AANPCB Frequently Asked Questions


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Contact Us

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB)
Office Hours: 8:30-4:30 CST

Phone Numbers:

Main (512) 637-0500
Fax (512) 637-0540 or (512) 637-0334
Toll-free (855) 822-6727

Mailing Address:

AANPCB
Capital Station, LBJ Building
P.O. Box 12926
Austin, TX 78711-2926

Shipping Address for documents requiring overnight delivery, or mail requiring a signature (USPS/UPS/FedEx):

AANPCB
2600 Via Fortuna, Ste 240
Austin, TX 78746

Email inquiries and general correspondence, RN/APRN License, Unofficial Transcripts, and CE Documents to: certification@aanpcert.org">certification@aanpcert.org

Email Official Transcripts to: Transcripts@aanpcert.org

AANPCB is affiliated with the following two national membership organizations*:

  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) - Visit www.aanp.org for information.
  • American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners (AAENP) - Visit aaenp-natl.org for information.

*Membership in an affiliate organization is not a requirement for certification.





About AANPCB

Q: What is the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB)?

A: AANPCB is a nonprofit national nurse practitioner certification board that provides a valid and reliable program for the evaluation of individuals wishing to enter, continue, and/or advance in the nurse practitioner (NP) profession through the certification process. AANPCB has been certifying nurse practitioners since 1994.

AANPCB is governed by a Board of Commissioners (BOC) composed of dedicated, knowledgeable, experienced NPs representative of the certificant population. The BOC governs all major decisions affecting the certification programs and processes and offers input and guidance into organizational decisions and policies. Public Members, who are not healthcare professionals, are appointed to represent and protect the public.

As an autonomous national nursing certification board, AANPCB is responsible for the:

  • Development and administration of entry-level and specialty NP certification programs.
  • Provision of a reliable, valid, competency-based examination for NPs to reflect their knowledge and expertise for each of its programs.
  • Initial certification of the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care, Emergency, and Family NP candidates who meets eligibility requirements for certification by entry-level exam; and
  • Processes for renewal of certification for the Adult, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care, Emergency, Family and Gerontological NP who meet requirements for renewal of their NP certification.

Q: When was AANPCB established?

A: The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP), incorporated under the name American Academy of Nurse Practitioners National Certification Board, Inc., was initially established in 1993. The AANPCP Business Name was changed to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB) on January 1st, 2017.

Q: What NP certification examinations are offered by AANPCB?

A: AANPCB offers the following national certification examinations for candidates who meet eligibility requirements:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGNP)
  • Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP) specialty certification.

The certification examinations are competency-based exams that assess knowledge, skills and abilities in preparation for APRN licensure and professional credentialing.

Q: Will AANPCB be retiring any certification exams soon?

A: There are no plans to retire any certification exam. AANPCB retired the Adult (ANP) exam in 2016. The Gerontological (GNP) exam was retired in 2012. Certification as an ANP or GNP with AANPCB will not be affected if current continuing education and clinical practice hour requirements for renewal of certification are met and the certification is not allowed to expire. ANPs and GNPs should check with the state board of nursing in which they are licensed to practice for licensure information.

Q: Do NPs have to renew their certification?

A: Yes. NP certification is time limited and expires at the end of 5 years. It is the nurse practitioner's professional responsibility to renew their certification before it expires in order to continue to be certified. In addition to active professional nurse licensure, all nurse practitioners must meet the current requirements established by the BOC for renewal. AANPCB will not be held responsible for loss of wages, employment, or certification if a certificant fails to renew in a timely manner prior to expiration of current certification. Individuals whose certification has expired risk potential loss of employment, wages, insurance reimbursement, or credentialing privileges.


AANPCB Program Accreditation and Compliance

Q: Are the AANPCB certification programs accredited by a third party?

A: Yes. AANPCB's certification programs are accredited by two national accrediting bodies - the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification, Inc. (ABSNC) and the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Changes to the NP certification programs align with the certification accreditation standards promulgated by these two organizations. Accreditation dates may be found on the AANPCB website.

ABSNC logoABSNC is the only accrediting body specifically for nursing certification. ABSNC accreditation provides a peer review mechanism that allows nursing certification organizations to obtain accreditation of their certification programs by demonstrating compliance with the highest quality standards available in the industry.

ABSNC logoNCCA , is the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). NCCA serves to ensure the health, welfare, and safety of the public through the accreditation of certification programs and organizations that assess professional competence. Accreditation by NCCA indicates AANPCB compliance with the NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs.


National Recognition

Q: Are AANPCB nurse practitioner certifications recognized by all states?

A: 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.

Q: Do Canadian Provinces recognize the AANPCB certification for licensure?

A: In some provinces, yes. NPs should check with the jurisdictional nursing board of the Canadian province in which they plan to practice.

Credential: NP-C®

Q: What NP certification credentials are awarded by the AANPCB?

A:
Adult Nurse Practitioner: NP-C or ANP-C
Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner: NP-C or AGNP-C
Emergency Nurse Practitioner: NP-C or ENP-C
Family Nurse Practitione: NP-C or FNP-C
Gerontologic Nurse Practitioner: NP-C or GNP-C

Credential: NP-C®

Q: What does "NP-C®" stand for?

A: Nurse Practitioner-Certified. NP-C® is the registered mark and credential authorized for use by individuals who have met the standards, qualifications, and testing requirements established by AANPCB to indicate nurse practitioner certification status.

  • The NP-C® certification mark is owned by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners National Certification Board, Inc. and registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. First use of the credential was in 1999.
  • The first letter of the population-focus of educational preparation and certification (i.e., A, E, F, G, or A-G) will precede the certification number printed on the official certificate and wallet card.
  • Adding the letter of the population-focus of educational preparation (i.e., A, E, F, G, or A-G) before NP-C is optional because they are not part of the certification mark registration.

Q: How do I sign my name once I become certified?

A: Yes. In general, there is a standard way to list post-nominal credentials which is important because consumers, insurance companies, credentialing and government entities may require or expect it.

  • The highest earned academic degree is usually listed immediately after the name, followed by (1) nurse licensure or APRN designation, (2) required or voluntary nursing certifications, and (3) Fellowships. Example: First Middle Last Name, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, FAANP
  • Nurses are legally obligated to comply with the professional nurse licensing requirements in the state in which they practice and should check with state regulatory agencies regarding legal titling.

Q: Can I still use the NP-C credential if my certification expires?

A: No. You may not use the NP-C credential and you may not present yourself as an AANPCB-board certified nurse practitioner if you allow your AANPCB certification to expire. State Boards of Nursing (SBON) regulate APRNs' ability to practice, therefore, it is your responsibility to contact your SBON regarding your ability to work with an expired NP certification. Notify your employer that you are no longer certified.



NP Scope of Practice and Standards of Conduct

Q: Where do I find the Scope and Standards for Nurse Practitioners?

A: Scope and Standards of Practice for NPs are legally defined by each state board of nursing. Professional organizations develop Scope and Standards of NP Practice for their discipline and specialty. Most referenced national Scope and Standards of Practice for Nurse Practitioners provided by professional organizations are:

Additional resources include:
  • State Board of Nursing Nurse Practice Acts guide and govern nursing practice.
  • Employers and organizational facilities define job functions and further delimit NP practice.
  • Scope of Practice Decision-Making Framework. National Council of State Boards of Nursing. https://www.ncsbn.org/decision-making-framework.htm

Q: What are my responsibilities as an AANPCB board-certified nurse practitioner?

A: AANPCB applicants, candidates, and certificants agree to:

  • Comply with AANPCB policies.
  • Respect AANPCB intellectual property rights and federal copyright laws protecting AANPCB program and examination content.
  • Follow the testing vendor's test administration rules.
  • Maintain current professional nursing licensure to practice and comply with boards of nursing licensing rules and regulations.
  • Subscribe to national scope and standards of practice for nurse practitioners.
  • Be truthful and cooperative in their dealings with AANPCB.

For Candidates taking the certification examination, see the FAQs -Test Site Information/Exam Security Policy & Procedures for the AANPCB's Examination Security Policy and PSI Test Center Security Procedures.

NP Continuing Competence

Q: What is AANPCB's definition of Continuing Competence?

A: In keeping with the Mission and Purpose of AANPCB, maintaining clinical practice and participating in advanced practice continuing education (CE) on an ongoing basis or passing the certification examination allows certificants to demonstrate maintenance of knowledge and skills in their area of certification as an ANP, AGNP, ENP, FNP, or GNP. Renewal of certification provides a mechanism to assure the public that NPs certified by AANPCB have met current professional standards of qualifications and knowledge for practice required to maintain and validate certification.

Q: How often do I have to renew my NP certification?

A: Certification is valid only for a 5-year period

Q: Why do I need advanced practice CE to recertify?

A: On-going completion of advanced practice CE activities promotes currency of knowledge for continued NP practice. CE completed must be relevant to the area of your certification specialty and completed within the 5-year period of certification. For more information see FAQs relating to renewal of certification.

APRN Consensus Model

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

A: The Consensus Model for APRN Regulation defines the 4 roles of the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). This model aligns the components of licensure, accreditation, certification, and education to ensure patient safety while expanding access to APRNs. It provides 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 National Council of State Boards of Nursing: Practice section. https://ncsbn.org/practice.htm

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

A: Under the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation, licensure and APRN credentialing 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.
  • Roles: certified nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, certified registered nurse anesthetist, certified nurse midwife.
  • Population foci: lifespan/family, adult-gerontology, pediatrics, neonatal, women's health/gender-related, psych/mental health).






Clinical Practice

Q: How many clinical practice hours are required to renew my certification?

A: A minimum of 1,000 clinical hours within the current 5-year period of certification in direct patient care as a nurse practitioner in the population-focus for which you are certified is required.

Q: Is certification by AANPCB accepted for the purposes of national NP health care provider recruitment?

A: Yes. AANPCB is a national nurse practitioner certification board. AANPCB-certification demonstrates that an individual has acquired the minimum competencies to work as a nurse practitioner for regulatory purposes. The certification is recognized by all U.S. Boards of Nursing and territories; the District of Columbia, U.S. Department of State, and Veterans Administration; Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies; and other countries for licensure purposes.

Q: Can I work full time in a specialty clinic (e.g., cardiology, gynecology)?

A: Yes, NP practice may focus on a specific patient population. NP clinical practice is based on educational training in providing safe and appropriate patient care. Further education (CEs, workshops, etc.) and work experience in specialty fields contributes to your on-going professional development. According to the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation, preparation in a specialty is optional and builds upon the APRN role and population focus competencies.

Q: May I claim NP volunteer service' hours for recertification?

A: Clinical practice hours worked as an NP in a volunteer capacity for a national or international service organization must be at the advanced practice level in the NP role and relate to the population of certification for which you are certified to be recognized and accepted for recertification. An official detailed description of the duties may be requested.

Q: Do virtual visits or telehealth visits counted towards recertification hours?

A: Providing advanced practice care of patient health conditions involving assessments, diagnosis, and treatment either as in-person encounters or remotely via telehealth are considered direct patient care and can be used as Practice Hours to meet recertification requirements.

Q: Can I include my faculty clinical site visits as clinical practice hours?

