Certification FAQs


Top questions about certification


  • Do you have any courses to study for the exam on your website?
  • Please read the content on the Studying for the exam page. Several highly useful books are recommended there. In addition, you may take the free online I/DD nursing courses offered on the Education page of this website. These are available to members who have logged into the website. While these courses do not cover every content area on the exam, they do provide a good opportunity to practice answering I/DD nursing questions online. The questions are written in the same format as the questions on the exam. Another good way to prepare for the exam is to come to the Annual Education conference.  If you have taken the certification prep courses at the conference within the last two years, you have free access to the online certification prep videos of those courses.  You must be logged in with your username and password.  If you have not taken the certification prep courses within the last two years, you may purchase access to these courses for $37.50/per courses.  The videos for these courses can be found at ddna.org/videos.
  • What is the difference between an application fee and an exam fee? Why do I have to pay them separately?
  • The application fee reimburses DDNA for the time required to review, approve, and notify of your eligibilty to sit for the exam. The exam fee helps to reimburse DDNA for the large initial costs of developing the exam and the ongoing costs of keeping the test items updated, as well as costs associated the testing procedure itself. You pay the application fee first. This is because you have a two-year window in which to schedule the exam. When you are ready to take the exam, then you pay the exam fee.
  • How long does it take to receive the results of the certification exam?
  • After you have taken the group certification exam, please allow at least two (2) weeks for the testing company to grade your exam, validate the test results, and post your results to DDNA. We know how important your test results are to you, and we promise group test takers that we will mail your test result notification as soon as we receive it from the testing company.

    If you've taken the local certification exam, please wait until two (2) weeks after your test date to allow the testing company time to grade, validate, and post your exam results. Then call or email DDNA headquarters for the results. By that time, we are usually able to access your final test results from the testing company. Please do not call before two weeks after your test date.
  • How is the exam administered?
  • The exam is administered via a computer online - both at the conference and at local testing centers.
  • Why am I getting a notice to renew? Didn't I just renew?
  • Be sure that you are reading the notice carefully. Membership and certification are two different things. When you renew your membership once a year, you are not automatically also renewing your certification. Likewise, when you renew your certification every two years, this does not automatically renew your membership. If you receive a renewal notice, please read it carefully to see whether it is time to renew your membership or it is time to renew your certification. Please remember that your membership and certification renewal dates are always posted in your profile. You can see your profile once you log in with your username and password (above the green bar near the top of the page). After you log in, click on "Click here to Update Your Information".
  • Where do I take the local/group exam?
  • Group exams are held once annually at the DDNA Annual Education Conference. The conference location varies year by year. Local exams are listed conveniently on a PDF that you can download from the exam registration page here.
    • Is it required that I maintain my membership in DDNA during the period of time I am certified?
    • Yes, you must maintain your DDNA membership during the entire time you are certified as a CDDN or DDC.  Membership in your professional association is a requirement of certification.  Renewing your certification does not renew your membership.  Membership renewal is separate from certification renewal. Membership renewal reminders are emailed to you at 3 months before, 2 months before, and at your month of expiration. If your membership expires, your certification also lapses, and you may not use the CDDN or DDC credential until you renew your membership in DDNA.