CBCN® Sample Test Questions

The following sample questions are representative of actual test content, difficulty level, and question format. The answer key follows the set of questions.

Directions: Each question or incomplete statement below is followed by four suggested answers or completions. Select the one that is best in each case.

  1. Male patients with breast cancer demonstrate a higher risk of exhibiting which genetic mutation?
    1. PALB2
    2. MEN1
    3. BRCA2
    4. MLH1

  2. Skin dimpling and retractions are accentuated with which of the following positions?
    1. Pectoral muscle contraction
    2. Arms raised straight up to ears
    3. Arms behind the back
    4. Supine

  3. A patient with a phyllodes tumor is most likely to experience metastasis to which location?
    1. Lung
    2. Brain
    3. Gallbladder
    4. Kidney

  4. Which of the following organizations evaluates quality measures for breast care programs?
    1. American College of Surgeons
    2. The Joint Commission
    3. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
    4. Susan G. Komen for the Cure

  5. A colleague asks about the benefit of nursing certification. The nurse’s best response is:
    1. “I have met predetermined standards for specialty practice.”
    2. “I am able to perform biopsies.”
    3. “It takes the place of state licensure.”
    4. “It will increase the reimbursement for services rendered.”

Answer Key

  1. C

    Rationale: Male patients with breast cancer are more likely to have a BRCA2 mutation.

    Reference: Bland, K., Copeland, E., Klimberg, V., & Gradishar, W. (Eds.). (2018). The breast: Comprehensive management of benign and malignant diseases (5th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier, p. 975.

  2. A

    Rationale: When a patient flexes the pectoral muscles by placing the hands on the hips and pressing down, any skin dimpling or retractions are visible.

    Reference: Ignatavicius, D.D., Workman, M.L., & Rebar, C.R. (Eds.). (2018). Medical-surgical nursing: Concepts for interprofessional collaborative care (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders, p. 144(c).

  3. A

    Rationale: The lung is the most common location of phyllodes tumor metastasis.

    Reference: Harris, J.R., Lippman, M.E., Morrow, M., & Osborne, C.K. (Eds.). (2014). Diseases of the breast (5th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer, p. 835.

  4. A

    Rationale: The American College of Surgeons monitors quality measures and grants accreditation through the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.

    Reference: Mahon, S.M. (Ed.). (2018). Guide to breast care for oncology nurses. Pittsburgh, PA: Oncology Nursing Society, pp. 6-7.  

  5. A

    Rationale: Certification is the formal recognition of specialized knowledge, skills, and experience in nursing by which a nongovernmental agency or association certifies an individual licensed to practice in a profession has met certain predetermined standards specified by the profession for specialty practice.

    Reference: Yarbro, C.H., Wujcik, D., & Gobel, B.H. (Eds.). (2018). Cancer nursing: Principles and practice (8th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning, pp. 2096-2097.