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Avenues for psych nurse certification?

Nurse Beth   (6,877 Views 2 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert Nurse Verified

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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Dear Seeking Nursing Certification,

Congrats on planning to achieve your certification in a specialty that you love. Nursing certification signifies expert knowledge and benefits you, your patients, and your employer. Initial certification requires a certain number of specialty clinical hours, successfully passing an exam, and may require obtaining continuing education units in your specialty.

Here are the eligibility requirements for Psychiatric-Mental Health certification:

The eligibility requirements for ANCC Psychiatric-Mental Health Certification are 2000 hours of practice in a psychiatric setting within the last three years, and 30 hours of continuing education in psychiatric-mental health nursing, also within the last 3 years. The cost of the exam is $395.00 but as an ANA member, your cost is $270.00.

Because you have worked one and a half years full time in Behavioral Health, you have easily exceeded the 2000 hours of practice requirement (provided they are within the last three years).

The credential awarded is RN-BC, meaning board-certified registered nurse, and the title is psychiatric-mental health nurse. The certification is good for five years, at which time you can renew.

ANCC is one of the largest accredited certifying bodies for nurses. There are others, although I'm not aware of one that offers a certification in Behavioral Health nursing, but some readers may have more information.

Another resource for you is the American Association of Psychiatric Nurses, which you can find online.

Best Wishes!

Nurse Beth

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Umm, you failed to answer the original question asked, which is, is there any other avenue besides the ANCC for certification in psychiatric nursing (no, there isn't), and there is no such organization as the American Association of Psychiatric Nurses. I assume you mean APNA, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.

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