NLN Introduces New Certification for Novice Nurse Educators

NLN Introduces New Certification for Novice Nurse Educators

Credential to Provide Coveted Mark of Professionalism for Nurses New to Nursing Education

Washington, DC — With the introduction of the Academic Novice Nurse Educator Certification (CNE®n), the National League for Nursing expands the number of professional certifications establishing nursing education as a specialty area of practice and providing a tool for faculty to demonstrate initial competence in this role. Academic nurse educators with up to three years of experience teaching in a diversity of academic settings—two- and four-year colleges, universities, and technical schools—are invited to apply for CNE®n certification.

The certification will be valid for three years from the date of receiving a passing score on the certifying exam. Pilot testing of the new exam will begin in November with launch of the certification set for Spring 2022.

“This new credential will undoubtedly create a well-deserved measure of pride for academic nurse educators who have recently entered academic nursing education” said NLN Chair Kathleen Poindexter, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, assistant dean of undergraduate programs and faculty development at Michigan State University, College of Nursing. “And from the National League for Nursing’s standpoint, incentivizing novice faculty to engage in sharpening their skillsets and base of knowledge is a win-win—for their professional development, for the preparation of their students, for the academic standards of their educational institutions, and for raising the standards of excellence in nursing education.”

NLN President and CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN, said, “The addition of the CNEn to the certification program division supports one of the National League for Nursing’s long-held goals: to encourage life-long learning and seamless academic progression. Today’s novice educators are tomorrow’s master teachers, scholars, mentors, deans and administrators, as well as thought leaders in health care and public health. CNEn offers formal, concrete evidence of this initial step on a professional pathway in nursing education.”

The three-hour exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions designed to certify the scope of practice appropriate for new faculty. Candidates must demonstrate competence in eight major content areas of nursing education, outlined in the CNE®n 2021 Candidate Handbook.

Competencies and task statements that prove mastery at the novice level are distinct from those for more experienced faculty seeking the original CNE® or CNE®cl certifications. The CNE®n is not renewable because the next step for the educator would be to obtain either the CNE® or CNE®cl certifications, which are both renewable. Thus, the CNE®n serves as a natural gateway to continuing professional development.

For more information about test preparation, including eligibility requirements and detailed descriptions of competencies and task statements, visit

About the National League for Nursing
Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The NLN offers professional development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its nearly 45,000 individual and 1,100 institutional members, comprising nursing education programs across the spectrum of higher education and health care organizations. Learn more at

October 28, 2021


Michael Keaton, Deputy Chief Communications Officer