A: Yes. Faculty time spent with NP students and patients during clinical practicum hours can be counted as clinical practice hours. Credit is for actual time in the clinical agency and telehealth sites. Faculty may use a maximum of 500 clinical visit hours toward the 1,000 required clinical hours for recertification in the five-year certification period. Travel time to and from the site cannot be included in the clinical visit hours. No faculty clinical hours will be accepted for simulation, standardized patient evaluations, conference time, or clinical agency site evaluations.

RN/NP/APRN Licensure

Q: My state has separate RN and APRN licenses. Which is required for certification?

A: AANPCB will accept either the RN or APRN state license for certification purposes. If you are licensed in more than one state, use the license of your home state.

  • A copy of the nursing license submitted with your AANPCB application needs to include your name, license number, and expiration date. Receipt of an applicant's nursing license without an expiration date will delay in the processing of an application.

Q: Where can I find a copy of my nursing license?

A: Check on the website of the State Board of Nursing (SBON) in which you are licensed. You may also check on Nursys.com which is a free service where participating boards of nursing provide nurse licensure status information. A copy of the nursing license submitted must include your name, license number, and expiration date.

Q: What is the difference between nurse licensure and certification?

A: The primary purpose of nursing licensure is the safety and protection of the public. SBONs authorize and regulate a nurse's ability to practice. A licensed nurse is responsible for knowing and adhering to the rules and regulations governing nursing as outlined by their SBON. NPs are required to maintain active current nursing licensure to practice.

Because the role of the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) focuses on direct patient care, APRN practice requires regulatory recognition beyond Registered Nurse licensure granted by a SBON. Boards of nursing, therefore, use APRN certification as one of several requirements for entry into APRN practice licensure. Each SBON determines which APRN certification examination meet their specific criteria required for licensure to practice as an APRN in the state. NP certification by AANPCB is recognized by all state boards of nursing.

Most state boards of nursing and insurance carriers require national certification for APRN practice and third-party reimbursement. If current national certification as a nurse practitioner is required, then yes, you must renew your certification.

Q: Do I have to renew certification and nurse licensure?

A: Certification as an NP by AANPCB is time-limited and must be renewed every 5 years. RN/APRN licensure is usually renewed more often and has different renewal requirements. Please visit your SBON, employer, and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing website at https://ncsbn.org/index.htm for additional information.

Age Parameters

Q: What patient age range may I see?

A: Specific age parameters are not defined for any population on the AANPCB examinations.

  • AANPCB endorses the APRN Consensus Model which recommends that care and services be defined by patient needs and not age. Consideration of factors such as weight, developmental issues/needs, and administration of medication dosage based on weight and not age, are important in providing safe and appropriate patient care. Growth and development are used for constructing the certification exams.
  • State boards of nursing may have additional regulations.

Q: Where can I find the patient age ranges for the certification examinations?

A: Patient Age Ranges are one of the Domains of the FNP and AGNP certification examinations. The Exam Blueprints may be found in the Candidate Handbooks and under the Certify tab on the Home Page.

Preceptorship Hours

Q: I would like to become a Preceptor. How does AANPCB define Precepting?

A: For AANPCB certification renewal, Precepting is defined as supervision of advanced practice students during the provision of direct patient care conducted in your NP role and population area of certification.

Q: Can I use preceptorship hours to renew my certification?

A: Yes. Precepting advanced practice students while providing direct patient care as a nurse practitioner is consistent with demonstration of continuing competence and ongoing professional development. It is an option to use for renewal and can replace up to 25 non-pharmacology CEs. Preceptorship hours must be documented, verifiable and accrued during the 5-year period of certification.

Q: How many preceptorship hours may I claim for recertification?

A: A maximum of 120 Preceptorship Clinical Practice Hours conducted within the current 5-year period of certification may be claimed for a maximum of 25 non-pharmacology CE. Convert the clinical hours precepted to CE hours using the Preceptorship Conversion Table in the Candidate Handbook and on the Preceptorship Form.

Q: Am I limited to precepting NP students only?

A: No. Precepting inter-professional advanced practice students is recognized and accepted by AANPCB. Qualifying preceptor hours are defined as the provision of direct patient care as an NP while serving as a clinical preceptor for advanced practice students affiliated with dentistry, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, or physician assistant programs.

Q: Where do I find the Preceptorship Form?

A: The Preceptorship Form can be found under the Forms tab. Complete the form and submit it with supporting documentation from the educational program clinical faculty confirming the preceptorship.

Are You Retiring?

Q: I am retiring soon. What do I need to do?

A: Please notify us by email at certification@aanpcert.org of your retirement status. We will make appropriate changes to your account so that future emails and mailings will not be sent to you. Your certification will expire at the end of 5 years. The certification period granted can be found on your certificate, wallet card, and Online Profile. AANPCB does not offer a "Retired" or "Inactive" status.



Your Online Profile/Account

Q: How do I create an AANPCB Account?

A: You will need to establish an AANPCB user account for certification and create your Online Profile before you begin your application. To create a new Online Profile, click Let's Get Started or Certify on the Home page, then select New User Registration. Once you have established an Online Certification Profile and Account with us, you may begin your exam application process, upload required documents, follow your application's progress, and view any notes/reminders we may send you regarding your application.

Q: Why is it important that I use my legal name and not my nickname when applying to take the exam?

A: A candidate's name on the exam application, test registration, and forms of identification presented at the testing center must match. The name used to schedule your appointment must match the name shown on your identification. At a minimum, the identification must be a valid, government-issued ID that shows your name, signature, and your photograph.

An applicant's first and last name used to create an Online Profile and application:

  • Must be the name used by the applicant to register to schedule an examination.
  • Will be the name that appears on the eligibility to test notification sent by the testing company.
  • Must match the required acceptable forms of identification used for access to a testing center.
  • Will be the name printed on the certificate and wallet card.

Website Use Questions

Q: I forgot my password to log into my account? What do I do?

A: Click on "Forgot your username/password?" on the Login page.

  1. Enter the email address that you provided when you initially established your account. Your username and password will be sent to this email address.
  2. If you no longer have that account, you will need to register with us again to create a new user ID and password.
  3. To avoid having our messages sent to your junk folder, add certification@aanpcert.org to your email address book.

Q: Is my certification login username and password the same as my membership number?

A: No. Your AANPCB certification number, username, and password are uniquely different from your membership number and login information.

  • AANPCB certification number will begin your population focus: A, AG, E, F, or G.
  • Membership numbers are composed of numerals only. Contact AANP or AAENP for your Membership number.

Q: I am certified by AANPCB. I just tried to start the online application process to renew my certification, but it says I am not certified. What is the problem?

A: If you are certified by us, but have not created an Online Profile, previous information in your existing account must be "LINKED" to your new registration. This is a manual process. Please allow at least one business day. Once linked, certification history, order status, account information, and communications from AANPCB will be displayed when you log on.

Q: I started my application 2 months ago. I logged in recently and my information is gone. What happened?

A: Cookies are pieces of data that help your browser remember things like usernames, passwords, website preferences, and information entered onto a website application. If the cookies in your web browser are activated, a partially completed application can automatically be saved for 30 days. If you do not return to your application within that window, the information will be deleted in the system. This may also happen when different computers are used to enter information. If you log in to your application from a different computer, previously entered information may not be saved.

Q: How do I enable my cookies?

A: This depends on which browser you are using. On your computer, select "Tools, Internet Browser, Privacy Settings, Cookies" to change settings. If you continue to have difficulty, you should be able to find step by step instructions through your chosen search engine.

Q: I am filling out my online application, however, my information is not being saved. What do I do?

A: You must click the "add/save" button when adding clinical site or continuing education information each time you add entries. If you do not do this, your information will not be saved. Should you continue to have difficulties please contact AANPCB at 512-637-0500.

Q: Why are AOL Recipients not receiving their Registration Confirmation Notice from PSI Services, LLC (PSI)?

A: Some older versions of AOL Desktop (6.0 or lower) will block emails coming from PSI servers. To receive emails from PSI, AOL recipients can try the following:

  1. Start your AOL Desktop, login to your account, and go to Mail Controls
  2. Once in Mail Controls, go to People and Places
  3. Select the option Allow email from all AOL members, email addresses, and domains
  4. Type in no-reply@psionline.com in the box and click "Add"

This should allow PSI servers to be recognized as a safe sender and emails to be sent to you.

Q: Why am I receiving an Authentication Error message for my Membership Number when creating my online account?

A: There are a couple of reasons.

  • Your professional organization membership has expired.
  • The name or the number you are applying with does not match information in the association's database.
  • Popup blockers need to be turned off.
  • Cookies need to be enabled on your computer.
  • You may have selected a Username that is already in use by another individual.

Q: Why is it important that I notify AANPCB of changes to my contact information?

A: AANPCB sends correspondence to the last known email and mailing addresses in the system. Exam score results and certificate packets are mailed to the shipping address on your Account. Certification renewal reminders, announcements regarding important changes to the certification programs, notification of Board of Commissioner elections, and special events are sent by email to the address on your account from certification@aanpcert.org.

  • AANPCB recommends that a permanent, personal email address be used for your Online Profile.
  • It is the applicant and certificant' responsibility to update their Online Profile or notify AANPCB of changes to personal contact information. Failure to update contact information so does not relieve a certificant of the responsibility to maintain their professional certification.
  • It is possible that recertification may not be possible for some APRNs in the future if they allow their certification to expire or were not aware of changes to practice or CE requirements.

Q: How do I notify AANPCB of a name or address change?

A: You have 2 options:

  • Applicants and certificants may make changes to their name and contact information at any time by logging into their Online Profile with their username and password.
  • You may also complete the request for Change of Name, Address, or Certification Status Form (found under the Verify tab on the Home Page). Mail, email, or fax it to AANPCB along with a copy of supporting documentation (e.g., court record, marriage certificate) and we will change it for you.

Note: For name change questions, please contact the Verification Department at 512-637-0500.

Q: I am getting ready to take the examination soon but wish to change my name. What do I need to do?

A: The name on the AANPCB account will be the name printed on the certificate and wallet card. Once you have scheduled your exam, it is best not to change your name. If the names on identification documents and the application do not match, you may not be able to sit for your scheduled examination.

  • A candidate's first and last name and required identifications must match the name provided on (1) your application, (2) the Eligible to Test email sent by AANPCB, and (3) the Authorization to Test registration email sent by our exam vendor, PSI, for admission to the testing center.
  • If you want your certificate and wallet card to reflect your new name, register for your exam using your current identification and then immediately after taking the exam, log in to your AANPCB Online Profile and make the appropriate changes to your name.

Note: For name change questions, please contact the Verification Department at 512-637-0500.

Q: Which email address should I use to apply with - my personal or my university email address?

A: Student email addresses provided by the university can be temporary. We recommend that a permanent, personal email address be used for your certification account. The email address used by an applicant to create an Online Profile and AANPCB Account will be:

  • Used by AANPCB for application and certification/recertification correspondence.
  • Used by the candidate to register to schedule an examination with PSI.
  • The email address that the candidate's eligibility to test notification will be sent.

Q: I am getting married soon and would like to change my name.

A: Candidates who wish to change their name are encouraged to change it after they have been certified to avoid problems with testing. An applicant's first and last name used to create an Online Profile and application:

  • Must be the name used by the applicant to register to schedule an examination.
  • Will be the name that appears on the eligibility to test notification sent by the testing company.
  • Must match the required acceptable forms of identification used for access to a testing center.
  • Will be the name printed on the certificate and wallet card.




