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FAQs - Emergency NP Certification

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Q: When will the Emergency Nurse Practitioner specialty certification examination be available?

A: The ENP examination was launched January 2017. Applications are now being accepted. The Candidate Handbook for the Emergency Specialty is available under the Resources tab.

Q: What are the eligibility requirements to take the ENP examination? 

A: Eligibility is based on the candidate meeting the following requirements:

  • Current, active Registered Nurse license in the U.S., U.S. territories, or Canadian province or territory.
  • Current national certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Emergency care specialty content that includes at least one of the following options:
    • Option 1 - CE and Practice. A minimum of 2,000 direct, emergency care practice hours in the past five (5) years as a FNP and evidence of 100 hours of continuing emergency care education with a minimum of 30 of those hours in emergency care procedural skills within those 5 years; or
    • Option 2 - Academic Program. Completion of an academic emergency care graduate or post-graduate NP program; or
    • Option 3 - Fellowship. Completion of an approved emergency fellowship program.

Q: What constitutes 'emergency' related continuing education (CE)? How do these CEs differ from those appropriate for maintaining my FNP certification?
A: For applicants who select Option #1 (CE & Practice) to demonstrate ENP certification eligibility with 100 contact hours of Emergency related CEs, appropriate educational programs focus on emergency/urgent care medical screening, decision-making, differential diagnosis, patient management, disposition, and professional/legal/ethical issues related to emergency NP practice. All of the CEs used to qualify for the ENP examination may be used to renew FNP certification for those certified by AANPCB.

Q: What types of skills and procedures are appropriate for my 30 hours of continuing emergency care requirements? 
A: Education course content that includes, but is not limited to CE credits for suturing, lumbar puncture, thoracentesis, chest tube placement/management, paracentesis, advanced vascular access, fracture/joint reduction, nail removal/repair, local/regional anesthesia techniques, wound management/incision and drainage, diagnostic/procedural ultrasound, among others will be accepted to meet the procedural skills CE eligibility requirements. Credits obtained from Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) courses are acceptable, but ACLS, PALS, and BLS courses are not appropriate. All continuing education credits must be from an approved CE provider, such as AANP, ACEP, and AMA. Education programs that do not have appropriate CE credits will not be accepted. A list of ENP procedural skills can be found in the Resources tab on the home page.

Q:Can I count the procedures performed during my work hours in the ED as part of my 30 CE contact hours of emergency procedural skills?
A: Applicants need to provide documentation of completing 30 CE credits of emergency-related procedural skills within the past 5 years as an FNP. The skills performed while working do not meet the CE requirements.

Q: I am not an FNP. Is there an option for me to take the ENP certification examination?
A: Due to the lifespan scope of the ENP examination, only certified FNPs who meet eligibility criteria will be able to take the AANPCB Emergency NP examination.

Q: How do I apply? 

A: Applications and information about the content on the exam are available on the AANPCB website

Q: How long will I be certified for?

A: The ENP certification will need to be renewed every five (5) years. Recertification criteria are described in the ENP Candidate Handbook.

Q: If this exam is a joint effort between AAENP and AANPCB, who is ultimately responsible for the exam?

A: Both AAENP and AANPCB have distinctly clear responsibilities for the ENP-C certification exam. AANPCB is a national certification board, and is responsible for processing applications, administrating the examinations, ensuring that the tests remain valid, and facilitating the accreditation process for the ENP certification program. The AAENP, as a membership organization, is collaborating with the AANPCB to develop exam content and set forth the standards, qualifications, knowledge, and practice of emergency nurse practitioners.

Q: Is the ENP-C nationally recognized by all states?

A: The ENP-C certification by AANPCB meets the requirements described in the national Consensus Model for APRN Regulation for subspecialty certifications. However, state practice acts, licensure, and recognition vary significantly in the U.S.; each NP will need to verify information with the state they practice.

Q: Does AANPCB offer practice exams? 
A: AANPCB currently has one Family Nurse Practitioner examination and one Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner examination. (See Practice Tests for more information on what a practice exam is and is not). Development of an ENP practice examination is in progress. However, there is no set date of release. Please see the website for updates.

Q: Does AANPCB offer educational courses or training materials to prepare exam candidates to take the ENP-C examination?

A: The FNP and AGNP practice tests offered by AANPCB are assessment tools to familiarize test candidates with the style of the certification exam, and are not study guides. AANPCB does not approve, develop, offer, or endorse any educational programs.

Q: I completed an acute care NP program. What do I need to do to qualify for the ENP exam?
A: Certification as an FNP is required; therefore, you will need to complete an FNP program. It is recommended that you contact a university that offers a post-graduate FNP program and request a review of your acute care NP program of study that includes a gap analysis to determine the coursework needed to meet their FNP program requirements. Once you are certified as an FNP, select the appropriate ENP application option to demonstrate meeting the eligibility requirements.

Q: I work in an urgent care clinic. Is the exam only available to those FNPs working in an ED?
A: While the majority of emergency care is provided in hospital-based or free-standing emergency departments (EDs), FNPs who work in other emergency care settings, such as urgent care, are able to take the ENP examination provided that they meet the listed eligibility requirements.

Q:I am a new FNP, but have worked many years as an RN in the ED. Can I use my work as an RN to qualify?
A: Only direct hours in the advanced practice role as an FNP in emergency care qualify. Practice as a staff nurse in the ED, urgent care, operating room, post-anesthesia, intensive care, or other such settings are not to be included in the 2,000 hours to qualify for the examination.