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Can an NP be a CNS in CA

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by getfit getfit (New) New

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Hi all. I am a certified FNP in California and am considering becoming a CNS.

I looked at the BRN's website and the requirements needed to be able to sit for the CNS certification exam, but it is still unclear to me if CNS and NP education is interchangeable. It is nearly impossible to speak someone live and the $500 application fee is non-refundable.

Has anyone had any success getting certified in both Advanced Practice roles?

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Although I cannot speak to what exactly the criteria for a FNP to sit for the CNS exam, I can tell you as someone who has applied to grad school to get my CNS, the education at multiple schools is identical until clinicals. You may need CNS clinicals. I am interested to follow this post as well. Although I want to be a CNS, I also want to live in Hawaii in a few years when my kids are done with high school. If I have to become a NP to have gainful employment there, then I will be needing to switch gears as well.

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juan de la cruz has 27 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care.

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Based on the application form and California's Business and Professions Code Section 2838.2, it is possible for a nurse with any type of graduate nursing degree with a clinical focus to qualify for California CNS Certification if he/she can prove to the board that he/she have verifiable experience in all of the 5 activities that define the CNS role in the state. These are: expert clinical practice, education, research, consultation, and clinical leadership. OP, you do have a master's degree in an area of clinical nursing practice (i.e., FNP) but have you practiced previously in a role that utilized all of those 5 elements of CNS practice? that is the criteria the board uses if you were not trained in a formal CNS program and do not have national certification as a CNS.

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traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNS and specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

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Wow! Thanks Juan for the info.

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2 Followers; 14,620 Posts; 103,959 Profile Views

Based on the application form and California's Business and Professions Code Section 2838.2, it is possible for a nurse with any type of graduate nursing degree with a clinical focus to qualify for California CNS Certification if he/she can prove to the board that he/she have verifiable experience in all of the 5 activities that define the CNS role in the state. These are: expert clinical practice, education, research, consultation, and clinical leadership. OP, you do have a master's degree in an area of clinical nursing practice (i.e., FNP) but have you practiced previously in a role that utilized all of those 5 elements of CNS practice? that is the criteria the board uses if you were not trained in a formal CNS program and do not have national certification as a CNS.

Thanks, Juan, that's interesting. My first thought when I read the OP was "of course not, because you have to have completed a CNS program in order to be eligible for CNS certification" (through the ANCC). Then, before I posted something to effect, I thought about the various "loopholes" and weird, special programs and pathways in nursing that CA has that no other state does, and decided I should just keep my mouth shut. Leave it to CA to have a special loophole that grants state CNS certification to people who don't qualify for national board certification!

Edited by elkpark

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9 Posts; 1,080 Profile Views

I saw that need for verification of the 5 roles. That is the avenue I was going to take to apply....have any NP's had success with their CNS application?

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9 Posts; 1,080 Profile Views

Elkpark,

As stated by another person, the curriculum for NP's and CNS' is basically the same. NP's take a National Certification exam; if they are not qualified for the CNS certification, this will reflect on their exam score. To say "they don't qualify" is a bit presumptive

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2 Followers; 14,620 Posts; 103,959 Profile Views

Elkpark,

As stated by another person, the curriculum for NP's and CNS' is basically the same. NP's take a National Certification exam; if they are not qualified for the CNS certification, this will reflect on their exam score. To say "they don't qualify" is a bit presumptive

I'm not being "presumptive." The ANCC certifies (nationally) CNSs. If you look at the requirements for the one remaining CNS certification offered by the ANCC for new applicants (rather than those renewing existing certifications), you will see that certification requires graduation from a clinical nurse specialist graduate program, specifically. No other nursing graduate degree can substitute for that. If you're not a graduate of a CNS program, you don't qualify for national CNS certification. I wasn't offering a personal opinion about this; I was referring to the ANCC requirements.

NPs take a "National Certification exam" that leads to certification as an NP. Certification exams are not interchangeable. I, as a child psych CNS, cannot decide I want to take one of the NP certification exams; I have to meet the minimum requirements established by the organization offering the certification. And vice versa.

However, apparently you are able to get state certification in CA as a CNS with your NP degree.

Edited by elkpark

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