April 17, 2018

From Bedside Nurse ➡️ NP Student: Certification Boards

I'm set to graduate in two weeks, and it's now time to pick a certification organization and see what jobs are out there. I am in a Dual Role (Family NP/Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP) program, so that means I would need to take a certification exam for each track. That means two, separate exams. Family and adult-gerontology acute care tracks cover entirely different age ranges, demographics, and disease processes, hence the need for two exams. Since there are multiple certification organizations out there, I first went to the institutions I would like to work at and found out what credentials they accepted. Some employers only accept the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), while others only accept the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) credentialing organizations. It really depends on where you want to work and what credentials your employer will accept. Most local employers (in my area) accept both organizations, but I chose the ANCC because it offers certification for both tracks in my program. It's easier to do them both with one organization, in my opinion.

I would love to work in critical care, so I'm going to take the adult-gerontology acute care exam first. Wait a month or two and then take the family portion. I'm doing both because I want as many opportunities for employment as possible. I'm also considering working in the emergency department and that might require both certifications too. One cardiology group I'm looking into wants the family NP credential, while a critical care group wants adult-gerontology acute care NP credential. And by "looking into" I mean merely checking online. When I see a job I might be interested me, I look in the sections titled: Licensure, Certification or Registration. These tend to give me the information regarding the credentials that are required for the position.

I haven't started studying for boards yet. But my school advisor told me to apply for boards now, while I'm in my final semester. So that when the school sends my name and official transcript (once final grades are posted), confirmation occurs smoothly and the organization will already have all my information on file. I took her advice and applied. Nothing will happen until my school sends my information but at least it's all in place and ready. For those who are curious, below explains the difference between the two exams.



The cost of the exam was originally $395. Yeah, hurts my chest too. Especially after I already spent $100 renting a cap and gown, and setting up travel to stay in Mobile, Alabama for the weekend with my family. But, then I did a little research and went to the ANCC Facebook page and found a working discount code which dropped the price to $270. The link is below.


That's my quick credentialing introduction. I will track my progress through the entire journey and hope I make sense along the way, haha. It's a bit overwhelming, but once you get all the details, it's easy to decide how you want to proceed.