The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB) is an independent, non-profit certifying body whose purpose is to provide a valid and reliable program for the evaluation of individuals wishing to enter, continue, and/or advance in the NP profession through the certification process. It was established in the early 1990s by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and became separately incorporated as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners National Certification Board, Inc. in 1999. The credential NP-C, which stands for Nurse Practitioner-Certified, was registered and trademarked.

Effective January 2017 the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners National Certification Board, Inc. changed its business name from AANP Certification Program (AANPCP) to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB). The updated logo and name will appear on all official AANPCB documents and materials.

AANPCB is overseen by a Board of Commissioners (BOC) composed of experienced nurse practitioners representative of the certificants and one public member. The BOC offers input and guidance into organizational decisions and governs all major decisions affecting the AANPCB certification programs and processes.

Certification Examinations

AANPCB national certification examinations are competency-based examinations for nurse practitioners to reflect their knowledge and expertise in the role and population area of education.

AANPCB currently offers entry-level certification examinations in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP, Family NP, and Psychiatric Mental Health NP examinations, and the Emergency NP specialty certification examination for certified FNPs with expertise in emergency care. See the candidate handbooks for information about eligibility requirements and the application process.

The Adult NP and Gerontologic NP examinations have been retired to comply with the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification, and Education (2008). AANPCB-certified Adult and Gerontologic NPs must renew by practice hours and CE to maintain their active certification.

NP-C® Credential

NP-C® is the credential authorized for use by individuals who have met the standards, qualifications, and testing requirements established by AANPCB to indicate certification status. NP-C is the registered trademark owned by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners National Certification Board, Inc. First use was in 1999. Certification granted is time-limited.


AANPCB certifications are recognized by all U.S. state nursing boards, nurse regulators in Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as by Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Administration, and private insurance companies.


The Family NP, Adult-Gerontology NP, and Emergency NP certification programs are accredited by the Accreditation Board of Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC), which is the only accrediting body specifically for nursing certification, and the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), which is the accrediting body of the Institute of Credentialing Excellence (ICE) that serves to ensure the health, welfare, and safety of the public through the accreditation of certification programs and organizations that assess professional competence.