FNP and AGNP Certification Exam Eligibility Requirements

Q: What are the eligibility requirements to take the AGNP or FNP certification examination?

A: Requirements for the AANPCB certification exam include:

  • Completion of a graduate, postgraduate, or doctoral Family or Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner educational program from a U.S. school accredited by an independent national nursing organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
  • Canadian province NP educational programs must be approved by the Canadian Council of Registered Nurse Regulators (CCRNR).

Q: I am getting ready to apply to take the certification exam. What is needed to begin my application?

A: Requirements to process an application include:

  • Successful completion of the three APRN Core courses (advanced physical assessment, advanced pharmacology, advanced pathophysiology).
  • At least one NP population of specialization course.
  • Current active professional nursing license in a state/territory of the United States or Canadian province.
  • An official or unofficial interim transcript showing academic "coursework-to-date" or final official transcript showing program completion with degree awarded and date conferred to begin an application.

Note: Under certain circumstances, AANPCB may require additional information. A notification will be emailed to you if your application needs further documentation.

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

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

Q: Is membership in a professional organization required to apply for certification or recertification?

A: No. Membership is not required.

Application and Approval Processes

Q: How soon can I begin the application process before I graduate from my nurse practitioner program?

A: Students are NOT eligible to test until they have completed all didactic and clinical course requirements for the NP program.

  • Students enrolled in MSN and post-graduate AGNP and FNP certificate programs may begin the application process as early as 6 months prior to completion of their NP program (i.e., NP courses and clinical hours).
  • DNP students may begin the application process as early as 1 year prior to completion of the NP program requirements of their degree plan.

Q: What is the difference between "Program Completion" and "Degree Conferred" dates?

A: The Program Completion date is the date all courses and clinical hours in the NP Track are completed. Degree Conferred date is the date you will be awarded your graduate degree or post-graduate certificate.

Note: Some students may have the ability to complete their NP program's didactic courses and clinical hours before their scheduled graduation and degree conferral date (e.g., DNP students).

Q: Is a letter from the NP Program Director verifying the program completion date required?

A: A letter from the NP Program Director or Academic Dean is required if the candidate is requesting to test prior to their program completion date or the program completion and degree conferred dates are more than 30 days apart. Email the letter to certification@aanpcert.org.

Q: Where can I find information about how to complete my certification application?

A: Information regarding the application process may be found on the website home page:

  • Certify tab
  • FAQs
  • Candidate Handbook
  • How To Videos

Q: How do I create an account?

A: You will need to establish an AANPCB user account for Certification and create your Online Profile before you can begin your application. For information on creating an Online Profile and Account, see FAQs - Online Profile/Account & Website Use Questions.

Q: How do I apply for the AANPCB certification exam?

A: To create your new online profile, click Let's Get Started or Certify on the home page, then select the New User Registration. Once you have established an Online Certification Profile and Account, you may begin your exam application process, upload required documents, follow your application's progress, and view any notes/reminders we may send you regarding your application.

  • The name on your application will be the name printed on your certificate and wallet card.
  • Incomplete applications are not stored for more than 30 days.

Q: What does a complete application mean?

A: Complete applications include the following:

  • Your full name as printed on your government-issued ID and address.
  • Copy of your current professional nursing license with expiration date including the year.
  • Complete NP Program information with required coursework, clinical clock hours, sites, and preceptors.
  • Complete clinical site information, including the names and addresses (street number, city, state, and zip code) of the clinical agencies, and a description of the practice specialty (i.e., Family, Pediatrics, etc.).
  • Preceptors' name and credentials.
  • An official transcript of academic coursework to date, and/or final transcript stating degree with date conferred.
  • Post-Graduate (Post-Master's) applicants must also submit an official MSN transcript.
  • Payment in full.

Q: Does AANPCB expedite certification application processing?

A: Normal processing time for initial applications is 4 weeks depending upon receipt of a complete application, required documents, and applicable fees. AANPCB seeks to process all applications in a timely manner and does not expedite processing of applications or charge to expedite. Review and approval of an application will be delayed If required documentation, including copy of nursing license with a current expiration date, or fee is missing.

Q: How can I follow the status of my application?

A: You will be notified by email if additional information is required for the completion of your application. This is an automatic process that occurs weekly after you submit your application. You will also be able to view your application status, as well as any missing information messages through your online account.

Q: Why do I get weekly emails from AANPCB?

A: If an application is missing information or documentation necessary for completion of an application and/or the release of scores, an email will be sent from certification@aanpcert.org

Q: Can I include my membership dues payment with my AANPCB application for certification?

A: No. AANPCB and the membership organizations are separate and do not share certification, membership, or billing department information. Contact AANP or AAENP for membership and billing information.

Transcripts

Q: Can I submit my application with an academic "work-to-date" transcript?

A: Yes. We will either accept an official or unofficial transcript from your university showing the courses you have completed to date. Your application will be processed and approved if coursework on the transcript meets eligibility requirements.

  • Candidates cannot sit for an examination until after they have completed all didactic courses and clinical practice hours required for their NP program.
  • Examination scores will not be released until we have received your official final MSN or DNP transcript or post-graduate (post-master's) certificate (if applicable) showing completion date of the program and degree or certificate received.

Q: What is an "unofficial transcript"?

A: An unofficial transcript is a copy of a transcript with the university insignia or a printout showing all NP coursework and grades completed to date. Transcripts sent by the applicant electronically or received unsealed by mail will be considered unofficial. Transcripts that appear to be altered will not be accepted.

Q: What is an "official final transcript"?

A: An official final transcript will have the university insignia and the degree conferred/awarded date and must be received by AANPCB via one of the following methods:

  • Mailed in a sealed envelope issued from the school registrar's office.
  • Emailed from the school registrar's office with the statement "Attached is an official transcript".
  • Electronically via a secured website by the registrar or transcript service.
  • Faxed from the registrar's office with a coversheet stating the document attached is official.

Note: Transcripts that appear to be altered will not be processed.

Q: Can transcripts be sent directly from my school?

A: Yes. We encourage University Registrars to send electronic official transcripts via a secured website (e.g., E-Script, National Student Clearinghouse, Parchment). Request that the university send your transcript directly to us at transcripts@aanpcert.org.

Q: I am completing a postgraduate (post-master's) certificate program. Do you still require a transcript from me?

A: Yes. In addition to the official final transcript showing completion of the postgraduate NP coursework, we require an official final transcript showing MSN degree awarded and date conferred to release certification scores.

NP Program Accreditation

Q: How can I tell if my AGNP or FNP program is accredited?

A: Program accreditation requirements for the AANPCB certification exam are completion of a graduate, postgraduate, or doctoral Family or Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner educational program from a U.S. school accredited by an independent national nursing organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education:

  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
  • NP educational programs in Canadian provinces must be approved by the Canadian Council of Registered Nurse Regulators (CCRCR).
  • Contact your Program Director or check the ACEN or CCNE websites for your NP program's accreditation status.






ENP Speciality Certification

Q: What is the Emergency NP Specialty Certification?

A: In collaboration with the American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners (AAENP), AANPCB worked to develop a specialty certification examination for eligible Family Nurse Practitioners to recognize their expertise in emergency care. The Emergency Nurse Practitioner certification program aligns with the APRN Consensus Model for specialty nursing practice and meets national accreditation standards. The first ENP examination was offered beginning January 2017.

Q: Where can I find information about the Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP) specialty certification exam?

A: ENP certification information is available in the following areas of our website:

Q: Where do I find information regarding approved ENP academic programs, fellowships, competencies, and CE opportunities?

A: Visit the American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners (AAENP) website at www.aaenp-natl.org for more information.

Q: Is membership in a professional organization required to apply for certification or recertification?

A: No. Membership is not required.

ENP Eligibility Requirements

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

A: ENP candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Current, active professional nurse license in the U.S., U.S. territories, or Canadian province or territory.
  • Current national certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP).
  • Completion of emergency care specialty content.

Q: What are the options for completion of the required "emergency care specialty" content?

A: To sit for the ENP exam, an FNP must complete one of 3 options:

  • Option 1 - CE and Clinical Practice - A minimum of 2,000 direct emergency care practice hours as a Nurse Practitioner in the past five years and 100 hours of continuing emergency care education with a minimum of 30 hours of emergency care procedural skills within those five years.
  • Option 2 - Academic Program - An academic emergency care graduate or post-graduate certificate NP program.
  • Option 3 - Fellowship - An approved post-graduate emergency fellowship program.

Visit the American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners (AAENP) website at www.aaenp-natl.org for approved ENP academic programs, fellowships, and competency information.

Q: I am not a Family Nurse Practitioner. Is there an option for me to take the ENP specialty certification exam?

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: I work in an urgent care clinic. Is the exam limited to FNPs working only in emergency departments?

A: While the majority of emergency care is provided in hospital-based or a free-standing emergency department (ED), FNPs who work in other emergency care settings such as urgent care clinics are able to take the ENP examination provided they meet the listed eligibility requirements.

Q: I completed an Acute Care NP program. What do I need to do to qualify for the ENP exam?

A: 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 FNP program requirements. Once you are certified as an FNP, select the appropriate ENP application option to meet the eligibility requirements.

Q: I am a new FNP. I have worked as an RN in the ED for many years. Am I eligible to sit for the ENP exam using my work as an RN?

A: No. Only direct hours in the advanced practice role as an NP in emergency care qualify. Work experience as a staff nurse in the ED, urgent care, operating room, post-anesthesia, intensive care, or other such settings do not qualify and are not to be included in the minimum of 2,000 direct, emergency care practice hours as an NP in the past five years.

Q: I have worked 2000+ hours in the ED as an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP. I just completed a post-masters FNP program. Do the hours worked as an AGACNP in the ED qualify for emergency care practice hours?

A: Yes. Direct hours in the advanced practice role as an NP in emergency care qualify.

Emergency Care Procedural Skills

Q: What types of emergency care procedural skills or procedures are appropriate for Option 1 - CE and Practice requirement?

A: Education course content that includes, but is not limited to 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.

Note: A list of Emergency Care Skills and Procedures may be found under the Resources tab.

Q: Can I count procedures performed during my past work hours in the ED as part of my 30 CE contact hours of emergency procedural skills?

A: No. The skills performed must meet accredited CE requirements. 30 CE credits of emergency-related procedural skills within the past 5 years as an NP is required for the initial ENP certification application.

Emergency Care Continuing Education and Procedural Skills

Q: What constitutes "emergency" related continuing education (CE)?

A: Appropriate and accredited emergency-related advanced practice CE activities focus on emergency/urgent care medical screening, decision-making, differential diagnosis, patient management, disposition and professional, legal, and ethical issues related to Emergency NP practice.

Q: What are examples of appropriate emergency care CE providers?

A: Acceptable emergency care CE accreditors and providers include but are limited to:

  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  • American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)
  • Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)

Q: Does AANPCB accept UpToDate educational content?

A: Yes. However, UpToDate does not identify topics or pharmacology credits; therefore, include the UpToDate usage log with the CE certificates. Provide a list of titles for the educational CE activities for which you are claiming pharmacology or procedural skill credits.

Q: Can advanced life support courses be used for emergency-related CE?

