Nursing is considered by many to be one of the most rewarding yet challenging careers out there. It is arguably one of the most crucial jobs in the healthcare field. Most people respect this profession, know of it, or aspire to be a part of it. Prospective nurses looking to enter the field have a sea of options, opportunities, and credentials to consider. There are CNA's, RNA's and numerous nursing specialties from which to choose. That is why we have compiled all the information you need to know about receiving an ANCC certification. In this article, we will discuss what an ANCC certification is, the different ANCC certifications available, and what you must study to gain one. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is an ANCC Certification?
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is a subsidiary of the esteemed American Nurses Association (ANA). Their mission is simple: to support and promote excellence in nursing. Since their establishment in 1990, the ANCC has contributed to quality care and excellence in the nursing field.
Their certification is nationally recognized, respected, and is one of the most popular certifications to measure a nurse's competence and ability to provide the best patient care. The certification is a great milestone for any nurse to improve his or her career prospects and show their technical ability and commitment to their profession.
Different ANCC Certifications
As mentioned before, the ANCC certification is a nationally recognized credential and one of the most respected certifications a nurse can have. So no matter your specialty or your desired practice level, getting an ANCC certification may be the right career move for you.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center offers certifications in numerous areas for the various specialties and nursing practices. This can include
Nurse Practitioner Certifications, Clinical Nurse Specialist Certifications, Specialty Certifications, and Interprofessional Certifications.
Here are some of the many exams the ANCC offers for Nursing Specialties:
Requirements of an ANCC Certification: What Must You Learn
Nurses looking to receive an ANCC certification must meet various requirements. To receive the certification, you must first meet the unique eligibility requirement for your specialty and pass the relevant certification exam. These tests are available throughout the entire year and are offered in test centers worldwide. So, what do you need to know beforehand and what standards must you meet to be eligible to take the certification exams for this honored credential?
Nurses seeking an ANCC certification must first have at least a bachelor's degree in nursing or another relevant field. They must also have an active RN license in the United States of America or the recognized equivalent from another country. These two requirements are the most common and the most minimal qualifications one must have to be eligible to take an ANCC certification.
Other eligibility requirements will depend on the unique certification you are seeking. For context, below is an example of the requirements for a pediatric nurse versus the eligibility requirements for a family nurse practitioner certification.
Eligibility for Pediatric Nurse Certification:
Eligibility for a Family Nurse Practitioner Certification:
What You Must Learn
The ANCC is very detailed in their certification resources, sample questions, sample role studies, and references they provide. Every certification exam has a unique set of test content outlines, questions, and reference lists available for free to prepare you for the certification exam. Prospective nurses should take advantage of the abundant resource made available through the ANCC to ensure success later on.
The ANCC recommends that you begin and commit to a study plan at least six months before you take your exam. Potential test takers should look into the specific curriculum and test composition for their test, but also brush up on general nursing information such as assessing, diagnosing and planning outcomes and family-centered care. Below is information included on a pediatric nurse certification exam to provide more in-depth context.
Pediatric Nursing Certification Exam
Before you step into the exam room or even apply for your test, there are some important things you need to know to ensure success. First, the maximum possible score on an ANCC exam is 500. So passing your exam will require a score of 350 or higher. Expect about anywhere from 150 to 175 questions that will contribute to your final test score and 25 pilot questions that will not count. You will not know which questions are graded during the exam making it important to be thorough when answering all questions.
The tests are multiple-choice and closed-book, so no outside resources will be available for you. And like other tests, the ANCC certification exams are about full completion. There is no penalty for guessing, so take advantage of the 4 hours you have to complete the exam and again, be thorough.
Nurses are highly trained and respected professionals in the health care field. They are necessary for many medical settings and ensure daily that patients get the best care. Since 1990 the American Nurses Credentialing Center has offered one of the most distinguished and nationally recognized certifications. These credentials are used to measure a nurse's technical ability, competence and ability to provide high-grade patient care. Getting this certification a great accomplishment for nurses in any field, can improve a nurse's career prospects significantly, and shows their commitment to the profession.
The ANCC offers numerous certification exams in diverse specialties ranging from a family nurse practitioner and pediatric nursing certification to adult psychiatric health and public health certifications. So no matter the specialty or the area of focus, the ANNC offers certifications to acknowledge a nurse's unique knowledge and skill set.
Because this certification is so esteemed, there are several requirements candidates must meet to be considered for the exam. These requirements will depend on the certification a prospective nurse is seeking, however, one generally must have at least a bachelor's degree in nursing or a bachelor's in another relevant field. They must also have an active RN license.
Just as the eligibility requirements differ, the educational and test compositions also vary. For example, nurse practitioners who must have a higher level of education will have graduate-level information on their exams regarding pharmacology and health assessment, whereas a pediatric nurse certification exam would not have this information.
Despite the variances, there will probably be common nursing information on the test regarding assessing, diagnosing, and planning outcomes or family-centered care. Also, ANCC exams are usually multiple choice with 150 to 175 questions and take around 4 hours to complete.
Nurses seeking the ANCC certification should take advantage of the vast free resources that the ANCC provides including their certification resources, sample questions, sample role studies, and references to prepare for their exam. Practice questions are developed in the same way as the actual exam questions to give test takers realistic impressions of the exam beforehand.
We hope we answered all your questions on what to expect from ANCC certification. And we hope you are confident that by investing your time in this honored credential and preparing in advance, you will succeed.