Credentials can get complicated, are you displaying your achievements the correct way? April 22, 2022

While the only credentials that must be displayed are the ones that are required by state or employment, specialty certifications are helpful to patients and peers.  Credentials validate expertise and give tangible recognition of professional achievements. Patients feel more confident in the care they receive from a certified provider. 

It is common practice to list credentials in order of importance starting with the highest degree earned. Followed by licensure/state requirements, national certifications, awards and honors. If there are multiple certifications involved, the most recently earned is placed last.  

Because a long list of credentials can overpower a name, individuals may choose not to list all earned credentials or honors. For those individuals, they should make sure that they display the credentials that pertain to the job they perform. Of course, if being published, include all credentials - you earned them.

Designations for NCC certifications

In January 2008, NCC adopted more comprehensive credential designations. These changes were made to make advanced practice credentials more consistent, to better recognize the specialty focus of certification, to make credentials more transparent to the public and to align with other national nursing certification organizations.

These designations reflect the successful completion of the NCC certification process. Use of any credential must be in accordance with any state board or employer directives. NCC often sees individuals list their NCC credential(s) incorrectly.  Make sure yours are correct by checking the designations below.

Advanced Practice Certifications:
NNP-BC® (Neonatal Nurse Practitioner - Board Certified)
WHNP-BC® (Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner - Board Certified)

Core Certifications:
RNC-IAP (Registered Nurse Certified - Inpatient Antepartum Nursing)
RNC-OB® (Registered Nurse Certified - Inpatient Obstetric Nursing)
RNC-LRN® (Registered Nurse Certified - Low Risk Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing)
RNC-MNN® (Registered Nurse Certified - Maternal Newborn Nursing)
RNC-NIC® (Registered Nurse Certified - Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing)
RNC-TNP (Registered Nurse Certified - Telephone Nursing Practice)*
RNC-REIN (Registered Nurse Certified - Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Nursing)*
RNC-AWHC (Registered Nurse Certified - Ambulatory Women's Health Care Nursing)*
RNC-HROB (Registered Nurse Certified - High Risk Obstetric Nursing)*

Subspecialty Certifications:
C-EFM® (Certified - Electronic Fetal Monitoring)
C-NPT® (Certified - Neonatal Pediatric Transport)
C-ELBW (Certified - Care of the Extremely Low Birth Weight Neonate)
C-NNIC (Certified - Neonatal Neuro-Intensive Care)
C-ONQS (Certified - Obstetric and Neonatal Quality and Safety)

Certificates of Added Qualification:
C-MC (Certificate of Added Qualification - Menopause Clinician)*
C-ME (Certificate of Added Qualification - Menopause Educator)*
C-BF (Certificate of Added Qualification - Breastfeeding)*
C-GRH (Certificate of Added Qualification - Gynecologic Reproductive Health)*
C-OB (Certificate of Added Qualification - Obstetrics for Primary Care Providers)*

*These exams are no longer offered