BPNC Certification Schedule and Information

Online Exam - August 1st to August 31st 2024  - Cart now open
In-Person Exam -October 27, 2025 in Atlantic City  (Registration now open with the 2024 MasterClass Cart)  - Cart now open
In-Person Exam - March 2025 (Registration will open with the 2025 NCoBC Conference Cart)  
Online Exam - 2025 dates are TBD

Click here to download the Navigation Exam Application 

Application/Registration is required at least 1 week prior to testing at each location.  Those who need an accommodation and can supply appropriate documentation can reach out to the certification manager at certifications@breastcare.org for assistance.  NCBC abides by the ADA requirements for testing accommodations.  Click this link to see NCBC's Special Accommodations Policy and Form.

There are no refunds on exams once the informational handbook is sent to you.

An Exam Informational Handbook will be sent as a PDF file via email within 7 days of registration for the exam. if you do NOT receive it in this time frame please check your junk email and email the certifications manager at certifications@breastcare.org

CN-BA and CN-BM Eligibility Requirements

Licensure: CN-BM: Provide proof of valid medical license as a Social Worker or Manager. CN-BA: License not required
Experience  Navigate Patients for 25% of your job responsibility or have supervision over breast navigators
Education Complete at least eight hours of relevant focused educational courses in breast care, breast cancer and or breast navigation. Up to four hours of tumor board participation can be included.
Register Pay the testing fee of $295
Exam Pass either the CN-BM or CN-BA Exam

Certification Eligibility Recommendation; not a Requirement for CN-BA and CN-BM
• The applicant applying for certification A minimum of 1 year breast care navigation practice prior to certification testing or A minimum 1500 hours of breast care navigation practice within the past 2 years. The examinations cover knowledge the navigator has gained through licensures or certifications and career experience to navigate breast care/cancer patients efficiently and effectively. Reminder: this test is for currently practicing navigators.
• For applicants with 3‐6 months of the required experience, an alternative is to obtain a certificate of attendance for a breast care/cancer navigation course.

Test results
For both in person and online testing, Test Scores will be emailed within three weeks of the test date, unless we are in a period of performing a standard setting on new test forms, during that time there may be a longer waiting period for test results.

With a passing score of 81% or higher for the CN-BM or the CN-BA, you will receive the certification mark associated with the exam taken.

Exam Administration Policy

Certification Statistics
101 have earned either the CN-BA or CN-BM Certification Mark since 2021

Pass/Fail Rate for CN-BA or CN-BM

  • From 2007 - 2021 3,000 test takers
  • 2021: 31 total testers
    • Passed: 28
    • Failed: 3
  • 2022: 30 total testers:
    • Passed: 30
    • Failed: 1
  • 2023: 35 testers
    • Passed: 34
    • Failed: 1
  • 2024: 12 testers as or June 1st, 2024 
    • Passed: 9
    • Failed: 3

About the BPNC Certification
In 2008, the NCBC recognized the need for a standardization of the Breast Patient Navigator's role. Just as the breast care/cancer diagnosis and treatment process may differ from facility to facility, so do the definitions, activities, knowledge and job descriptions of a breast patient navigator. These disparities can adversely affect the breast care/cancer treatment provided to women across the nation and around the world. NCBC created this certification program to better define the role and function of breast health navigators and to promote equitable and consistent care across the continuum for breast patients.

A peer committee was formed to develop a certification program designed to validate the skill sets of breast patient navigators. The first certification program was offered at the NCBC's 21st Annual National Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference in Las Vegas, NV. More than 900 breast healthcare professionals received their designations as certified Breast Patient Navigators.

Purpose of Certification:
The Breast Patient Navigator Certification Program is a certification that has been developed by a peer review team of the National Consortium of Breast Centers (NCBC).  The Navigator program identifies the purpose of certification as a means to: [1] set standards of achievement and the navigator’s role; [2] enhance patient safety, quality of care and delivery of services through recognition and resolution of barriers to care; and [3] recognize professionals who advance beyond basic knowledge in a specialty field.Reviewing and assessing a candidate for certification in Navigation is dependent on individual professional licensure. Assessment of Navigational knowledge and skills is a specialized assessment, not in combination with current professional licensure. In 2012 (for enactment in 2015) the Commission on Cancer report (CoC) identified some core requirements for breast centers of excellence to include community outreach, prevention program, screening program, and a patient navigation process. The professional Navigator often serve in all of these capacities, but at minimum needs to have a knowledge of all four requirements.  Subsets of navigational duties include:

  1. Outreach (entering communities/neighborhoods, health fair, community needs assessments)
  2. Screening (education and promotion of mammographic standards of care)
  3. Diagnostics (imaging, tissue sampling, MRI)
  4. Treatment (oncologic: surgical, medical, radiation, adjuvant, supportive, complementary, alternative)
  5. Recurrence
  6. Survivorship (care plans)
  7. End of Life care

Navigators renegotiate the flow of patient care to continually assess for barriers to care and effective ways to reduce or eliminate the impact.Barriers are defined as anything that stops or delays decisions for diagnosis or treatment for breast cancer. Barriers include (not an exclusive list):

  1. Financial (cost of living, working, insurance, treatment costs)
  2. Emotional (lack of emotional resources to effectively cope with a cancer diagnosis, effects of treatment, lack of trust in medical professionals, prospect of disability or death from disease)
  3. Cultural/language disparities
  4. Educational (lack of or misunderstanding of diagnosis, treatment, prognosis)
  5. Transportation (getting to/from numerous and complex appointments)
  6. Physical (co-morbid conditions prior to or developing from treatment)
  7. Spiritual (reflection of crossing spiritual with physical illness, loss or lack of)
  8. Sexual (complexity of physical changes due to cancer and treatment effect on partners)

NAPBC Standard 3.1 Patient Navigation Process
Patient navigation refers to individualized assistance offered to patients, families, and caregivers to help overcome health care system barriers and facilitate timely access to quality health and psychosocial care throughout the continuum of care. Breast disease patient navigation can and should take on different forms in different communities as dictated by the needs of the patient, his or her family, and the community. The patient navigation process includes consistent care coordination throughout the continuum of care and an assessment of the physical, psychological, and social needs of the patient. The anticipated results are enhanced patient outcomes, increased satisfaction, and reduced costs of care. This process may involve different individuals at each point of care.
Examples of patient navigation include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing education, support, and coordination to assist patients in securing appointments
  • Providing educational resources on breast health, breast cancer, and breast care
  • Connecting patients and families to resources and support services
  • Promoting communication between the patient and health care providers
  • Coordinating services throughout the continuum of care

Benefits of patient navigation include:

  • Enhancing the patient’s quality of life, sense of autonomy, and self-determination for managing his/her own health
  • Reinforcing the physician-patient relationship
  • Expediting care

Candidates that receive a passing score will receive the certification mark associated with the exam taken.

CERTIFICATION MARK of CERTIFIED NAVIGATOR – BREAST (CN-B*)  is received with a passing score of 81% or above.

  • CN-BM  = Certified Navigator Breast Management (All Social Workers and Managers of Navigators)
  • CN-BA = Certified Navigator Breast Advocate (All Volunteer/Lay Navigators)

Qualifications of Certificants
Certified Navigators with NCBC have met the following criteria:

  • Completed and NCBC certification exam
  • Maintain Continuing Education requirements for renewal
  • Use the certification mark and credentials within the scope in which the certification was granted
    • NCBC maintains the right to take all appropriate steps including legal or other action, such as requiring the discontinuation of the use of the designation, suspension during investigation, or revocation of the certification, to protect its rights from unauthorized use.

Holders of an active NCBC certification must have successfully completed a NCBC administered certification process and must be in good standing with NCBC. In connection each certification and any renewals of certification, NCBC shall promptly issue certificates to Certificants, setting forth the NCBC certification designating them as certified by NCBC and specifying the credential earned (e.g., BHCN, CGRA, etc.). Only individuals who have been granted the certification and appropriately maintained the certification may use the certification mark associated with the certification earned.  Use of the certification mark may only be used within the scope for which the certification was granted and not in a misleading or fraudulent manner.  NCBC maintains the right to take all appropriate steps including legal or other action, such as requiring the discontinuation of the use of the designation, suspension during investigation, or revocation of the certification, to protect its rights from unauthorized use.

Use of Credentials
Only individuals who have been granted the certification and appropriately maintained the certification may use the CN-B* credential.  Use of the credential may only be used within the scope for which the certification was granted and not in a misleading or fraudulent manner.  NCBC maintains the right to take all appropriate steps including legal or other action, such as requiring the discontinuation of the use of the designation, suspension during investigation, or revocation of the credential, to protect its rights from unauthorized use.

Certification Mark
Any certification mark issued by NCBC-CB is the property of NCBC-CB and may be revoked by NCBC-CB as determined by NCBC-CB. In such event, any former certification holder shall no longer be deemed to be a Certificant and shall be required to return all certificates containing the certification mark to NCBC.