The American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners (AAENP, 2016) and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP, 2016) are working in collaboration to develop the first board certification by examination for nurse practitioners (NPs) working in the emergency care setting. Here are the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Emergency Nurse Practitioner Certification (ENP-C) examination from the AANPCP website:
Q. When will the ENP-C examination be available?
A. Although a specific launch date has not yet been established, the anticipated time frame will be January 1, 2017.
Q. What are the eligibility requirements to take the ENP examination?
A. Eligibility is based on the candidate meeting the following requirements:
- Current, active registered nurse license in the United States, U.S. territories, or Canadian province or territory.
- Current national certification as a family nurse practitioner (FNP).
- Emergency care specialty content that includes at least one of the following:
- A minimum of 2,000 direct, emergency care practice hours in the past 5 years and evidence of 100 hr of continuing emergency care education, with a minimum of 30 of those hours in emergency care procedural skills within those 5 years; or
- Completion of an academic emergency care graduate or postgraduate NP program; or
- Completion of an approved emergency fellowship program.
Q. I am not an FNP. Is there an option for me to take the ENP-C examination?
A. Because of the life span scope of the ENP examination, only certified FNPs who meet eligibility criteria will be able to take the AANPCP ENP examination.
Q. How do I apply?
A. Applications and information about the content on the examination will be available on the AANPCP website (www.aanpcert.org), possibly as early as September or October 2016.
Q. How long will I be certified for?
A. The ENP-C will need to be renewed every 5 years. Recertification criteria will be described when the initial certification applications are available.
Q. If this examination is a joint effort between the AAENP and the AANPCP, who is ultimately responsible for the examination?
A. Both the AAENP and the AANPCP have distinctly clear responsibilities for the ENP-C examination. The AANPCP is a national certification board and will be responsible for processing applications, administrating the examinations, ensuring that the tests remain valid, and facilitating the accreditation process for the ENP-C program. The AAENP, as a membership organization, is collaborating with the AANPCP to develop examination content and set forth the standards, qualifications, knowledge, and practice of ENPs.
Q. Is the ENP-C nationally recognized by all states?
A. It is expected that ENP-C by the AANPCP will meet the requirements described in the national Consensus Model for APRN Regulation for subspecialty certifications. However, state practice acts, licensure, and recognition vary significantly in the United States; each NP will need to verify information with the state he or she practices.
Q. Does the AANPCP offer practice examinations?
A. The AANPCP currently has two practice tests; one for its FNP examination and another for the adult-gerontology nurse practitioner (A-GNP) examination. (See www.aanpcert.org Practice Tests.) It is expected that a practice test for the ENP examination will also become available.
Q. Does AANPCP offer educational courses or training materials to prepare examination candidates to take the ENP-C examination?
A. The FNP and A-GNP practice tests offered by the AANPCP are assessment tools to familiarize test candidates with the certification examinations and are not study guides. The AANPCP does not approve, develop, offer, or endorse any educational programs. Note: Additional information about the AANPCP can be found on its website at www.aanpcert.org.
The first ENP validation option (portfolio) has been available through the American Nurses Credentialing Center since 2013. The new ENP-C examination will soon provide another method of NP validation. The AANPCP and AAENP collaboration will provide a certification program that aligns with the APRN Consensus Model (2008) for specialty nursing practice to meet national accreditation standards. Individuals practicing in the emergency care setting who seek certification are eligible to take the examination, provided that they have completed an appropriate graduate degree and have primary certification as an FNP. This collaboration between the AAENP and the AANPCP is an exciting achievement for ENPs!
—K. Sue Hoyt, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, CEN, FAEN, FAANP, FAAN
Emergency Nurse Practitioner
St. Mary Medical Center
Long Beach, CA
—Jean A. Proehl, RN, MN, CEN, CPEN, FAEN
Emergency Clinical Nurse Specialist
Proehl PRN, LLC
American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioner. (2016). Frequently asked questions. Retrieved from www.aaenp-natl.org
American Academy of Nurse Practitioner Certification Program. (2016). Frequently asked questions. Retrieved from www.aanpcert.org
American Association of Colleges of Nursing APRN Consensus Work Group and National Council of State Boards of Nursing APRN Advisory Committee. (2008). Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, accreditation, certification & education. Washington, DC: Author.