl Exam...

Scantron is our new testing partner for administering certification exams.
You will receive an email from Scantron with instructions to schedule an exam date.
PSI is no longer an option for testing. Do not call PSI for scheduling assistance.
If you are awaiting scheduling instructions, please contact us at certification@nln.org.

Value of Certification

Certification in any field is a mark of professionalism. For academic nurse educators, it establishes nursing education as a specialty area of practice and creates a means for faculty to demonstrate their expertise in this role. It communicates to students, peers and the academic and health care communities that the highest standards of excellence are being met. By becoming credentialed as a certified nurse educator, you serve as a leader and a role model. Certification is the mark of distinction for nursing faculty.


The mission of the Academic Nurse Educator Certification Program is to promote excellence in the advanced specialty role of the academic nurse educator.

Certification Programs Offered

The NLN offers three academic nurse educator certifications:

CNE-2019-Graphic          CNEcl-Page


Consumer Alert: Preparation Products for the NLN Certification Exams

The NLN is often asked about various preparation products for the NLN certification exams (CNE® and CNEcl®). We would like to clarify some misinformation related to certification preparation products that currently exist in the overall market. 

The NLN has a variety of certification preparation products. These products include preparation books, practice exams, various on-site preparation courses, and online preparation courses. Since these are NLN products, there is strict quality control with these products. Additionally, the NLN products have been created by NLN content experts. It is not necessary to purchase a NLN certification preparation product to be successful on the certification exam(s). We do recommend that any potential tester download and thoroughly read the candidate handbook for the certification exam they are considering. Information about the test, the test plan, and sample questions are included in the handbook. Please note the candidate handbooks are available free on the NLN website.

There are a variety of non-NLN produced certification test preparation products on the market. The NLN does not endorse any non-NLN certification test preparation products. Nor does the NLN collaborate on any non-NLN certification test preparation products. Some products might be excellent, but other products have been reported to us as being misleading to our testers. Some products contain misinformation regarding the required passing scores, the test plan, and even the types of test items. This type of misinformation typically results in misleading the future tester. 

The NLN values our certificants and future certificants. Our goal is to support your desire to become credentialed as a CNE or CNEcl. Please start any test preparation with the appropriate candidate handbook, found on the NLN website. They are updated annually and can be very helpful as you plan to take the exam.

Self-Assessment Exams (SAEs) and Other Preparatory Materials

Candidates are not required to buy or implement the use of SAEs or any other exam preparations materials offered by NLN. The SAEs mirror the format and follow the test blueprint of the certifications exams but have fewer test items. The purpose of the SAEs is a practice within the test environment only. The use of SAEs or any other preparatory materials do not guarantee success on any examination. There is no “passing score” on any SAE. The data returned from use may help guide the candidate in the competencies that may need additional attention before actual testing.

The use of SAEs or other preparatory material is not intended to give any advantage to the user versus the non-user of the NLN materials.  The use of the materials is not the only or preferred method to adequate preparation before testing with the actual examination.

News about the New Certification Software System: Certelligence

The Certification Program has launched a brand new software program just for Certification. The official name is Certelligence. Each applicant or certified person has a profile now in Certelligence that is for certification information only but remains linked to the NLN database. The first thing to understand is that if anyone changes a name or email or address in the NLN database, that change appears in Certelligience. So, the systems “talk” to one another.

The login begins with the NLN login. The NLN number is the certification number as indicated on the certificate of certification. It is extremely important to check if one has an NLN member number before starting a new profile. Starting a new profile will initiate a new number and the potential of duplicate accounts can occur, which we want to avoid.

All applications will be electronically submitted and review can occur much more quickly. Once an application is complete, program staff members have the ability to, within a few days, review the application and ask for additional information if needed. If all is good, the applicant is notified of being Exam Eligible and an email about scheduling will be sent by our testing platform provider Scantron.

The system will also allow all certification activities to occur, including certification renewals. This will now be electronically done. No more downloading forms, filling in papers, and scanning and emailing them back. The logging of renewal activities can now be done as an e-portfolio. The certificant has the ability to add to the portfolio at any time during the 5-year cycle of the certification. There is also the ability to go ahead and upload the documentation at that time. This will save time and effort of responding to audit requests at the time of the renewal submission. If it is already there, that is all that we will need.

We are currently working on other perks within the system, such as the ability to print your own certificate and not wait for a mailing of a new or renewal certificate. More to come.

Getting Involved

For those nurse educators who are certified through these certification programs, there are several ways to become involved as a volunteer to advance your career and those of your colleagues in the industry. You also will be recognized for your work by the NLN, including in the Salute to Members published annually. Learn more.

CNE Honor Cords

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are temporarily unable to process orders for CNE Honor Cords.