A: Several advanced life support certification courses are accepted. An advanced life support course cannot be used more than twice in a 5-year renewal cycle. A CE certificate showing your name, activity title, date, accreditor, sponsor, and CEs awarded for completion of the course is required. A wallet card will not suffice. The following courses are accepted for ENP certification or renewal of ENP certification:

  • Advanced Burn Life Support (ABLS)
  • Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO)
  • Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS)
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)

The following courses are not accepted for ENP certification/recertification:

  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
  • Basic Life Support (BLS)

Q: Can I submit a CE tracker?

A: CE trackers can simplify the application entry process. If you have an account with an organization that provides a CE log/tracker (e.g., AANP, Medscape, Prescriber Letter, UpToDate), enter the tracker as a single entry (e.g., Medscape Tracker) on the CE Log of your application.

  • All CE trackers must include the required information (i.e., participant name, activity title, date, accreditor, sponsor, total credits awarded, and pharmacology credits).
  • Trackers that do not include the required information will not be processed.
  • Do not provide links to CE sites or documents as we are unable to access the links.
  • If your tracker includes "self" entered CE entries, you will need to provide a copy of the CE certificate.
  • Submit a copy or upload the tracker as a PDF to your application.

Q: Can AANPCB access my AANP CE Center tracker and CE information?

A: No. AANPCB does not have access to the AANP CE Center or your certificates because AANPCB (the Certification Board) and AANP (the Membership Association) are separate organizations and do not share databases. Candidates are responsible for obtaining copies of their CE certificates and/or trackers for submission to AANPCB for their application. An official CE tracker from AANP will suffice.

  • CE Type labeled "Self" indicates the course was taken through another organization and stored in a CE Center. You will need to provide copies of these CE certificates and/or trackers with your application.
  • CE that is denoted as "Internal" or "External" on an AANP tracker of your AANP My Portfolio will not require a copy of the CE certificate.

Q: What documentation is needed to show evidence of appropriate CE completion?

A: Submit certificates showing completion of your continuing education activities.

  • CE activities must be reported in contact hours awarded by the recognized provider. CE certificates must have your name, the activity title, date, accreditor, sponsor, and number of CEs awarded for completion of the course.
  • CE activities that do not meet the appropriate emergency-related advanced practice CE requirements will not be accepted. Advanced life support coursework wallet cards are not acceptable.

Q: Is there a conversion formula for the different terms and abbreviations (CEU, CME, AMA PRA Category 1 Credits, and CNE) that apply to CE courses?

A: CEs must be logged as contact hours awarded. Terms and abbreviations depend on the topic, course content, health care professional audience, and the accrediting body that approved the CE activity.

  • Continuing Education Units (CEU) - One CEU is equal to 10 contact hours of instruction.
  • Continuing Medical Education (CME) - 1 CME equals 1 contact hour (based on 60 minutes of instruction).
  • AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ - Approved providers accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) provide CME. Non-physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 1 AMA PRA Category 1 credit™ = 1 contact hour.
  • Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) - Refers to courses specifically for nursing professionals approved by a provider/approver of CNE.

ENP Application and Approval Processes

Q: Where can I find information about how to how to complete my certification application?

A: View the ENP Initial instructional video in the How To Videos section on the AANPCB homepage. The ENP Specialty Handbook and the Emergency Care Skills and Procedures list is available under the Resources tab.

Q: How do I apply for the ENP certification exam?

A: You will need to establish an AANPCB user account for Certification and create your Online Profile before you can begin your application. To create your new online profile, click Let's Get Started or Certify on the home page, then select the New User Registration. Once you have established an Online Certification Profile and Account with us, you may begin your exam application process, upload required documents, follow your application's progress, and view any notes/reminders we may send you regarding your application.

  • For information on creating an Online Profile, see FAQs - Online Profile, Account, & Website.
  • The name on your application will be the name printed on your certificate and wallet card.

Q: How soon can I begin the ENP application process?

A: Students enrolled in MSN and post-graduate ENP programs may begin the application process as early as 6 months prior to completion of all the program's didactic and clinical course requirements. Candidates enrolled in Dual FNP/ENP programs may apply for the emergency certification exam after completion of the Family NP program and the FNP certification is obtained.

Q: How can I tell if my Emergency NP Academic Program or Fellowship Program is approved?

A: Applicants must complete a graduate level emergency care nurse practitioner educational program approved by the American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners. https://www.aaenp-natl.org/

Q: What does a complete application mean?

A: Complete applications include the following:

  • Your full name as printed on your government-issued ID and address.
  • Copy of your current professional nursing license (United States, US territories, or Canadian province or territory) with expiration date including the year.
  • Payment in full.
  • If applying using Option 1 - CE and Clinical Practice, provide evidence of current Family Nurse Practitioner certification, a minimum of 2,000 direct emergency care practice hours as a Nurse Practitioner, 100 hours of continuing emergency care education with a minimum of 30 hours of emergency care procedural skills in the past five years.
  • If enrolled in and applying using Option 2 - Academic Emergency Care Graduate Program, complete NP program information with coursework, clinical clock hours, clinical site information including the names and addresses of the clinical agencies, a description of the practice specialty, and Preceptor names and credentials is required. An Unofficial or official transcript of academic coursework to date may be used to apply if enrolled in an academic emergency care program. Post-Graduate (Post-Master's) applicants must also submit an official MSN transcript. An official final transcript of academic final transcript stating Emergency degree awarded with date conferred is required for release of scores.
  • Provide evidence of completion of an approved advanced practice Fellowship Program in Emergency Care, if applying using Option 3.

Note: For complete information about transcripts, see FAQs - Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP & Family NP Certification Exam -> Transcripts

Q: Does AANPCB expedite certification application processing?

A: Normal processing time for initial applications is 4 weeks depending upon receipt of a complete application, required documents, and applicable fees. AANPCB seeks to process all applications in a timely manner and does not expedite processing of applications or charge to expedite. Review and approval of an application will be delayed If required documentation, including copy of nursing license with a current expiration date, or fee is missing.

Q: What is the difference between "Program Completion" and "Degree Conferred" dates?

A: The Program Completion date is the date all courses and clinical hours in the NP Track are completed. The Degree Conferred date is the date you will be awarded your graduate degree or post-graduate certificate. Some students may have the ability to complete their NP program's didactic courses and clinical hours before their scheduled graduation and degree conferral date (e.g., DNP students).

Q: I am completing an academic emergency care program. Is a letter from the NP Program Director verifying my program completion date required?

A: A letter from the NP Program Director or Academic Dean is required if a candidate is requesting to test prior to the program completion date on the application or the program completion and degree conferred dates are more than 30 days apart. Email the letter to certification@aanpcert.org.

Q: How can I follow the status of my application?

A: You will be notified by email if additional information is required for the completion of your application. This is an automatic process that occurs weekly after you submit your application. You will also be able to view your application status, as well as any missing information messages through your online account. Each application is reviewed to determine that requirements for eligibility have been met. All applications are reviewed by professional nurse reviewers who assess the candidate's NP program information, didactic coursework, clinical experiences, clinical sites, preceptors, and professional nursing licensure for completeness, appropriateness, and currency prior to approving a candidate to sit for the certification examination.

Q: Why do I get weekly emails from AANPCB?

A: If an application is missing information or documentation necessary for completion of an application and/or the release of scores, an email will be sent from certification@aanpcert.org

Transcripts

Q: Can I submit my application with an academic "work-to-date" transcript?

A: Yes. We will either accept an official or unofficial transcript from your university showing the courses you have completed to date. Your application will be processed and approved if coursework on the transcript meets eligibility requirements.

  • Candidates cannot sit for an examination until after they have completed all didactic courses and clinical practice hours required for their ENP program.
  • Examination scores will not be released until we have received your official final MSN or DNP transcript or post-graduate (post-master's) certificate (if applicable) showing completion date of the program and degree or certificate received.

Q: What is an "unofficial transcript"?

A: An unofficial transcript is a copy of a transcript with the university insignia or a printout showing all ENP coursework and grades completed to date. Transcripts sent by the applicant electronically or received unsealed by mail will be considered unofficial. Transcripts that appear to be altered will not be accepted.

Q: What is an "official final transcript"?

A: An official final transcript will have the university insignia and the degree conferred/awarded date and must be received by AANPCB via one of the following methods:

  • Mailed in a sealed envelope issued from the school registrar's office.
  • Emailed from the school registrar's office with the statement "Attached is an official transcript".
  • Electronically via a secured website by the registrar or transcript service.
  • Faxed from the registrar's office with a coversheet stating the document attached is official.

Note: Transcripts that appear to be altered will not be processed.

Q: Can transcripts be sent directly from my school?

A: Yes. We encourage University Registrars to send electronic official transcripts via a secured website (e.g., E-Script, National Student Clearinghouse, Parchment). Request that the university send your transcript directly to us at transcripts@aanpcert.org.

Q: I am completing a postgraduate (post-master's) certificate program. Do you still require a transcript from me?

A: Yes. In addition to the official final transcript showing completion of the postgraduate NP coursework, we require an official final transcript showing MSN degree awarded and date conferred to release certification scores.



Authorization to Test

Q: When will my application be approved?

A: Each application is reviewed to determine that all requirements for eligibility have been met before approving. All applications are reviewed by professional nurse reviewers who assess the candidate's NP program information, didactic coursework, clinical experiences, clinical sites, preceptors, and professional nursing licensure for completeness, appropriateness, and currency.

Q: When does a candidate become Eligible to Test?

A: When a candidate becomes eligible to test (upon program completion date as verified on the application), AANPCB will email an Approval to Test notification to the candidate from certification@aanpcert.org and export the name of the candidate to the PSI testing vendor. Candidates are Eligible to Test when:

  • The NP program completion date and the graduation date is less than 30 days apart, OR
  • After all the required didactic and clinical coursework of the candidate's NP portion of their program is complete (in the case of DNP candidates).

Q: When will I be Authorized to Test?

A: PSI will send a confirmation email from no-reply@psionline.com within 24-48 hours of the eligibility authorization to the candidate authorizing the 120-day testing window, and providing the Candidate Registration ID Number, important instructions for scheduling your exam, and a link to schedule the testing appointment online at www.psiexams.com.

Scheduling an Exam

Q: What is the length of my testing window?

A: Candidates receive a window of 120 days to test. This window allows candidates the flexibility to schedule the exam around personal commitments, employment schedules, and religious needs without requiring the need for additional accommodations or forms.

Q: Where are testing centers located?

A: Certification examinations are administered via computer-based testing format at PSI Testing Centers located throughout the United States and Canada. In the event of military deployment, contact us at certification@aanpcert.org to discuss alternate testing site options.

Q: How do I schedule an examination?

A: Candidates must first create an account at PSI Exams online at www.psiexams.com contact a live operator seven days a week to schedule an appointment for the test.

Q: I just received my Authorization to Test email. What do I do now?

A: Internet registration is available 24 hours a day to schedule an appointment to test. You will receive an email from no-reply@psionline.com with instructions for scheduling your examination.

  • Access the PSI test administration website
  • Enter your email address, the exact spelling of your first and last name, and the Eligibility ID number provided in the email sent by PSI.
  • Once your record is located, you may proceed to schedule the exam.
  • Enter your zip code and a list of testing sites closest to you will appear. Once you select the desired test site, available dates will appear.

Note: Candidates requesting special test arrangements for disability must follow PSI guidelines. DO NOT schedule your examination until your completed PSI Special Accommodation Request Form and required documentation have been received and processed by the PSI Special Accommodations department.

