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FAQs - AANPCB Recertification Application and CE


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Q: How many clinical hours and CE credits do I need?

A: We require you submit a minimum 1000 clinical work hours, working in an APRN Role of nurse practitioner (diagnosing, assessing and treating patients) as well as a minimum 75 contact hours of continuing education (CE) in your advanced specialty area (population-foci). Only clinical work and CEs completed within the current 5-year certification period will be accepted.

Please note, changes to AANPCPs maintenance of Certification requirements will be implemented in January 1, 2017. Certificants must keep their contact information updated through their online account so they can be made aware of these changes as they occur. For those who will recertify after 2016, the number of required CEs will increase from 75 to 100 and 25 of those CEs will need to be pharmacology credits. The option to include preceptor hours will also be available after 2016.


Q: May I focus my NP career in a specialty and still receive credit for my clinical work hours?

A: Yes, as long as you are working in a Nurse Practitioner position (diagnosing, assessing, and treating patients) you may focus your career towards a specialty and still use those work hours towards your recertification.


Q: How do I submit my CE certificates?

A: When you apply through the online application, you will be given the option to upload your CE certificates and RN license before submitting payment. You also have the option to mail, fax or email the CEs and license (as well as any additional documentation) separately, for no additional fee. Once they are received, we will attach them to your application.

*If you are sending in CE's in addition to a complete application that HAS NOT already been submitted online, there will be an additional paper application fee applied.


Q: I submitted my application online, but did not upload my additional documents. Will I be charged an added fee for mailing my CEs?

A: No. Once you submit your application online (thereby waiving the $50 USD paper application fee), we will place your application on hold until we receive the required documentation. You may send in your CEs and RN license via mail, fax or email and we will add them to your application at no additional cost.


Q: Can I take my CE courses online?

A: Yes. We do not limit where you take your continuing education (CE) courses as long as they are accredited by an approved organization and are related to your work as a nurse practitioner. Although AANPCP does not endorse any specific course, we have provided a small list of organizations who offer online CE courses for your convenience. You can find this below the approved accreditors list under the CE Providers tab on our home page.


Q: What is a CE accreditor?

A: An accreditor is an organization who approves the program or continuing education (CE) course. The following are examples of acceptable Nursing accreditors: AMA, ACCME, ANCC, AANP, AAFP, AACN, etc. You can find an extended accreditors list under the CE Providers tab on our home page.


Q: What is the difference between Contact Hours, CMEs, and CEUs?

A: When entering your continuing education (CE) certificates into the log, you will be asked to enter the total number of contact hours for each educational program. A CME (continuing medical education) = 1 contact hour. One CEU (continuing education unit) = 10 contact hours, so 0.1 ceu = 1 contact hour, this conversion is typically listed on your CE certificate. Keep in mind, your CEs submitted must be relevant to of your APRN specialty. Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) is not acceptable unless it is accredited by a State Board of Nursing or nationally recognized Nursing organization. Remember, continuing education builds on the entry into practice educational.


Q: is there a certain number of pharmacology hours I need to submit with my CEs?

A: Currently, No. We do not break the 75 contact hours into categories (e.g. pharmacology or by specialty) nor do we limit where you receive CE credit (e.g. online courses, conferences, journals, etc.) as long as it is accredited. For Certificants due to renew in 2016, there is no pharmacology requirement. For those due to renew in 2017, the total number of CEs will increase from 75 to 100 contact hours, with a minimum of 25 pharmacology credits required.


Q: I am filling out the CE log, do I need to list every CE certificate I submit? Can I submit a CE tracker?

A: Yes, we need a list of the continuing education courses/programs and the certificate of attendance. When completing the CE log, please list the title, date, accreditor, sponsor and credits awarded. Many Certificants use an electronic CE log or tracker, which simplifies the entry process. If you have a CE log/tracker, you may submit or upload that document with your application. If you have an account with an organization or company that provides a CE log/tracker for you, such as AANP, Medscape, Prescribe Letter, or with an NP education company, you may submit that electronic tracker. If the tracker provides a hyperlink to the CE certificate, then you do not need to submit the individual certificates. In order for a CE tracker to be submitted in place of the individual certificates, it must contain all the required information (titles, dates, your name, accreditor’s name, sponsor’s name and credits awarded) and have a hyperlink to the certificate.



Q: I am currently in school. Can I use my coursework for CE credit?

A: Yes, graduate level courses are accepted if directly related to the provision of primary care in the Certificant’s population focus. Courses are subject to approval. Each hour of semester course credit equals 15 contact hours (i.e. a class worth 3 course hours will calculate to 45 contact hours). To receive credit you will need to submit a university transcript and if requested course descriptions for you want to receive credit.


Q: May I use any of my life support courses for continuing education credit?

A: There are several advanced life support courses that we do accept (e.g. Advanced Burn, Advanced Trauma, Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics, ACLS and PALS,). We do not accept BLS and Neonatal Resuscitation Program.


Q: Am I able to receive continuing education credit for my preceptorship hours?

A: Current requirements for certification renewal do not include credit for being a preceptor. For those renewing in 2017, Certificants will have the option to replace up to 25 continuing education credits with 120 hours of preceptor hours. Visit www.aanpcert.org for updates on the Recertification requirements for Certificants who are due to recertify after 2016.


Q: Many of my CEs were taken through AANP. Does that mean the AANPCP has them?

A: No. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is a separately incorporated entity from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP). As such, we do not have the ability to share information and do not have access to your CE certificates. As you would with your other CEs, you will need to supply us with a copy in order to receive credit for it. An official CE tracker from AANP will also suffice.


Q: Can I use CEs I received before I took the examination?

A: No. Only the CE hours obtained within your current 5-year certification period will be accepted for your recertification application.


Q: My certification will soon expire and I don't have the required number of CEs. If I take CE courses after it expires, can I use them for my recertification?

A: No. All CEs must be dated by or before your certification expiration date to be counted towards your recertification. The AANPCP does not accept CEs taken after your certification expiration. If you do not meet the requirement for recertification by CE and clinical work and your certification expires, you will need to apply to take the certification examination.


Q: If I have already met the requirement for 75 CE contact hours, may I use the additional CEs for my next recertification?

A: No. Only continuing education (CE) courses taken during the 5 year period may be used for a recertification application. Any CE certificate not used towards your current recertification would be outside the 5 year limit of your next certification period.


Q: If I recertify early, e.g. 6 months before my certification expires, does my certification date change to the date that my recertification is approved?

A: No. Your certification date will stay the same. Any continuing education credits acquired for the next certification renewal need to be obtained during that 5 year period.