ANCC to retire most popular, and eventually all, NP roles.

  1. I just received an official notice from ANCC that my credential will be “retired.” My credential is “Adult Nurse Practitioner,” but other credentials on the chopping block are ACNP, Adult and Child PMHNP and CNS, and GNP and CNS. The rationale is because “ANCC will not offer certifications that fail to meet the requirements of the new regulatory model.” The ANCC will review the FNP, PNP, Family PMHNP, and Pediatric CNS on its next review cycle, in three years.

    ANCC is referring to the APRN consensus model, a model that I support for full integration of appropriate life-span treatment, but not at the expense of throwing out the current model in favor of a revamped shiny new credential under the auspices of the “Old credential +Gerontology NP.” I image adding on the word Gerontology to each new credential is in the future, except pediatrics.

    I was in favor of restructuring NP education back to where it was when I completed my Adult NP program, when the program was a true two-year curriculum, and was inclusive of aged 16 to tomb. At that time, the FNP was womb to tomb. I agree some current NP programs have become too splintered and focused, and this could be a problem in the future. America does have an aging population, and that is a very significant fact. These issues should be addressed.

    I do not understand, nor do I agree with, throwing out the current credentials. There is no evidence, absolutely NONE, indicating that the current Adult NP and Acute NP role is “failing” to meet the demands of our patient population and society. In fact, all quality outcomes studies on NPs have indicated that NPs are highly competent providers with excellent patient satisfaction and health outcomes. These studies did not suggest improvements in patient care and outcomes were needed by changing our current role.

    The Consensus Model is meant to streamline nursing education and titling and delineate commonalities and differences in roles (not further confuse it). To me, it is sensible to streamline roles and determine that all NP programs are meeting the educational requirements within their respective curriculums. In a study funded by NONPF, it was found that NPs who were credentialed broadly, such as an FNP or ANP, were more marketable in certain areas, such as the Midwest. This is very logical. So why change the most marketable credentials?

    The ANCC will throw the baby out with the bath water and dump the well-known Adult NP credential. This is likely the fate of the well-known FNP credential as well. This is very confusing to me, and will likely be equally confusing for our colleagues in health care, and similarly to the public at large. This leaves the impression that nursing does not know what it is doing, and since we are radically changing our credentialing structure, we must not have had it correct in the first place. This is not true, and no studies suggest that the current broadly trained NP role is inadequate.

    If nursing wishes to address the aging population in the curriculum, then we should do this head-on. We can do this by changing the graduate school curriculum going forward, and asking the currently credentialed NPs obtain a certain level of continuing education specific to the aged population by their next certification cycle. This is how medicine is approaching this issue. Board certified Family practice physicians are asked to take a 2 to 3 day seminar and complete a few case studies specific to the geriatric population. What family practice physicians are NOT doing is throwing out the family practice board as a whole, and telling their constituents that they are no longer adequate.

    Why does this matter? Well, we will have a whole new cadre of alphabet soup, such as ANP, ACNP, and FNP plus the new AGNP, ACGNP, and FGNP. It all seems rather redundant, and makes nursing look bad. As long as the 200,000-ish NPs currently in practice do not allow their credential to lapse, they will be fine. However, if your credential lapses due to any reason, such as taking time off to raise a family, work in quality assurance, perform research, take care of an elderly family member, or have an extended personal illness, you will not have a test to take. Additionally, you will likely be told that your previous formal education is no longer adequate to sit for these new credentials. However, you can go back to school for additional formal education which is more expensive and time consuming than attending re-entry seminar/c.e. and shadowing to address those rusty skills. Colleges benefit from this, but not society and certainly not nurses.

    It seems ANCC has already made this change, but all bad decisions can be reversed. Hopefully, AANP will not make the same jump in logic, and will keep the ANP and FNP intact while adjusting credentialing and continuing education to include the elderly population. For those NP programs that are not including geriatric concepts in their curriculum, they should be dealt with individually. In the meantime, all currently credentialed NPs and NP students who plan to graduate and sit for boards soon should contact the ANCC and the AANP group about your concerns. If one group rescinds this absurdity, and the other refuses, then vote with your feet and move to the credentialing board that meets your needs. Please notify your NP friends and colleagues and ask them to object to being relegated to obscurity.

    I am starting a Facebook page, called “Occupy ANCC. Say NO to retiring your NP credential.” Please join, and lets become a force to be dealt with…An ANCC official has joined my page. Please come and address your concerns.