See Requests for Testing Accommodations

Q: How do I reschedule or cancel an exam appointment?

A: Visit www.psiexams.com for PSI's procedures for rescheduling or canceling an exam.

  • You may cancel and reschedule a test appointment if your cancellation notice is received 2 days before the scheduled test date and within the 120-day window-to-test. (For example, for a Monday appointment, the cancellation notice would need to be received on the previous Saturday.)
  • Changes to a scheduled exam appointment may be done online at www.psiexams.com
  • Candidates may also call (833) 892-5438 and speak to a PSI Customer Service Representative (CSR) during PSI hours of operation. A voice mail message is not an acceptable form of cancellation.
  • Candidates who do not cancel appropriately or fail to report for their scheduled examination appointment will not be entitled to a refund and will be responsible for fees charged by the testing vendor.

Q: Can I request an extension?

A: Yes. You may request an extension if you are unable to sit for the examination within your 120-day test window. Extensions are granted on a case-by-case basis for reasons of hardship with enough justification.

  • You must cancel any examination appointment at least 48 hours prior to your scheduled exam.
  • Email extension requests to certification@aanpcert.org
  • There must not be an examination appointment scheduled.
  • If the extension is approved, a one-time 60-day window to test is granted.
  • If you do not test during the 60-day window, your testing eligibility registration with PSI will become invalid, and you will need to contact AANPCB to reset the testing eligibility ID and pay
  • AANPCB reserves the right to deny an extension without reasonable explanation or requirements for requesting an extension are not met.

Q: May I withdraw from taking the exam?

A: Yes. Submit a written request to AANPCB to withdraw from taking the exam.

  • If you do not have a scheduled exam and your request is received before expiration of your 120-day testing window, you will receive a refund less a $120 USD processing fee.
  • Visit www.psiexams.com or contact a PSI Customer Service Representative at (833) 892-5438 during PSI hours of operation for important testing site regulations and instructions regarding reschedule or cancel a scheduled examination appointment.

Q: What happens if I show up without proper ID, miss my testing appointment, or cancel late?

A: Your Registration ID number becomes invalid, you will not be able to take the test as scheduled, and you will have to reapply to take the exam if you:

  • Do not present proper identification when you arrive for the test.
  • Do not appear for the scheduled test date.
  • Do not cancel your appointment within 2 days before the scheduled test date.
  • Arrive after the test start time.

Requests for Testing Accommodations

Q: Do the PSI testing sites provide special testing accommodations?

A: All test centers are equipped to provide access in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and exam accommodations will be made to meet the qualified candidate's needs.

Q: What should I do if I require special testing accommodations or arrangements?

A: All requests for special accommodations/arrangements are processed through the testing vendor, PSI Services LLC.

  • Candidates with disabilities and those who would otherwise have difficulty taking the test must follow PSI guidelines. Complete the PSI Special Accommodation Request Form and return it to PSI as instructed. PSI will review this form. A PSI Special Accommodations Team Member will contact you to arrange necessary accommodations.
  • Visitwww.psiexams.com for important testing site regulations and PSI's guidelines regarding Special Arrangements for Candidates with Disabilities. Information may be found at PSI Exams Online Frequently Asked Questions.
  • DO NOT schedule your examination until after the special accommodation/ arrangement request and documentation have been received and processed by PSI Special Accommodations.
  • Special Accommodation Request information is available on the certification website under the Non-Discrimination Policy.


Studying for the Certification Exam

Q: I am preparing to take the exam. In general, which clinical guidelines should I study?

A: All items on each of the AANPCB certification examinations are reviewed each year for relevancy to current and best practice and to ensure consistency with therapeutic clinical guidelines published at the time exams are developed. New exams are developed annually, validated by panels of clinical experts during the year, and released for administration in January. Sample Reference Lists are available on the home page navigation bar.

Q: Which hypertension guidelines should I study?

A: The 2020 certification examinations use both the American College of Cardiology (ACC) / American Heart Association (AHA) hypertension guidelines published in November 2017 and the JNC-8 guidelines to reference test items. While treatment targets may differ among various guidelines, it is important to keep evaluation of the individual's health as the central concern.

Q: What specific age parameters are used?

A: Specific age parameters are not defined for any population on AANPCB examinations. The Consensus Model for APRN Regulation does not define specific age parameters for any of the population foci, therefore, AANPCB uses growth and development as the basis of age-related changes for constructing the certification exams and for NP practice. The FNP population is lifespan, and the A-GNP population is young adult (including adolescents) to elderly.

Q: How are laboratory values referenced on the exams?

A: Laboratory tests are listed by their common abbreviation or name (i.e., Hgb, MCHC, free thyroxine). Where applicable, normal lab values are referenced (i.e., potassium (normal = 3.5-5.0 mEq/L). It is important to realize that laboratory test normal ranges vary from institution to institution.

Q: Does AANPCB offer educational courses or training materials to prepare exam candidates to take the AANPCB certification exams?

A: No. As a certification agency, AANPCB does not approve, develop, offer, or endorse any educational programs.

Q: How many questions are on the examination?

A: There are 150 questions on each examination. Of the 150, 135 questions are scored. A candidate's score is based solely on the 135 scored questions. There are 15 pretest questions on each examination which are not scored. Pretest questions are included on each examination to obtain statistical information for possible use on future examinations and cannot be distinguished from those that are scored. A test-taker's score on pretest questions does not affect a candidate's final score.

Q: How long do I have to take the exam?

A: Candidates have 3 hours (180 minutes) to complete the examination. An introductory tutorial to the computer and keyboard is provided before the exam starts. Time spent on the tutorial does not count as part of your test time. Sample questions are included following the tutorial so that you may practice using the keyboard to answer questions, mark items to review, and review answers.

Practice Examinations

Q: Does AANPCB offer practice exams?

A: Yes. AANPCB offers two versions of the FNP practice exams and one version of the AGNP practice exam. The ENP practice exam will be available in May 2020.

  • Practice Examinations provide the candidate with an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the format of test questions on an exam. Practice Exams are not a study guide for the certification exam.
  • Performance on the practice examination is not a predictor of whether a candidate will pass or fail the competency-based certification examination.
  • Taking the Practice Exam is not required and does not give any advantage over the candidate who chooses not to take them.
  • See Practice Examinations tab on the Home Page for more information.



Important Testing Site Information

Q: What is considered an "acceptable form of identification" that I should take to the testing center?

A: Names must match on the AANPCB application, PSI Test Registration, and the forms of identification presented at the testing center for an eligible candidate to sit for their scheduled examination.

  • The name used to schedule your appointment must exactly match the name shown on your identification.
  • Refer to the AANPCB Candidate Information Bulletin at www.psiexams.com for information regarding required, acceptable, and valid forms of identification at PSI Testing Centers.

Q: What are examples of identification for the test site?

A: You must provide 2 forms of identification.

  • One ID must be a VALID form of government-issued identification (Driver's License, State ID, or Passport) which bears your signature and has your photograph.
  • The second ID must have your signature and preprinted legal name. Acceptable forms of identification include a credit card, ATM card, social security card, employee ID card, or voter registration card.
  • A candidate's first and last names on identifications presented must match the names on the AANPCB application/Approval to Test and the eligibility notice sent by PSI.
  • The middle name on the ID documents do not have to match (e.g., Susan Kay Smith vs. Susan K. Smith).

Q: Where can I find more information about the PSI scheduling and test center regulations?

A: Visit www.psiexams.com for the following information:

  • Schedule an Exam
  • Required Identification for the Exam Site
  • Special Accommodations
  • Testing Center Regulations
  • Reschedule an Exam
  • Cancel a Scheduled Exam
  • Practice Examination
  • Find Testing Center Sites near You

Q: How do I contact PSI?

A: Candidates may call PSI at (833) 892-5438 to contact a live operator seven days a week to schedule, reschedule, or cancel an appointment for the test. Candidates must follow PSI guidelines.

What happens if I do not present proper identification at the testing center?

A: If you do not bring acceptable identification to the testing center, your Registration ID number will become invalid and you will not be able to take the test as scheduled. You will have to reapply to take the exam.

Q: What happens if I miss my testing appointment?

A: If you miss your scheduled test date you will need to contact the Certification Department at 512-637-0500 or email certification@aanpcert.org for additional information and pay a reset fee.

Q: What happens if a test site must close in the event of inclement weather or an emergency?

A: If severe weather or an emergency forces the closure of a test site on your scheduled test date, your test will be rescheduled. PSI personnel will attempt to contact you in this situation.

  • You may check the status of your test schedule by calling (833) 892-5438.
  • Every effort will be made to reschedule your test at a convenient time as soon as possible.
  • You may also check for notification on the PSI website at www.psiexams.com

AANPCB Examination Security Policy

Q: What is the AANPCB Examination Security Policy?

A: Federal copyright law protects AANPCB examinations and the items contained therein. The certification examinations and all items on the examinations are the exclusive property of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners National Certification Board, Inc. Candidates who apply for the certification examination must acknowledge that they understand the following prior to taking the examination:

  • Retention, possession, copying, distribution, disclosure, discussion or receipt of any AANPCB certification examination question, in whole or in part, by written, electronic, oral, or other form of communication, including but not limited to emailing, copying or printing of electronic files, and reconstruction through memorization and/or dictation, before, during or after the certification examination is strictly prohibited.
  • Disclosure, discussion, or receipt of any AANPCB certification examination questions and/or the examination, in whole or in part, on social media
  • Theft or attempted theft of examination content is punishable by law.
  • Candidate participation in any irregularity occurring during or after the examination, such as giving or obtaining unauthorized information or aid, as evidenced by observation or subsequent statistical analysis, may be sufficient cause to terminate participation, invalidate results of the examination, or necessitate other appropriate action per AANPCB Disciplinary Policy.
  • Incidents regarding test security or examination administration will be reported to the BOC. Grounds for sanction may be warranted. The AANPCB Examination Security Policy may be found under About AANPCB: Certification Board Policies on the certification website.

PSI Security Procedures

Q: Are there particular items that are not allowed in the exam room while taking the exam?

A: Candidates must follow PSI Security Procedures which are subject to change. The following items are not permitted in the examination room:

  • All personal electronic devices, except those that are a medical necessity.
  • Children, guests, cellular telephones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), recording devices, cameras, pagers, purses, notebooks, notebook computers, reference or reading material, music players, radios, electronic games, calculators, or briefcases.
  • Personal items including backpacks, pens, pencils, or other writing devices, food, drinks (unless prior approval is obtained by your regulatory entity) and good-luck items.
  • Hats, baseball caps, or visors (except for religious apparel), coats, shawls, hooded clothing, heavy jackets, or overcoats.

Q: What are PSI's Security Procedures and where can I view PSI Testing Center Regulations?

The following security procedures will apply during the examination:

  • No conversing or any other form of communication among candidates is permitted once you enter the examination area.
  • No smoking, eating, or drinking will be allowed at the examination site.
  • You may not exit the building during the examination.
  • Copying or communicating examination content is a violation of PSI security policy, Federal copyright law, and State Law. Violation of these policies/laws may result in the disqualification of examination results and may lead to legal action.
  • PSI Testing Center Regulations may be viewed at www.psiexams.com.

Retake Exam Application

Q: I failed the certification exam today. How soon can I apply to retake the examination?

