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Special Review Policy

Applicants not meeting the educational criteria set by AANPCB to sit for national certification examinations may request a special review of their application by the Certification Commission. If the Appeals Committee deems that the program of study undertaken by the applicant meets the requirements established for masters and post-graduate programs of study in the specialty, the applicant will be allowed to sit for the examination listed in the request.


  1. Applicants desiring to sit for a certifying examination must complete a Special Review application and submit it, along with the required fees and documentation for consideration. Applicants will be required to document both formal didactic course work and clinical experience equal to the graduate, post-graduate, or doctoral program requirements for the specialty being tested in order to be approved to sit for the certification examination.

  2. As of 2000, all applicants for AANPCB national certification are required to have completed an accredited graduate, post-graduate or doctoral nurse practitioner program of study in order to sit for the certification examinations of AANPCB.

  3. The submitted application will be reviewed by a committee of AANPCB Commissioners to determine the validity of the appeal, evaluate the applicant's documentation of didactic and clinical experience, and to determine the equivalence of the applicant's course of study to the criteria established for the graduate and post-graduate programs. Only applicants who can document an equivalent course of formalized study will be considered in this process.

  4. The Special Review Committee shall review the information by telephone, email, mail, or teleconference within 30 days of receipt of the petition and necessary documentation. The Special Review Committee’s decision is final. Notice of the determination shall be provided to the appellant within 10 business days of the decision via electronic or paper methods to include email and postal service.

For further information regarding requirements contact AANPCB at