One of the Advanced Practitioner Register Nurses (APRN) certification bodies is the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). ANCC is the largest organization for nurse practitioners in America and provides certification programs in nineteen treating practices, four of which are NP certifications (American Nurses Credentialing Center, 2021). The completion of the courses demonstrates the excellent knowledge of the nurse and allows them to apply for vacancies that have specific requirements.
There are several qualification conditions that nurse practitioners have to satisfy to take the exam for initial certification. The first condition is the availability of a registered nurse (RS) license. The applicant should also have either a Master’s, Post-graduate, or Doctoral degree from an authorized and a corresponding to the certification nursing program. The course should be approved by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). To take an exam, the candidate should also complete several mandatory courses, such as advanced physiology or pharmacology. Furthermore, the applicants should have more than 500 hours in the selected NP program. It is essential to note that candidates might apply for the certification prior to graduation in case all other conditions are met.
The Period of Application
After the candidate receives authorization to test notice, he or she is obliged to take the test within 90 days. The applicant has the right to schedule the test date according to his or her needs but within the period of 3 months. However, the candidate might prolong this period one time by another 90 days for a fee of 100 dollars. The additional testing window should begin within 6 months since the prolongation date.
The Passing Test Score
ANCC exams contain up to a total of 200 questions, 25 of which are not graded in the final score (American Nurses Credentialing Center, 2017). The performance of the candidate is objectively evaluated and is not compared to the results of other applicants. The formats of the examination include standard multiple-choice questions, which comprise the majority of the test, but also ‘hot spot’ and ‘drop and drag’ types of tasks. The evaluation of the applicant is not graded in numbers but only reports whether the candidate failed or passed. In order to successfully pass the exam, the applicant should score at least 350 with a maximum of 500 points. Converting the scale into test items, the candidate should answer correctly to around 105 questions or more. In case the applicant fails the exam, he or she would later receive feedback from the organization specifying gaps in the knowledge of the candidate.
The Cost of the Exam
The actual cost of the exam varies depending on a particular certification program and affiliation with specific associations. In general, the price fluctuates from 220 to 395 dollars including student and other types of discounts. For instance, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) member should pay 220 dollars to apply for the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Across the Lifespan) Certification (PMHNP-BC). At the same time, non-member candidates should pay 395 dollars to apply for Family Nurse Practitioner Certification (FNP-BC).
Nurse Practitioner Recertification Periods
Once the nurse practitioner successfully acquires the initial certification, he or she should renew it within a 5-year period. These rules established by the Commission on Certification (COC) provide evidence that the NP is qualified for the consequent work. To acquire the renewal certification, the candidate should undergo a mandatory education program of at least 75 Continuing Education Hours (CEU) and one of the ANCC renewal categories.
American Nurses Credentialing Center. (2017). Certification: General testing and renewal handbook.
American Nurses Credentialing Center. (2021). Our certifications.