    ANCC will say, all currently practicing NP will be fine, but the fine print states, as long as you never lose your certification. This means we will have various classes of credentialed NPs, "us" and the new NPs after 2014. Additionally, all credentialed NPs must NEVER allow their certification to lapse for any reason, be it for research, raising a family, caring for an elderly parent, or a personal illness. If your current credential expires, you will not have a test to take, and you cannot take the new exam. You will be required to return to school for a graduate certificate because ANCC has deemed all ANP programs, up to this date, as inadequate for this new credential. This metric will apply to all NP programs as well.

    I do not know of any ANP, graduating from a reputable university, who was not trained to care for the elderly client. The adult NP credential, by all logic, is inclusive of geriatric clients. No ANP would refuse to treat an elderly patient. If this new credential is necessary for greater clarity, all current ANP and ACNPs should be rolled into the new credential, even if it meant completing a mandatory educational module on geriatric clients prior to one's next credentialing cycle.

    Adult NPs trained at the graduate level should not be required to obtain additional graduate education that could delay re-entry to practice, in the event of a certification lapse. This process could delay re-entry for greater than one year - inclusive of the time to find a program and sequence the application (and you may not gain admission b/c too few faculty/mentors), and then complete one to two terms of academic semesters.

    I know many of you feel this does not apply to you, as you will never allow your credential to lapse. No one plans for traumatic life events, but they do occur. This new process, that is not founded on ANY evidence-based data, has the potential to be a huge hindrance to ANY currently credentialed nurse practitioners. All of us are on the chopping block for no good reason, and without any recourse. For those of you close to retirement, and feel this does not apply to you, consider that you will need us younger NPs to meet your health care needs.

    I hope AANP does not leave us hanging as ANCC has opted to do.

    Come support view the occupy ANCC, say NO to occupying your NP credential!

    I appreciate your support,

    Rodney Fox, PhD, ANP, BC, NP-C
    Last edit by sirI on Dec 6, '11 : Reason: removed direct FB link to comply with TOS
  2. Visit RPF,PhD,NP profile page

    About RPF,PhD,NP

    Joined: Dec '11; Posts: 10; Likes: 16
    Nurse Practitioner; from US
    Specialty: 14 year(s) of experience in Med-Surg, ER, HIV/AIDS, NP


  3. by   elkpark
    There are a few other threads here already discussing this development -- you may want to look for them with the "search" feature in the upper right corner of the screen.

    I, too, am one of those getting "kicked to the curb" by the ANCC (child psych CNS), and I'm disgusted by the whole business.

    Welcome to allnurses!
  4. by   RPF,PhD,NP
    Thank you elkpark! I found your post. An ANCC representative is a member of my Occupy ANCC, say NO to retiring your NP credential. Please join, and tell them to jump in a lake.

    We will get nothing accomplished by mumbling and grumbling individually. Just like Bank Of American customers rejected the debit card fees, as a group we can force change through a strong, unified grass root effort.

    I appreciate your support. Please share with ANYONE and EVERYONE. If you know how to link this post to the other post (as I do not know how), please do so, or let me know how.

    Thank you!

    Last edit by sirI on Dec 6, '11
  5. by   kanzi monkey
    This may sound like a stupid question, but can I just switch my certification to AANP? I don't expect to lose my certification, but it's not something I ever expected to lose my career over. At the end of the day, I always figured if my certification expired for some reason, I'd just re-test. Not the end of the world. Going back to school? The end of the world.
  6. by   traumaRUs
    I am one of the "retired" credentials - Adult CNS.

    However, I knew this was coming as did many of us. This is not something new. The time to get involved was in 2006/2007. ANCC sent me a packet at that time stating that the consensus model would change a lot of certifications. I chose not to get involved for various reasons and now I am reaping the seeds I chose not to plant.

    This is a done deal IMHO.

    What we need to do now is unite under this umbrella and figure out how to live with it.
  7. by   sirI
    My creds have changed over the years, too. Long before this. I just go with the flow and as traumaRUs pointed out, learn to live with it. It does not de-value my creds/profession.
  8. by   kanzi monkey
    I am just reading my packet from ANCC, and to be perfectly honest, I don't understand it. All I am getting from it is "no more ANP" and "don't let certification lapse". In 2009 I took the culmination of years of school, a lifetime of debt, and a whole lot of fees, and went out and passed the ANCC ANP boards.
    I don't feel de-valued. I feel like a sucker. I've been a licensed NP for 2 years, and within a few short years I'm going to be considered "grandfathered" into my role.
    And I don't understand why.
  9. by   RPF,PhD,NP
    Kanzi Monkey - AANP has not issued an official statement, but AANP has signed onto the Consensus Model. All of this falls solely on the interpretation and implementation of the Consensus Model. ANCC has chosen a divisive implementation, but AANP has an opportunity to do otherwise.