A: Those who were not successful may apply to retake the examination after their exam score is released and they have received their official final report with the exam score and relative performance in the Testing Domains.

  • The letter is mailed within 2-3 weeks to the candidates pending a complete application.
  • To release a score report, an official final transcript showing degree conferred and date awarded by the educational program must be received and processed to complete the current application. In the case of a post-graduate (post-masters) certificate, an official final MSN transcript is also required.
  • AANPCB receives scores from PSI daily, however, it may take up to one week for scores to be processed for final release depending upon volume and business closure/holiday.
  • A candidate may request that a copy of the score report be emailed to them after it becomes available.

Q: I am recertifying by examination and failed. Now what?

A: Certificants must renew before the expiration date of their current certification.

  • Applications to retake the exam should be submitted as soon as possible to allow enough time for application processing, scheduling, testing, and receipt of scores.
  • The option to renew a certification by exam is not available after the certification expires because the individual is no longer certified, and the certification number is expired. If this happens, you will need to apply as a new applicant if your certification examination is available.

Q: What continuing education do I have to complete before I can retake an exam?

A: A minimum of 15 hours of advanced practice continuing education from an accredited CE provider in the area(s) of weakness as indicated on their score report.

  • Continuing education hours must be completed after the exam date which the candidate did not pass.
  • A general NP certification examination review course is strongly recommended, but not required.
  • Candidates should review the applicable Certification Examination Blueprint for content that describes each testing domain in detail.

Q: Is there a limit to how many times I can take the test?

A: Exam eligible candidates may test twice in a calendar year. AANPCB policy limits a candidate to two testing attempts per calendar year (January to December).

Q: Will I be taking the same exam that I took initially?

A: No. Your certification will be randomized to one of the other applicable certification exams available.

Q: How do I apply to retake the exam?

A: Log in to your AANPCB Online Profile, apply online or by paper using the Retake Application option.

  • Upload your CE certificates to the online application or email them to certification@aanpcert.org
  • Check MY CERTIFICATIONS on your Online Profile for application status updates.
  • Look for a confirmation email notice from no-reply@psionline.com within 24-48 business hours of eligibility authorization. This authorization to test email will provide your Registration ID number and instructions for appointment scheduling. You will again receive a 120-day testing window.

Test Scores & Next Steps

Q: Will I receive my exam results at the test center after I finish my exam?

A: Candidates receive a preliminary Pass/No Pass report upon completion of the exam at the testing center. This is a preliminary Pass or Fail status, not an exam score. A preliminary report of "Pass" is not official notification, does not indicate active certification status, and may not be used for employment or licensure as an NP.

Q: I passed my exam. When can I expect to receive my scores?

A: AANPCB receives scores from PSI daily, however, it may take up to one week for scores to be processed for final release depending upon volume and business closure/holiday.

  • A candidate's official score report letter with the final exam score and relative performance in the Testing Domains will be mailed within 2-3 weeks if the candidate's application is complete and a final transcript showing degree awarded has been received and processed.
  • For MSN and DNP students, an official final transcript with the degree awarded and date conferred by the NP educational program is required.
  • For post-graduate (post-masters) certificate candidates, an official final transcript MSN and official final transcript showing completion of NP coursework is required. A letter from the Program Director confirming completion of the post-masters NP program may also be required.
  • A printable Wallet Card with the certification number will be available on your Online Profile when passing scores are processed.
  • A wall certificate and wallet card will be mailed. For duplicate wall certificate requests, see FAQs - Your Wallet Card & Duplicate Certificate Requests.

Q: I took the exam today and did not pass. When can I expect to receive my scores?

A: It may take up to one week for scores to be processed for final release. An official final transcript with the degree awarded and date conferred by the NP program is required before a test taker may receive their official score letter. For post-graduate (post-masters) certificate candidates, an official final MSN transcript is also required. An official score report letter will be mailed within 2 weeks. A candidate may request that a copy of the score report be emailed to them after it becomes available.

  • See FAQs - Retake Examination for more information.
  • If you were recertifying by examination, please contact the Recertification Department at 512-637-0500.

Q: Who can receive my scores?

A: Examination scores are considered confidential information and will not be disclosed to anyone other than the candidate without specific written instructions (i.e., which examination score, the specific individual or organization) to whom the information is to be disclosed.

  • Disclosure of aggregate scores will be made to the public through written reports, to Boards of Nursing upon written request, and to Schools of Nursing that have at least 3 candidates testing within a calendar year.
  • Signed authorization by the applicant or Certificant granting permission to disclose individual scores will be accepted via mail, fax, or courier service. The authorization must include the name and address of the party to whom the information is to be forwarded. Verbal authorization is not accepted.


Wall Certificate & Wallet Card

Q: Where can I find a copy of my wallet card?

A: Your printable wallet card is available on your AANPCB Online Account under My Documents.

Q: When will I receive my certificate packet?

A: When scores are processed your printable wallet card is available on your AANPCB Online Account under My Documents. Your score report, wall certificate, and wallet card will be mailed to the address on your AANPCB Online Account within 3 weeks.

Duplicate Wall Certificate Requests

Q: I would like to request additional wall certificates.

A: Complete the Certificate Replacement Request Form found on our website under the Forms tab. Fax, email, or mail it to our office along with the applicable fee. In the event of a legal name change, a copy of supporting documentation (e.g., court record, marriage license) providing proof of the name change must accompany the form.

Q: How do I replace a lost or damaged certificate?

A: Complete the Certificate Replacement Request Form found on our website under the Forms tab. Fax, email, or mail it to our office along with the applicable fee.













Why Renew?

Q: Why do I have to renew my certification?

A: Renewal of certification provides a mechanism to assure the public that NPs certified by AANPCB have undergone periodic evaluation and met current professional standards of qualifications and knowledge for practice required to maintain and validate certification. Participating in nurse practitioner-related CE on an ongoing basis or preparing for the certification exam demonstrates and promotes certificants' maintenance and currency of knowledge in their specialty area.

Q: What is AANPCBs definition of Continuing Competence?

A: Please refer to the FAQs - Scope of Practice, Continuing Competence, & Model for APRN Regulation for information on NP Continuing Competence.

Q: Does a nurse practitioner's certification expire?

A: Yes. NP board certification is time-limited and expires automatically at the end of the 5-year certification period.

  • The AANPCB Board of Commissioners has determined that a 5-year cycle of certification meets requirements to ensure continued competence based on review of literature and consultation with credentialing experts. This decision is reviewed periodically in conjunction with subsequent practice analyses.
  • Nurse Practitioners whose AANPCB-certification has expired may not present themselves as an AANPCB-certified nurse practitioner or use the NP-C credential.
  • Renewal of certification is the responsibility of the nurse practitioner.

Q: Does AANPCB send renewal notification reminders?

A: Yes. Courtesy reminder postcards and emails are sent to the NP's last known contact addresses one year before expiration of their current certification. If a renewal application has not yet been received, another reminder postcard and email is sent again at 6 months. Finally, we mail a letter and send an email ~6 weeks prior to certification expiration. It is very important that certificants keep their contact information current on their AANPCB Account so that courtesy reminders and important information related to certification be received.

Q: My certification will soon expire. Can I be granted an extension?

A: No. Certification with AANPCB is time-limited for a 5-year period. Extensions are not granted.

Q: My certification has expired. Am I allowed to work?

A: Notify your employer that you are no longer certified. You may not use the NP-C credential and you may not present yourself as an AANPCB-board certified nurse practitioner if you allow your AANPCB certification to expire. State Boards of Nursing (SBON) regulate APRNs' ability to practice, therefore, it is your responsibility to contact your SBON regarding your ability to work with an expired NP certification.

Q: What will happen if my certification expires while working as an NP?

A. Certifications are not active past the expiration date. For requests received from a state board of nursing or third-party vendor for verification of a certification that has expired, AANPCB will provide documentation of the dates in which the certification was valid and thus will reflect an inactive status.

  • Individuals whose certification expires risk potential loss of employment, wages, insurance reimbursement, or credentialing privileges depending upon the state in which they are licensed as an APRN, the employer, and the provider credentialing organization.
  • AANPCB will not be held responsible for financial damages occurring with respect to expiration of a certification or loss of employment if a certificant fails to renew in a timely manner prior to expiration of current certification.

Q: My certification has expired? What do I do?

A: Contact the Recertification Department at 512-637-0500 or email certification@aanpcert.org.

Family and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP Certification Renewal Options

Q: What options are available for the Family or Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner to renew certification?

A: There are 2 options for renewal of FNP and AGNP certifications.

Option One:

  • Meet minimum 1,000 clinical practice hours in the NP role and population area.
  • Complete a total of 100 advanced practice continuing education (CE) contact hours.
    • 25 CEs (of the 100 total) need to be advanced pharmacology (required).
    • Up to 25 non-pharmacology CE credits may be replaced with Preceptor hours (optional).
  • Meet minimum requirements within the current 5-year period of certification.

Option Two:

  • Take and pass the appropriate and available certification examination congruent with educational preparation prior to the current 5-year certification expiration date.

Q: I am certified as both an ENP and an FNP. Emergency-related continuing education is required for renewal of my ENP certification. Can I use these when I renew my FNP certification?

A: CEs used to qualify for the ENP examination or renewal may be used to renew FNP certification if completed within the FNP 5-year period of certification.

Adult NP and Gerontological NP Certification Renewal Options

Q: What options are available for the Adult NP (ANP) or Gerontological NP (GNP) to renew certification?

A: There is only 1 option available for renewal of the ANP and GNP certifications.

  • Meet minimum 1,000 clinical practice hours in the NP role and population area.
  • Complete a total of 100 advanced practice continuing education (CE) contact hours.
    • 25 CEs (of the 100 total) need to be advanced pharmacology (required).
    • Up to 25 non-pharmacology CE credits may be replaced with Preceptor hours (optional).
  • Meet minimum requirements within the current 5-year period of certification.

Note: Since the ANP and GNP examinations have been retired, you may wish to determine if you meet eligibility requirements to take the AGNP or FNP certification examination. Your NP graduate education will need to align with area of certification. For example, some ANPs may have completed an Adult-Gerontological NP program.

Q: The Adult NP and Gerontological NP certification examinations were retired. What does that mean for my current ANP or GNP certification?

A: Certification as an ANP or GNP with AANPCB will not be affected as long the certification is not allowed to expire and the current minimum continuing education and clinical practice hour requirements for recertification are met. ANPs and GNPs should check with the state board of nursing in which they are licensed to practice for additional information.

Q: I completed an Adult NP program. Can I take the Adult-Gerontology NP certification examination?

A: Candidates must meet eligibility requirements to sit for the certification exam which includes successful completion of three separate graduate level courses in advanced physical assessment, advanced pharmacology, advanced pathophysiology; the AGNP population of specialization courses; and all didactic and clinical AGNP program coursework (including all faculty-supervised clinical clock hours required). It is required that the certification specialty align with the population area of an applicant's NP education program. Graduates of an ANP program in many cases do not qualify for the AGNP certification. Contact your academic program to verify if your Adult NP program met Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP program requirements. Documentation from the academic program administrator may be required to confirm eligibility.

Q: Am I eligible for the Adult-Gerontology NP certification if I am currently dual certified as an ANP and a GNP?

