How often is the test updated?

Tests are updated on an ongoing basis.  Questions are reviewed every year and a new form of the exam is given every year or two.


The ACRN requirements recommend 2 years of HIV experience, is this a recommendation or requirement?

It is a recommendation.  More experience may make it easier to pass the exam.


I am an NP and I have been encouraged to take this exam, why should I choose this certification over AAHIVM?

As an NP, you are a nurse.  This is a nursing certification.  For magnet status, nursing certifications are recognized.  AAHIVM is an open book exam that allows different disciplines to take the same exam – MDs, Pas, pharmacists, etc. 


Is there a limit to how many times you can take the exam?

Currently there is no limit. It is up to the discretion of the person taking the test. If taken twice and not passed, would recommend some kind of review course before taking it a third time.


What is the format of the exam?

Multiple choice questions


What is a passing score?

Passing score is 70% or 175 out of 250 questions


I have known students who have missed the exams by  1 2 or 3 question.  Sometimes this is due to cultural differences and test taking skills.  Even with review courses, there are still a few people who still struggle. Would the HANCB ever consider and Alternative additional test maybe essay for those who miss a passing score by 1 or 2 points more than once?

HANCB reviews the scores of those that take the exam every year.  Unfortunately, it has been our experience; there is usually a pretty large gap from the cut off score and the non-passing score.  No other certifying or licensing test makes exceptions for people who do not pass and certification/licensing test in the nursing and medical professions are standardized and therefore multiple choice.   It would detract from the scientific soundness of the exam. Our exam focuses on practices in the US and Canada, therefore that is the information that should be studied for the exam. 


Is the ACRN exam recognized by ANCC?

ANCC is its own credentialing organization.  They credential generalized practice and large common specialty practice (Critical Care, pediatrics, geriatrics, family and adult nurse practitioners etc.)  HANCB is the organization that oversees the HIV specialty exam like ANCC is to their exams.  WE don’t need to be recognized by ANCC.  HANCB and our certification exams are like other specialties, such as oncology, Gastroenterology, etc.  who have their own overseeing boards and bodies. 

ANCC is a large provider/certifier of continuing education units (CEUs) and we do use their CEUs for recertification.


Explain CEUs for recertification, is it a yearly requirement?

CEUs for recertification are accumulated during the 4 years the certification is valid.  For example, you receive your certificate in 2013 and you will recertify in 2017.  If you met all your CE in the first two years or in the last year, that is fine as long as the amount is met.  CEU in other medical areas and CME are acceptable; but in limited amounts:



HIV/AIDS Nursing Continuing Education – minimum of 35 CEUs – all required 70 CEUs can be obtained here as well

Continuing Medical Education (CME) or other Allied Health Professional Education – maximum of 35 CEs

Other nursing continuing education – maximum of 14 CEUs

Other items such as the AETC clinical practicum, publishing, presentations, and participation in ANAC and HANCB



HIV/AIDS Nursing continuing Education – minimum of 45 CEU (or all can be in this category)

CME and other Allied Health professional education – Maximum of 45 CEs

Other nursing continuing education – max of 20 CEUs

Other things can count toward the requirements for certification, such as publishing an article related to HIV/AIDS; taking an academic class related to HIV/AIDS; being on the board or committee for ANAC or HANCB; sitting in on an item review for HANCB, etc.  There are maximum limits on these areas and each is noted in the renewal information that can be found on the recertication tab.

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