Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to participate, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. The applicant must hold a full and unrestricted RN license in the United States or its territories.
  2. The applicant must have current recognition or must meet the requirements by the state board of nursing to perform as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).
  3. The applicant must hold current national certification in an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) role.
  4. The applicant must have a minimum of 2500 hours of experience in an advanced practice role, working with older adults, during the last 5 years.
  5. The applicant must have completed fifty (50) contact hours of approved continuing education specific to gerontology* within the 3 years prior to submitting the exam application. Continuing education hours must be accredited by a provider or approver of continuing nursing education, or medical education, such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a state board of nursing, nursing association, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) or American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

* For initial GS-C certification by examination, continuing education contact hours include online or on-campus coursework, attending conferences, lectures, etc., where the applicant is the learner. Alternatively, precepting hours, writing entries or articles for publications, giving presentations or lectures, etc., are considered professional contact hours, which can be used for recertification only, not for initial certification by examination.

The Application Process

Complete the exam application in its entirety. Be sure to sign and date your application. Mail or fax your completed application, along with the appropriate fee to GNCC’s testing agency, the Center for Nursing Education and Testing, Inc., (C-NET). C-NET will review and processes your application for completeness.

Upon approval of an examination application, the applicant will receive an examination permit by email. The emailed permit will include a link to an online scheduling portal for the applicant to schedule the exam at the computer-based testing location of choice. The computer-based testing agency will send a follow-up email to the applicant confirming the exam site, date, and time that the applicant has chosen. If the applicant does not receive an examination permit within 4 - 6 weeks of submission, notify C-NET by calling 800.463.0786.

NOTE: If the application is incomplete, illegible, or the criteria cannot be verified, the candidate will be contacted to provide the missing information. If the requested information is not received within the stated time frame, the application process will stop and a refund less the administrative fee will be given.

Taking the Examination

The certification examinations consists of 175 multiple-choice questions. Four hours are allotted to complete the examination. The current passing score approved by the GNCC Board for the GS-C exam is 76%.

Applicants will not be admitted to the examination without an examination permit and proper ID. Substitution of an applicant cannot be made and no such request will be honored. The examination permit will remain active for a period of 90 days (from the date of issue). The applicant must test within the 90-day window printed on the permit. If the applicant does not test by the end of the 90-day window, both the examination permit and exam application will expire. The applicant must then submit a new application and fee for the exam before being allowed to test.

You should arrive at the testing location on your examination permit at the report time listed. Bring your valid government-issued photo ID and the examination permit. The name on your ID must match the name on your exam permit. You need only bring your examination permit and your ID. Pencils and all other testing materials are provided. No drinks or food are permitted in the testing area. Cell phones and all other electronic devices are not permitted.

Exam Availability, Forms, and Deadlines

  • Computer-Based Testing (CBT) Exam Application and Guidelines, for full information on eligibility and to apply.
    • Computer-Based Testing (CBT) Exams will take place during the month of April and September.
    • Application Deadline for the April Testing Month will be February 18. Applications will be accepted until March 3 for an additional $50 late fee.
    • Application Deadline for the September Testing Month will be July 22. Applications will be accepted until August 5 for an additional $50 late fee.
  • CBT test site locations - find a location in your area to test.
  • Re-examination Application, for a candidate who does not pass the examination has ONE YEAR in which to retake the examination using this reduced application.