Quote from LibraSunCNM
I'm a CNM, and I lurk around the APN and NP boards from time to time for fun because the CNM board is pretty quiet. I've seen it mentioned here that there is no single accrediting body for NP programs (I've seen HLC and CCNE mentioned, perhaps there are even more?), which is different than for CNM programs, who do have just one (ACME). What is the deal there? It seems like that's a huge part of the problem of sub-par NP programs flying under the radar. How did it come to pass that there isn't a unified front and why do you think the NP profession allows it? I guess I don't really know how a profession decides to create accrediting bodies in the first place, so I'm in the dark in general, but I'm confused as to why the proliferation of sub-par programs isn't being fought tooth and nail by NP organizations. They want to see the number of NPs grow so substantially that they don't care at what cost to the profession? Seems weird.
The NP field is one of the most fractured and disjointed fields in nursing. If anything, it's a representation of nursing itself with the use of vague and "touchy feely" verbiage in defining its role yet allowing all the infighting between camps.
Without having to construct a diagram (which is quite hard to do on an allnurses post), I will attempt to shed light on some of the disconnected entities that govern NP practice:
AACN is the national group of colleges of nursing (every single college or university that offer BSN to PhD/DNP) and their CCNE arm accredits all nursing programs at the college or university level...even CRNA and CNM programs are accredited by them. NLNAC now changed their name to ACEN and they once were a strong force in accreditation but their power has been relinquished to CCNE as they mostly accredit nursing programs in junior colleges.
CCNE is who NP programs rely on for accreditation, an entity that is not vested in NP education alone but all forms of nursing education. When an institution is CCNE accredited, it can mean their BSN, MS/MSN, and PhD/DNP programs are accredited.
NP's are represented by a multitude of organizations that make policy and position statements but stay in paper for the most part in my opinion:
AANP - represents all NP's in the US as our national association. They don't accredit schools or programs but they offer certification programs for some NP's but...just the FNP's and AGPCNP's and now their are selling an ENP certification that shuts out ACNP's who are working in ED's, talk about not being inclusive!
ANCC - an arm of ANA with their other profit making scheme (Magnet Certification for hospitals) is a certification arm for NP's but not all (again fractured!)...they offer FNP, AGPCNP, AGACNP, PNP-PC, FPMHNP certification. They keep changing their certification letters through the years on a whim and will retire certain certifications if they don't sell enough! (RIP GNP certification). The CNS issue is another one but we're talking NP's here. Note that they are competing with AANP as they also offer FNP and AGPCNP certification.
Amer Assoc of Crit Care Nurses - offers AGACNP exam in direct competition with ANCC's similar exam.
PNCB - offers certification for Peds NP's bot primary and acute care. Note that again, they are in competition with ANCC for the PNP-PC exam.
NCC - offers WHNP and NNP certification. They are quiet and peaceful in my eyes...very much like the mother baby type certification they offer.
NONPF - a national organization of NP faculty members...hmmm what do they really do? well, come up with statements and curricular recommendation but have no power to enforce them, that's what I think.
These are the players in the NP world who seem quite happy in their little corners while the profession seem to be in disarray!