    AANP does have a method to credential through Endorsement, if you are certified through another agency, you can obtain your certification without taking the exam. If AANP takes a more inclusive approach and allows currently credentialed NPs to roll into the new credential, rather than cutting everyone off, that could be a game-changer in my mind. I too, would just drop my ANCC certification and no longer support that agency.

    TraumaRUs - I appreciate your comments, but respectfully disagree. It is never too late to become involved. I have actively participated, and completed multiple questionnaires and provided written statements. My interpretation of the Consensus model was, and still is, that the ANP/ACNP role included geriatric content and gero should be rolled back into the adult health credential. I did apply to a committee, but was not selected. I choose not to allow this to happen and I agree we need to come together under a single umbrella. Tossing out all currently credentialed NPs without a bridge option is NOT the way to do it - this is very divisive and not inclusive. I may fail in this endeavor, in fact, I will fail if everyone adopts a passive attitude to this change.

    Thank you. Rodney
  10. by   juan de la cruz
    I can't speak for the ANP's but my main beef about this change is that ACNP training has always incorporated some Gerontologic considerations in terms of patient management. What do they think the majority age group of hospitalized patients are? Though we didn't have a formal Gerontology course in the ACNP program, we are quite familiar with the needs of this population just because we deal with them all the time.
  11. by   RPF,PhD,NP
    Hello juan de la cruz, and thank you for your comment. I believe you are correct, and most ACNPs would agree that gerontology is a considerable aspect of ACNPs practice. Retiring this credential does not follow any logic.
  12. by   rich2008
    This streamlining seems like a good idea but some of it makes no sense to me. I wa actually considering getting a post NP psych certificate in adult psych and now I am learning this isnt going to be part of the future? WIll all schools be revamping thier curriculum???
  13. by   CCRNDiva
    I have to admit that this is one of my pet peeves with nursing. The powers that be make things so much more difficult than it needs to be. There are so many other issues that should garner attention now but they would rather focus on the most trivial things. Several schools have issued moratoriums for admissions to their programs and current students like me have to be worried that we may not meet this new fangled criteria for certification.

    Juan, I agree with you. How in the world do they think an ACNP could be trained in the management of acutely ill adults without a geriatric component when most hospitalized patients are elderly?
  14. by   AWiler
    thank you for the opportunity to respond to your questions.

    the consensus model for aprn regulation: licensure, accreditation, certification & education (aprn consensus model) is a uniform model of regulation for the future of advanced practice nursing that is designed to align the interrelationships among licensure, accreditation, certification, and education (lace). the consensus model is the product of a collaborative effort among more than 40 nursing organizations that have an interest in making aprn practice more uniform. a complete list of all the organizations that took part is found on pages 30-40 of the aprn consensus model document

    changes are being made to the ancc certification exams in response to the aprn consensus model. current certifications will remain in place for as long as you renew by meeting the requirements on the renewal application at the time of your renewal.

    as implementation of the new aprn consensus model progresses, ancc has initiated plans to retire specific certification programs and develop certifications to more closely reflect the roles and populations required by the model regulations.

    to prepare for the aprn consensus model implementation in 2015, ancc will be creating certification examinations to meet the role and/or population foci requirements of the model regulations. planning for these certifications is under way, and we are pleased to announce the launch of new certifications for:
    - adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (expected 2013)
    - adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (expected 2013)
    - adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist (expected 2014)

    retired exams will no longer be available after the date indicated below, and no new nurses will be able to become certified in these areas. if your certification is retired, you must renew your credentials using professional development activities and clinical practice hours. each time you renew, you will retain your current credentials. ancc will provide advance notice of retiring exams and information on the impact of required changes on aprns. during this transition process, it is crucial for aprns to keep their certifications current and stay in touch with ancc and their regulatory board for more information as it becomes available. if your certification lapses, you may not be able to renew your existing certification or your license to practice.

    in 2014, ancc will retire the certifications for:
    - acute care nurse practitioner
    - adult nurse practitioner
    - gerontological nurse practitioner
    - adult health clinical nurse specialist
    - gerontological clinical nurse specialist

    certified nurses in the above specialties will be able to keep their certifications and renew by using professional development activities and clinical practice hours to meet the requirements on the renewal application.

    for more details on the aprn consensus model implementation and what it means for you, please see the frequently asked questions on the ancc web site at: if you have questions related to your specific situation, please contact ancc for additional assistance at 1.800.924.4194 and

    we are here to answer your questions, and to guide you through the process and transition. thank you.

    ancc certification department via anita wiler, ancc marketing