Effective Date: Saturday, April 1, 2017
Who is affected: All APRN clinicians (NP and CNS), only.
What to expect, upon check-in (and return from breaks) at Prometric Testing Centers, in addition to existing security protocols:
- Electronic Biometric Capture (at check-in): Prometric staff will fingerprint all NP and CNS applicants.
- Electronic Biometric Capture (upon return from breaks): Prometric staff will fingerprint the candidate when s/he starts and returns from every break.
Additional testing center regulations and more details about “What to Expect on Test Day” are available on the Prometric website; www.prometric.com/en-us/for-test-takers/prepare-for-test-day/pages/what-to-expect.aspx
Please call ANCC at 1.800.284.2378 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for additional questions.
Apply for Certification
Initial Certification Application
You may apply for this computer-based test year round and test during a 90-day window at a time and location convenient to you. The exam allows 4 hours to answer 200 questions (175 scored plus 25 pretest questions that are not scored). For exam prep resources, scroll to view Study Aids in the left sidebar of this page! If you do not pass a certification exam, learn about retesting.
Step 1: Confirm Eligibility and Pricing
Hold a current, active RN license in a state or territory of the United States or hold the professional, legally recognized equivalent in another country.
Apply from Outside the U.S.
Learn about additional requirements for candidates outside the U.S.
Master's, Postgraduate, or Doctoral Degree
Hold a master's, postgraduate, or doctoral degree* from an adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) (formerly NLNAC | National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission). A minimum of 500 faculty-supervised clinical hours in the adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist role and population. The adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist program must include content across the health continuum from wellness through acute care.
Three Separate, Comprehensive Graduate-Level Courses In:
- Advanced physiology/pathophysiology, including general principles that apply across the life span
- Advanced health assessment, which includes assessment of all human systems, advanced assessment techniques, concepts, and approaches
- Advanced pharmacology, which includes pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacotherapeutics of all broad categories of agents
- Health promotion and/or maintenance
- Differential diagnosis and disease management, including the use and prescription of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions
*Candidates may be authorized to sit for the examination after all coursework and faculty-supervised clinical practice hours for the degree are complete, prior to degree conferral and graduation, provided that all other eligibility requirements are met. Please note, the Validation of Education form and official/unofficial transcripts showing that coursework (and faculty-supervised clinical practice hours) is completed are required before authorization to test will be issued. ANCC will retain the candidate’s exam result and will issue certification on the date the final, degree-conferred and official transcript are received, all other eligibility requirements are met, and a passing result is on file.
(ANCC will accept unofficial transcripts, which ANCC defines as either a photocopy of a transcript, a comprehensive record of your academic progress or a print out of all work completed, to date, including coursework, grades and degree(s) earned or in progress – which will allow ANCC to process and review your application. ANCC reserves the right to reject any unofficial transcript that appears to be altered.)
Step 2: Apply
Step 3: Submit Education Verification Documents
Mail/E-Mail these materials:
PO Box 8785
Silver Spring, MD 20907-8785
To maintain certification, complete professional development requirements between the start and end dates of your certification, and provide this information on your renewal application.
Calendar Your Renewal Date
Certifications are renewed every 5 years. You may submit a renewal application up to 1 year prior to your expiration. You may be ineligible to practice beyond your expiration date.
Create an ANCC Account
Track professional development, mail preferences and purchases in one place. Online applications are also stored in your account. Visit Access My Account
Update Contact Information
If you move, change names or acquire a new phone or email, please update contact details in your account. Or email Customer Care or call 1.800.284.2378.
Display Your Credentials
Learn common questions and answers about displaying your credentials in the proper order.
Download How to Display Your Credentials .
Track Professional Development with ANCC
Online renewal is simpler when you store professional development activities in your ANCC account immediately upon completion. At renewal, you can transfer stored information to the renewal application, saving time. Note: To renew online, you must store professional development activities before starting the online renewal application.
- After each activity, gather proof of professional development.
- Click Track Professional Development to the right.
- Enter and save professional development activities.
- From account summary, top right column, under Professional Development find links to enter continuing education (contact hours), academic credits, presentations, publications/research, preceptorship and professional service.
- Log out.
Renewal Certification Application
You may submit a renewal application up to 1 year prior to your expiration.
Step 1: Review Requirements, FAQs, and Pricing
Step 2: Submit Renewal Application