NCC developed the Alternate Certification Program (ACP) as an alternate pathway to certification for Neonatal Nurse Practitioners and Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioners who began their career prior to the need for a national certification to practice, allowed their certification to lapse or worked in a state that did not require certification. The program is for working nurse practitioners that hold a graduate degree in the role (NP) and scope (Neonatal or Women’s Health) but graduated over 8 years ago.
This pathway to certification encompasses validation of educational preparation, NP licensure, compliance with certain practice requirements and prescriptive authority.
Candidates must complete an educational assessment comprised of three specific parts:
1) Take and pass a series of physical assessment and pathophysiology online tests. Study material is provided for this series of tests.
2) Completion of the Continuing Competency Assessment (CCA), a timed assessment of knowledge of the core competency areas of the NP role that is aligned with the test outline for the NP certification exam.
3) Take and pass specific CE modules that are assigned based on the education plan generated by the results of the CCA. Candidates may need to take CE modules in some, none or all competency areas.
All of the educational assessment tests must be completed successfully before the APRN will be eligible to sit for their NCC national board certification exam - which is the final step in the ACP program.
This comprehensive and evaluative program is utilized to demonstrate education equivalency to current eligibility requirements for certification for graduate prepared APRNs.