License Verification Tool | ACNP -?Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
An Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) must obtain both a license to practice and additional certification specific to the domain of acute care. While licensing requirements may vary from state to state, every ACNP must satisfy the necessary prerequisites to become (and remain) qualified to practice. The following discusses annual license requirements, continued education requirements, and physician criteria for ACNPs.LicensingTo obtain a license to practice as an ACNP, prospective practitioners must either obtain a Master of Science in Nursing or a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from an accredited program. Additionally, applicants must pass the national NP certification exam administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. More details can be found here. Renewal of an ACNP?s license is a multi-step process and involves completing a renewal form, proof of professional liability insurance, completing specific training, and any additional requirements set forth by their local state law. Additionally, a license renewal form must be sent to the state?s licensing board and may require a fee in the range of $300-$400. To ensure a smoother process, many states require ACNPs to renew their licenses several weeks, or even up to a year before the license expiration date. CertificationWhile a license to practice as an ACNP is obtained state-by-state, an ACNP must also obtain additional certification in the specialty of acute care from a nationally approved program. This certification is offered through an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) pathway. Eligibility to take the certification exam includes a prescriber license, a graduate degree from an accredited nursing program, certification as an NP in any patient population or a graduate degree in an area directly applicable to the specialty of acute care, and a minimum of 500 hours of clinical practice in acute care within the past three years. ANCC also requires 30 hours of continuing education related to acute care in the past three years of application. Once a certification is obtained, an ACNP must maintain the credential by applying for renewal every five years. To apply for recertification, an ACNP must have practiced as an acute care nurse practitioner for at least 2000 hours in the past five years and provide evidence of maintaining prescriptive authority, maintain certification as an NP in any population, and provide evidence of 60 hours of continuing education in the specialty of acute care during the last five years of licensure.Physician CriteriaFor all ACNPs, physician criteria must also be considered and met for licensure and certification. While specific regulations may vary by state, many states generally require a Collaboration Agreement or written policy with any supervising physician or physician partner. Typically, the collaborations involve an on-site initial medical evaluation at a frequency mutually agreed upon by the physician and ACNP. ACNPs should also possess their own prescriptive authority and drug formulary. To concludeTo become an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, an aspiring practitioner must obtain a valid license and certification. Licensing requirements vary by state, and all ACNPs must pass the National NP certification exam. Additionally, all ACNPs must renew their license after a predetermined amount of time, submit proof of professional liability insurance, complete training, and comply with local state law. Furthermore, all ACNPs must obtain additional certification in acute care through the ANCC; this requires having a prescriber?s license, a graduate degree from an accredited nursing program, and a minimum of 500 hours of clinical practice in acute care. To maintain certification, an ACNP must practice in the specialty of acute care for at least 2000 hours in the past five years and must have completed 60 hours of continuing education in a specialized area of acute care. Lastly, ACNPs must adhere to physician criteria and complete Collaboration Agreements or follow written policies for all supervising physicians.