National Certification Examination (NCE) Resources

The National Certification Examination (NCE) is designed to measure the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for entry-level nurse anesthesia practitioners. The NCE is a variable-length computerized adaptive test for entry into nurse anesthesia practice. Students are eligible to take the NCE once they complete a multi-year educational program at one of the 137 accredited Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs across the Nation. The NCE can be taken up to four times in the year following the completion of a Nurse Anesthesia Educational Program.

The NCE is a variable-length, computerized adaptive test with 100-170 questions, and students have a maximum of three hours to complete it. Questions can take the form of multiple-choice, calculations, drag and drop, hotspot, and graphics/videos. The NBCRNA Board of Directors appoints a representative group of certified registered nurse anesthetists to serve on the National Certification Examination Subcommittee. This subcommittee meets annually to write and review test questions for the approved item bank and to update the item bank each year. Performance statistics for questions are continually monitored by the NBCRNA.

The NBCRNA maintains responsibility for the examination content outline and test specifications, maintains an item bank of approved test questions, and sets the passing score. In addition, the NBCRNA determines individual eligibility for admission to the NCE. See the NCE/SEE Bibliography.

US Military Base Testing Sites Now Available for SEE/NCE

NBCRNA Credentialing staff have been working with Pearson VUE representatives for several months to provide National Certification Examination (NCE) and Self-Evaluation Examination (SEE) testing access to active duty military at select US military base sites. Periodically, individuals have been deployed soon after completing their nurse anesthesia educational program. This has applied to both civilian students who have post-graduation commitments with the armed services as well as active duty service in our military programs. In these cases, the graduate may experience a significant delay post-deployment until they are able to take their NCE. On-base testing provides defense employees with the opportunity to conveniently test where they serve. 

The on-base Pearson VUE test centers support these individuals to become CRNAs during service and to help diminish the delay, cost and interruption associated with arranging state-side testing, if that option is even available. The military channel can now support NCE testing needs at select US military bases in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific. This option is only available to active duty military with valid government ID and authorization to enter the base. 

Additional NCE Resources