I am currently a PMHNP student. I am curious why they retired the CNS specialty certification for psychiatry? 


33 Posts

Specializes in Neonatal, Parent-Child, Education. Has 35 years experience.

I'm not sure about the specific history of why the Psych/Mental Health APRNs decided to focus on NP over CNS.  There seemed to be a national decision, though controversial, that was made within the specialty.  I hope others in this specialty can weigh in on what precisely happened.

In terms of the certification exam - there are a number of CNS populations that have no exams (Women's/Gender Health, Family).  The key seems to be that the certification exams are a business proposition.  They exist to make money.  If there are too few people coming out of the educational programs then the certification body can't recoup their expenses to create an exam. 


14,633 Posts

"Lame duck" child psych CNS here.  I'm no expert, but the rationale we were given at the time that our certifications were being "retired" was that it was part of the overall general restructuring of advanced practice nursing, part of the "LACE" or "Consensus" model developed by TPTB in nursing (every time I heard it referred to as the "consensus model," I would snort and think to myself, "What !@#$ consensus??  Nobody asked me ...")  It certainly was not something that the psych population proposed or supported.  It was imposed on us from above.

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

153 Articles; 21,229 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 31 years experience.

Can't "like" Elkpark's post enough. I'm a lame duck adult health CNS and peds CNS - ugh