Consumer's FAQs

How do I register to take an exam?
You may register online through our website, through your employer, or through your school.

Where will the exam be held?
At one of our national testing sites. You’ll be informed of the exam’s location after registering.

How will I receive my results? How soon after taking the exam?
Your exam results will be available as stated below.
1) Paper and pencil results 24-hours online.
2) School administered, computer-based results immediately online.
3) Commercial test center computer-based results immediately online.

If I don’t pass, when is the earliest that I could retake the exam?
You can retake the exam after 30 days.

If I’m NPCTA-certified in one state and I move to a different state, am I still certified in my new state?
Yes. The program is national.

Do I ever need to renew my certification once I pass the exam?
Yes. Once certified, you’ll need to get re-certified every two years by completing 16 hours of continuing education classes. For more information, visit our page on re-certification.

How do I register to take an NPCTA exam?
To register for any of our certification exams, please follow the instructions on the registration page.

What are the different certification credentials offered by NPCTA?
Patient Care Technician

What are the exam requirements?
You must meet the eligibility requirements in order to take a NPCTA certification exam. After you register for the exam, you will be asked to show proof of eligibility.

One of these requirements must be met:

Graduation from an allied health vocational training program
One year of work experience in the field
Military experience/training in the field
Reciprocity from another certifying agency

NPCTA Certification Requirements for the Patient Care Technician Exam:

The following skills requirements are mandatory and must be met for NPCTA certification:
The NPCTA requires CPR certification for all medical professionals applying for NPCTA certification.

  • Current CPR certification
  • A minimum of 25 successful venipuncture’s
  • A Minimum of 10 successful Skin puncture’s
  • A Minimum of 10 EKG Test Strips
  • Must hold a current valid State Certified Nursing Assistant/CNA licenses.  (No exceptions)

(In addition check your states requirements for minimum EKG strips & venipuncture Sticks some states require an average of 15 EKG Test Strips and 30 venipuncture Sticks)

Please Contact Us if you have any questions about eligibility.

How do I show proof of eligibility to take the exam?
When you register for the exam, you will be asked to submit proof of that you have met one of the requirements mentioned above. Acceptable forms of proof may include:

Copy of certificate of training or graduation diploma
Copy of school transcript
Letter from employer showing proof and length of employment
Copy of check stub showing proof and length of employment
Copy of proof of military training
Certification number and name of another certifying agency (for reciprocity)

Any of these forms of proof may be submitted by mail or fax.

How can I obtain certification by means of reciprocity?
If you have been certified through another certifying agency, you may be able to gain NPCTA certification by means of reciprocity. You will not have to take the exam if you have taken a previous exam within two years. To start this process, please register for the exam and select “reciprocity”.

How should I study for the exam?

The NPCTA does not have a specific list of textbooks or study resources for self-study. However, Once you register for the exam. It may be helpful to look at the NPCTA content outline, resources such as textbooks, publications, and practice exams from your training program so you can prepare for the exam. If you have already taken a course and no longer have your textbooks, you can always ask the program you graduated from for the current curriculum. You could then visit the bookstore and pick up the relevant textbooks and study aids. You can use the practice tests questions and the NPCTA content outline to try to isolate your weaknesses you will then know what to review again in preparation for the exam. Continue to use the NPCTA content outline, practice questions and textbooks until you are confident that you have enough knowledge in all subject areas to pass the certification exam. The NPCTA content outline only tells you the topics that you need to study for the exam. You still need study references, as this type of outline only gives you the basic topics that are expected to be on the NPCTA exam.

What is the format of the exam?
There is only one (1) examination required for each certification. Each examination consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. Each test question presents the candidate with four (4) options of which only one option is correct. Candidates are permitted a total of 2 hours in which to complete the examination.

How long do I have to complete the exam?
You have two hours to complete the exam.

How many times can I retake the exam?
You can retake the exam 3 times in one year.

Who will administer the exam?
NPCTA proctors and NPCTA approved testing vendors administer all of our exams in each state.

How do I keep my certification current?
Individuals who become certified with NPCTA must renew their certification every two years (effective March 1, 2013). NPCTA certifications will be valid for two years from the date the candidate is certified. The certification must be renewed thereafter. You can renew certifications by passing the most current renewal exam or by participating in NPCTA’s new continuing education program. Participants can keep their skills current and their certification up to date without the need for retesting.

NPCTA renewals:

You may submit a renewal application any time within two (2) years of the expiration date of your certification. You must complete the following by the time your certificate expires:

You have previously maintained and have executed your skills or allied health-related services in a facility to residents for compensation (under the supervision of a licensed health professional) within your most recent certification period.

You provided direct patient care or patient care-related services to residents in a facility for compensation (under the supervision of a licensed health professional) within your most recent certification period; and you have successfully completed eight (16) hours of in-service/CE hours. (At least four (8) of the eight (16) hours of in-service/CE hours shall be completed each year.)

NPCTA re-activation:

If you are unable to meet the renewal requirements and your certification has not expired in two (2) years time, you may submit this completed application for REACTIVATION without re-training.

If you are qualified, NPCTA will approve your application for the competency evaluation and will send you information about taking the competency evaluation (testing). You will not receive certification until the NPCTA approved testing vendor notifies NPCTA that you have successfully passed the competency evaluation.