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 a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner 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 must be included in your psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner program.
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
AND clinical training in at least two psychotherapeutic treatment modalities.
*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.)