A: Yes. If you are currently certified by AANPCB as an ANP and GNP, you have the option to convert both of your certifications to the AGNP certification. The Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Conversion Application may be found under the Forms - Certification tab.

Emergency NP Certification Renewal Options

Q: What options are available to renew the Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP) certification?

A: ENP's have two options for renewal:

Option One:

  • Meet minimum 1,000 clinical practice hours in the ENP role and population.
  • Complete a total of 100 advanced practice continuing education (CE) contact hours.
    • 25 CEs (of the 100 total) need to be advanced pharmacology (required).
    • Up to 25 non-pharmacology CE credits may be replaced with Preceptor hours (optional).
  • Procedural skills CEs may be used but are not required for ENP certification renewal (optional).
  • Meet minimum requirements within the current 5-year period of certification.

Option Two:

  • Take and pass the ENP certification examination before expiration of the current certification.

Q: How long is the ENP certification valid?

A: Like the FNP certification, ENP certification is time-limited and will need to be renewed every five years. Current Family Nurse Practitioner certification is required for renewal.

Q: I am certified as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner. Do I have to renew my Family Nurse Practitioner certification?

A: Yes. The ENP certification is a subspecialty certification built upon the FNP scope. Therefore, ENPs must maintain current FNP certification.

Q: I am working as an ENP. What happens if I do not renew my Family NP certification?

A: An individual may not represent themselves as being certified as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner by AANPCB if their Family Nurse Practitioner certification has expired. Your ENP certification will become inactive if your FNP certification is not renewed. For requests received from a state board of nursing or third-party vendor for verification of ENP certification, AANPCB will provide documentation of the dates in which the certification was valid and thus reflect an inactive status.

Q: I am due to renew my ENP certification in 2022. How early can I start the recertification application?

A: You may apply as early as one year prior to the ENP certification expiration date. Complete your renewal application early to avoid expiration of certification.

Q: How do you define emergency-related continuing education?

A: Emergency-related CE activities appropriate for ENP certification renewal focus on emergency/urgent care medical screening, decision-making, differential diagnosis, patient management, disposition, and professional/legal/ethical issues related to emergency NP practice. When renewing FNP certification, the CEs used to qualify for the ENP examination may be used if completed within the FNP 5-year period certification.

Q: Are procedural skills CEs required for renewal ENP certification renewal?

A: Although procedural skills are not required for renewal, emergency-related procedural skills CE contact hours can be used for recertification.

Q: Are advanced life support courses accepted for ENP renewal?

A: The following advanced life support courses are accepted for ENP renewal:

  • Advanced Burn Life Support (ABLS)
  • Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO)
  • Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS)
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)

These courses cannot be used more than twice in a 5-year renewal cycle. A CE certificate showing your name, activity title, date, accreditor, sponsor, and CEs awarded for completion of the course is required. A wallet card will not suffice.

Q: Are Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) or Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) accepted for ENP renewal?

A: No.

Clinical Practice Hour Requirements

Q: How many clinical practice hours do I need to recertify?

A: A minimum of 1,000 hours of clinical practice providing direct patient care in the NP role and specialty during the current 5-year period of certification is required. (1,000 hours of clinical practice in 5-years allows individuals employed in administrative and faculty roles the ability to maintain NP national certification with at least one-half day per week of direct clinical practice.)

Q: Do volunteer service hours as an NP count towards my recertification?

A: Yes. Clinical practice hours worked as an NP in a volunteer capacity, such as for a domestic health-care clinic or medical mission abroad for a state, national, or international service organization, are accepted. An official detailed description of the duties may be requested. Email certification@aanpcert.org if you have questions about your volunteer service clinical practice meeting renewal requirements.

Q: Can I include my faculty clinical site visits as clinical practice hours?

A: Yes. Faculty time spent with NP students and patients during clinical practicum hours can be counted as clinical practice hours. Credit is for actual time in the clinical agency and telehealth sites. Faculty may use a maximum of 500 clinical visit hours toward the 1,000 required clinical hours for recertification in the five-year certification period. Travel time to and from the site cannot be included in the clinical visit hours. No faculty clinical hours will be accepted for simulation, standardized patient evaluations, conference time, or clinical agency site evaluations.

Use of Academic Coursework for Recertification

Q: I am currently working on my DNP. Can I use graduate-level coursework for CE credit?

A: Yes. Credit may be received for graduate or post-graduate courses taken within the current 5-year period of certification if the coursework directly relates to advanced practice nursing knowledge and skills.

  • To receive credit, a university transcript with your name, university name, and the academic coursework you are claiming credit for is required.
  • 1 academic semester credit equals 15 CE contact hours.
  • Courses are subject to approval and course descriptions may be requested.

Use of Faculty Clinical Supervision Hours

Q: Can I include my faculty clinical site visits as clinical practice hours?

A: Yes. Faculty time spent with NP students and patients during clinical practicum hours can be counted as clinical practice hours. Credit is for actual time in the clinical agency and telehealth sites. Faculty may use a maximum of 500 clinical visit hours toward the 1,000 required clinical hours for recertification in the five-year certification period. Travel time to and from the site cannot be included in the clinical visit hours. No faculty clinical hours will be accepted for simulation, standardized patient evaluations, conference time, or clinical agency site evaluations.

Preceptorship Hours

Q: I would like to become a Preceptor. How does AANPCB define Precepting?

A: For AANPCB certification renewal, Precepting is defined as supervision of advanced practice students during the provision of direct patient care conducted in your NP role and population area of certification.

Q: Can I use preceptorship hours to renew my certification?

A: Yes. Precepting advanced practice students while providing direct patient care as a nurse practitioner is consistent with demonstration of continuing competence and ongoing professional development. It is an option to use for renewal and can replace up to 25 non-pharmacology CEs. Preceptorship hours must be documented, verifiable and accrued during the 5-year period of certification.

Q: How many preceptorship hours may I claim for recertification?

A: A maximum of 120 Preceptorship Clinical Practice Hours conducted within the current 5-year period of certification may be claimed for a maximum of 25 non-pharmacology CE. Convert the clinical hours precepted to CE hours using the Preceptorship Conversion Table on the Preceptorship Form.

Q: Am I limited to precepting NP students only?

A: No. Precepting inter-professional advanced practice students is recognized and accepted by AANPCB. Qualifying preceptor hours are defined as the provision of direct patient care as an NP while serving as a clinical preceptor for advanced practice students affiliated with dentistry, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, or physician assistant programs.

Q: Where do I find the Preceptorship Form?

A: The Preceptorship Form can be found under the Forms tab. Complete the form and submit it with supporting documentation from the educational program clinical faculty confirming the preceptorship.

Continuing Education Requirements

Q: How many continuing education contact hours are required to recertify with CE & Practice hours?

A: Completion of 100 contact hours of accredited advanced practice continuing education (CE) relevant to your area of certification specialty in your NP role within the current 5-year period of certification is required to renew certification.

  • This includes a required minimum 25 contact hours of advanced practice pharmacology CE.
  • As an option, credit may be claimed for clinical preceptorship of advanced practice students to replace up to 25 non-pharmacology CEs. (See FAQ - Renew Certification: Precepting)
  • Also accepted are academic credits received for post-graduate advance practice-related courses. (See FAQ - Renew Certification: Academic Coursework)

Q: Why do I need advanced practice continuing education?

A: Completing advanced practice CE promotes currency of knowledge for practice. CE completed must be relevant to NP practice. See FAQs - Scope of Practice, Continuing Competence, & Model for APRN Regulation

Q: What information is required on the CE certificates that I submit with my application?

A: CE certificates submitted for renewal of certification must include your name, name of CE activity, program sponsor, CE accreditor, date of completion, and the number of non-pharmacology and pharmacology contact hours awarded.

Q: What do I need to look for to determine if a CE activity will meet requirements?

A: There are a several things that you can look at to assess for appropriateness of a CE course. Read the course activity description, including the course objectives and disclosures and answer the following questions.

If you can answer "Yes" to all questions, then the CE activity should meet requirements.

  • Do the Course Objectives include applicable advanced practice healthcare professional content?
  • Does the intended audience for the course include nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians, and other advanced health care professionals?
  • Is the CE activity relevant to your role as a Nurse Practitioner?
  • Is the Program Sponsor approved as a provider of nursing or medical education?
  • Is the CE activity accredited (planned in accordance with Accreditation Standards and Policies) and provide continuing education credit (contact hours)?
  • Does the date the CE activity was completed fall within your 5-year period of certification?

Q: What is a continuing education accreditor?

A: A CE accreditor is an independent organization that reviews and approves educational activities for health care professionals using industry supported education standards. Activities approved for accreditation must be educationally sound, relevant to NP practice, fair and balanced (unbiased); and contribute to the quality and safety of health care.

Acceptable accreditors include but is not limited to:

  • American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  • Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Q: Can AANPCB pre-approve a CE activity I took (or would like to take)?

A: AANPCB does not approve, endorse, or accredit continuing educational activities or educational programs and does not pre-approve CE activities that an NP might be interested in taking.

Q: What if pharmacology-specific content or contact hours are not listed on the CE certificate?

A: Contact the program sponsor and request documentation of the number of CE contact hours that may be applied towards the pharmacology requirement.

Q: How many pharmacology CEs are required to recertify?

A: A minimum of 25 advanced practice pharmacology contact hours completed within the current 5-year period of certification is required. Pharmacology content includes such topics as current clinical application of pharmacology, techniques of safe drug prescribing information, and drug specific information/ therapy for treatment of common acute and chronic diseases. Specify the pharmacology contact hours on the CE log.

Q: Does AANPCB accept UpToDate educational content?

A: Yes. However, UpToDate does not identify topics or pharmacology credits; therefore, we ask that the UpToDate usage log be included with the CE certificates. Provide a list of titles for the educational CE activities for which you are claiming pharmacology or procedural skill credits.

Q: Are advanced life support courses accepted for CE credit?

A: An advanced life support course cannot be used more than twice in a 5-year renewal cycle. A CE certificate showing your name, activity title, date, accreditor, sponsor, and CEs awarded for completion of the course is required. A wallet card will not suffice. The following courses are accepted:

  • Advanced Burn Life Support (ABLS)
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)*
  • Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO)
  • Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS)
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)*

*ACLS and PALS are not accepted for Emergency NP certification renewal.

Q: Is Basic Life Support (BLS) accepted for CE credit?

A: No.

Q: There are different terms and abbreviations for CE (e.g., CEU, CME, AMA PRA Category 1 Credits, and CNE). How do I convert to contact hours?

A: Terms and abbreviations depend on the topic, course content, health care professional audience, and the accrediting body that approved the CE activity.

  • Continuing Education Units (CEU) - One CEU is equal to 10 contact hours of instruction.
  • Continuing Medical Education (CME) - 1 CME equals 1 contact hour (based on 60 minutes of instruction).
  • AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™- 1 AMA PRA Category 1 credit™= 1 contact hour. Approved providers are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).
  • Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) - Refers to courses specifically for nursing professionals approved by a provider/approver of CNE.

Q: Can I take online CE courses?

A: Online educational programs are accepted. We do not limit where you take your CE courses as long as they are accredited by an approved organization and are related to your work as an NP.

Recertification Application Process

Q: Where can I find information about how to complete my renewal application?

A: Information regarding recertification may be found on the website home page in the following places:

  • Recertify tab
  • FAQs - Renew Certification
  • Recertification Handbooks (under the Resources tab)
  • Recertification Instructional How To Video

Q: How do I apply for recertification?

