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FAQs - Consensus Model


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Q: What is the national Consensus Model for APRN Regulation?

A: In 2008, the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation was published with the goal of implementation by 2015. The creation of this regulatory model helped to define the 4 roles of the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) at the graduate level. The goals of the Consensus Model include increased transparency and communication among the 4 regulatory components of licensure, accreditation, certification, and education; and protection of the public by ensuring that APRNs are comprehensively educated and prepared to practice appropriately. It serves to provide clarity and consistency in states laws, regulations, and schools of nursing in governing APRN roles, standards, and practices. Additional information may be found on the NCSBN website.


Q: What does APRN Core, Role and Population Foci mean?

A: For licensure and APRN credentialing under the Consensus Model, requirements specify that all APRNs be educated at the graduate level in nationally recognized competencies and complete appropriate clinical and didactic experiences in the following:

  • APRN Core (advanced pathophysiology, advanced health assessment, and advanced pharmacology);
  • 1 of 4 specific roles (certified nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, certified registered nurse anesthetist, certified nurse midwife); and
  • 1 of 6 population foci (lifespan/family, adult-gerontology, pediatrics, neonatal, women's health/gender-related, psych/mental health).

Q: Will I be required to have a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree by 2015 to be eligible to sit for the AANPCB National Certification Exam?

A: The current entry-level preparation for NP practice is a graduate degree in nursing. AANPCB will continue to offer certification as long as you have a master’s degree, post-graduate (post-master’s) certificate, or doctoral degree from an accredited NP program. Changing the entry-level terminal degree for advance practice nurses from a MSN to the DNP by the year 2015 has been under discussion for more than a decade. It is a recommendation, and not yet a mandate.


Q: Am I required to have a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree to certify or recertify?

A: No. While the number of schools that have transitioned their Master’s-level degree program to the Doctorate are increasing, the DNP is not a requirement for NP certification or entry into practice.