A: You need to access or create your My AANPCB Online Profile to start a renewal application. Select Recertify Now on the home page and access your Online Profile.

  • Choose the recertification option (Renew by Clinical Hours and CE or Renew by Exam).
  • Upload required documents (e.g., nursing license, CE documents).
  • Complete the application and fee process.

Note: Incomplete applications are not stored for more than 30 days.

Q: How do I create an online account?

A: Follow these steps:

  • If you have not previously created an online account, click Recertify Now on the home page, then select the New User Registration and create your login. Please allow 2 business days for a new account to link with information in our database before beginning your application.
  • Once you have established an Online Profile and Account with us, you may begin your renewal application process, upload required documents, follow your application's progress, and view any notes/reminders we may send you regarding your application.
  • For information on creating an Online Profile and Account, see FAQs - Online Profile, Account, & Website.

Q: How early can I apply?

A: Certificants may apply as early as one year prior to the certification expiration date. Processing a renewal application in advance will not change your 5-year certification cycle.

Q: If I recertify early (e.g., 6 months before my certification expires), does that change the dates of my next certification period?

A: No. The certification period for the next 5-year period will begin when the current certification period ends.

Q: Is there an option to apply by completing a paper application?

A: The option to renew via paper application is available and includes a paper processing fee. The paper Recertification application and a Continuing Education Log form may be found under the Recertify: Purpose of Recertification tab or Forms tab on the navigation bar.

Q: Does AANPCB expedite processing of certification applications?

A: No. AANPCB does not expedite or have a fee to expedite processing of applications.

Q: How long does it take to approve a recertification application?

A: Normal processing time is 4 weeks depending upon receipt of a complete application, required documents, and applicable fees. Professional nurse reviewers review all applications to determine that the minimum requirements have been met. If renewing by CE and Clinical Practice Hours, upon approval of an application, a wallet card will be available within 24 hours on your Online Profile and a certificate packet will be mailed within 2-3 weeks.

Q: I submitted my application for recertification. Why does my status say, "No Applications Pending"?

A: This status usually indicates that your application has been approved. Look for your wallet card with new expiration date on your Online Profile: My Documents: Wallet Card.

How to Upload and Store CE Documents

Q: How do I submit my required documents?

A: Upload your documents (CE certificate, current professional nursing license, optional preceptor form or academic transcript) when you apply online. You can also fax, email, or mail the documentation at no additional cost. See FAQ - Contact Us. Incomplete applications are not stored for more than 30 days.

Q: After I submit my application can I edit or upload documents to my application?

A: No. Once an application is submitted, you will not be able to edit the information or upload documents in the application. Email your information to certification@aanpcert.org or fax to 512-637-0540.

Q: Can I upload and store CE documents after I complete them for later use?

A: Yes. Log in, then under My AANPCB select My Continuing Education to upload CE documents and enter CE information. Long-term CE storage must be uploaded to your account. Log in to your Online Profile and choose My Continuing Education under the My AANPCB menu box.

CE Logs and Trackers

Q: Can I submit a CE tracker?

A: If you have an account with an organization like AANP, Medscape, Prescriber Letter, or UpToDate that provides a CE log/tracker, enter the tracker as a single entry on the CE Log page of your application. Submit a copy for, or upload the tracker as a PDF to, your application.

  • All trackers must include the participant's name, activity title and date completed, accreditor, sponsor, and total credits awarded, and pharmacology credits).
  • Trackers that do not include the required information will not be processed.
  • Do not provide links to CE sites or documents as we are unable to access the links.
  • If your tracker includes "self" entered CE entries, provide a copy of the CE certificate.
  • Submit a copy or upload the tracker as a PDF to your application.

Q: Can AANPCB access my American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) CE Center tracker and CE information?

A: No. AANPCB does not have access to the AANP CE Center or your certificates because AANPCB - the certification board, and AANP - the membership association are separate organizations and do not share databases. Certificants are responsible for obtaining copies of their CE certificates and/or trackers for submission to AANPCB for their recertification application.

Note: CE Type labeled "Self" indicates the course was taken through another organization and has been stored. You will need to provide copies of these CE certificates and/or trackers for submission to AANPCB for their application. CE that is denoted as "Internal" or "External" on an AANP tracker of your AANP My Portfolio will not require a copy of the CE certificate.

Q: I have more than the required 100 CE contact hours. May I use the additional CEs for my next recertification?

A: No. Only CEs completed and dated during the 5-year period of certification may be used for renewal of that certification.

Q: Is there a CE Log Form available that I can print and use to keep track of my completed CE activities?

A: Yes. A Continuing Education Log form may be found under the Forms tab on the navigation bar.

Recertify by Exam

Q: I will not have enough clinical practice hours to meet the minimum requirements for recertification. What will I need to do?

A: Family NP, Adult-Gerontology, and Emergency NP Certificants unable to renew their certification through clinical practice and CE will need to apply for and meet current eligibility requirements for certification by examination and take certification examination before the certification expiration date to maintain their certification. See FAQs - Retake Examination.

Q: Can I recertify by exam if I am an Adult NP or a Gerontological NP?

A: No. Both of those examinations have been retired.

Q: I will need to renew my certification by taking the examination. How soon do I need to apply?

A: Certificants may begin their renewal application process online 12 months before the expiration date of their current certification. Plan to sit for the exam at least 120 days prior to your NP certification expiration date to allow enough time for application processing, scheduling, testing and receipt of scores.

Q: Can I apply to recertify after my certification expires?

A: The option to renew a certification by exam is not available after the certification expires because the individual is no longer certified, and the certification number is expired. If this happens, applying as a new applicant for the initial exam is the only option.

Affiliated Membership Organizations

Q: Is AANPCB affiliated with any professional membership organizations?

A: AANPCB is affiliated with two national membership organizations.

American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  • AANP provides valuable member benefits for NP students and NPs of all specialties. Benefits includes NP advocacy, access to free CE activities, and reduced conference registration fees for NP students, candidates, and members attending the AANP's National, Health Policy, and Fall Conferences.
  • AANP membership is renewed annually.
  • Visit www.aanp.org for information.
American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners (AAENP)
  • AAENP is the professional membership organization for NPs who practice in emergency care settings and provide emergency care for patients of all ages and acuities.
  • Visit https://aaenp-natl.org/ for information.

Do I have to belong to a membership organization to apply for certification or recertification?

A: No. Membership in an affiliate organization is not a requirement for certification.

Do I receive a discount on my application if I belong to a membership organization?

A: Yes. AANP and AAENP members receive a discount on their AANPCB certification and recertification application fees. For more information about membership discounts, please visit FAQ - Fees & Member Discounts


Fees

Q: What are the fees for services offered by AANPCB?

A: All fees are shown in U.S. dollars and are subject to change without notification.

Online Application Fees

 

 

 

 

Certification Examination

Member

$240

Non-Member

$315

Retake Examination

Member

$240

Non-Member

$315

Recertification by Clinical Practice Hours & CE

Member

$120

Non-Member

$195

Recertification by Examination

Member

$240

Non-Member

$315

 

 

 

 

 

Paper Application Fees

 

 

 

 

Certification Examination

Member

$290

Non-Member

$365

Retake Examination

Member

$290

Non-Member

$365

Recertification by Clinical Practice Hours & CE

Member

$170

Non-Member

$245

Recertification by Examination

Member

$290

Non-Member

$365

 

 

 

 

 

Verification of Certification Fees

 

 

 

 

Verification Request Order

$40

 

 

 

Verification provided to State Boards of Nursing

No charge

 

 

 

Replacement Certificate and Wallet Card Packet

$20

 

 

 

Other Fees

 

 

 

 

Practice Exam

$50

 

 

 

Adult-Gerontology NP Conversion Online Application

$50

 

 

 

Adult-Gerontology NP Conversion Paper Application

$100

 

 

 

Returned Check Fee

$25

 

 

 

Cancelation/Withdrawal

$120

 

 

 

Ineligible/Denied Application Processing Fee

$60

 

 

 

Q: What forms of payment are accepted?

A: We accept all major credit cards, money orders, and paper checks for payment. Please allow 3-5 business days for processing payment by paper checks Note: There is a $25 USD fee for all returned checks.

Discounts

Q: Is AANPCB affiliated with any professional membership organizations?

A: AANPCB is affiliated with two national nurse practitioner membership organizations. Affiliation with a membership organization is neither a requirement, nor an indication, of certification.

  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  • American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners (AAENP)

Can I receive a discount if I belong to AANP or AAENP?

A: Members of the AANP and AAENP qualify for a $75 USD discount on all certification applications. Please include your member number when completing your application to receive the discount. Your member number will be different from your AANPCB certification number.

  • You may receive a member discount reimbursement if you become a member within 30 days of submitting a certification or recertification application. Send an email to certification@aanpcert.org with your membership number and a request for discount reimbursement.
  • The AANPCB is a separately incorporated entity from a membership organization. As such we have limited to access to membership information. If the membership number is not on the application, you will be charged the non-member price.

Q: Is my certification login username and password the same as my membership number?

A: No. Your AANPCB certification number, username, and password are uniquely different from your membership number and login information.

  • AANPCB certification number will begin your population focus: A, AG, E, F, or G.
  • Membership numbers are composed of numerals only. Contact AANP or AAENP for your Membership number.

Q: Can I include my membership dues payment with my AANPCB application for certification?

A: No. AANPCB and the membership organizations are separate and do not share certification, membership, or billing department information. Contact AANP or AAENP for membership and billing information.

Q: Why am I receiving an Authentication Error message for my Membership Number when creating my online account?

A: There are a couple of reasons.

  • Your professional organization membership has expired.
  • The name or the number you are applying with does not match information in the association's database.
  • Popup blockers need to be turned off.
  • Cookies need to be enabled on your computer.
  • You may have selected a Username that is already in use by another individual.


Verification Requests

Q: Is there a fee to send a verification of certification to my state board of nursing?

A: No. AANPCB does not charge to provide verification of certification to your state board of nursing. The State Board of Nursing Notification Order Form may be found under the Verification Tab.

Q: I would like additional verifications sent to my employer or potential employer(s). What is the fee?

A: The processing fee for each verification is $40 USD. Requests can be made online or by paper. The Verification of Certification Order Form for Credentialing Service Organizations Form may be found under the Verification Tab.

Q: Will AANPCB automatically notify my state board of nursing or employer of my eligibility-to-sit or the results of my certification exam?

A: No. AANPCB provides verification of eligibility to sit for the certification exam and/or the results of your certification examination only if you request it. Requests can be made in several ways:

  • Complete the State Board of Nursing Notification Order Form (found under the Verification Tab) or the form provided by your state board of nursing and email, fax, or mail to AANPCB.
  • Sign into your AANPCB Account and Order a Verification.

Verification Fees

Q: What fees are associated with verification?

A: All fees are shown in U.S. dollars and are subject to change without notification.

Verification of Certification Fees

 

 

 

 

Verification Request Order

$40

 

 

 

Verification provided to State Boards of Nursing

No charge

 

 

 

Replacement Certificate and Wallet Card Packet

$20

 

 

 

Q: What forms of payment are accepted?

A: We accept all major credit cards, money orders, and paper checks for payment. Please allow 3-5 business days for processing payment by paper checks Note: There is a $25 USD fee for all returned checks.