certification vs licensure nursing

A common problem for those entering the healthcare professions is to define the difference between licensure and certification. State licensure is permission from a particular state government to practice counselor or identify oneself as a licensed counselor. Some qualified individuals may elect not to be certified. This does. A list of boards of nursing and their contact information can be found on NCSBN's Web site. Before practicing as an RN, candidates must apply to a board of nursing and submit evidence that they have completed requirements. Licensure is the legal right and responsibility to engage in an activity or occupation. Licensure is the process by which boards of nursing grant permission to an individual to engage in nursing practice after determining that the applicant has attained the competency necessary to perform a unique scope of practice. Hopkins BR. Another way of determining what APRN certification examinations are accepted in your state is to call the state board of nursing. The intent of this article is to clarify the role of APRN certification examinations in the licensure process and to identify regulatory issues that APRNs should be aware of. It is required in order to practice or to call oneself a licensed professional. Board certification means that certification is required for licensure, such as in the example of advanced practice registered nurses (APRN). The nursing license is the end product of this process. OSBN will validate your active national certification via the accrediting body’s verification website during the application process. There is no advanced practice licensure examination that parallels the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN. Traditional certification programs also have the option of determining the breadth of their examination and determine who is eligible to take their examination. The development of nursing licensure laws closely follows the advancement of women’s roles in the struggle for suffrage and women’s increased visibility related to war time service. A major difference between a certificate and a license for many health-related professions involves who administers the qualification. Included in the APRN Uniform Requirements is the criterion of "being currently certified by national certifying body in the APRN specialty appropriate to educational preparation." Part of that application process is to demonstrate that you have received appropriate training and have demonstrated competency. This becomes a limiting factor when the practitioner is faced with a wide variety of health disorders in practice. Licensure results from the enactment of a nurse practice act by state legislatures to regulate nursing. Some nurses have assumed that by taking an APRN certification examination, they are entitled to practice as an APRN. Boards of nursing very carefully review APRN examinations before determining which APRN certification programs meet their licensure requirements. Nursing Licensure. Successful candidates certified in these specialty areas use specific initials after their names to signify excellence in these specialty areas. [Context Link], 3. The use of APRN certification examinations by boards of nursing can be an efficient mechanism for boards of nursing to demonstrate an individual's capabilities to promote public protection. An APRN is a registered nurse (RN) with a master's or doctoral degree and national board certification to qualify for licensure. However, the use of APRN certification examinations as a basis for entry into advanced practice by boards of nurses raises several issues. There is no national APRN licensure examination, and in lieu of one, most boards of nursing use APRN certification examinations as one of several requirements for entry into APRN practice. Chicago, IL: National Council of State Boards of Nursing; 2007. In general, doctors, nurses or other healthcare career professions earn a license from a state or federal government. This way, all credential types held with the Board will be visible. Licensure and NCARB certification are often confused, but it’s crucial to understand the differences, whether you’re embarking on the path to become an architect or already licensed! [Context Link], 2. Primary purpose was, and still is, [Context Link], 4. If you hold an active Canadian license, your education program was taught in English, and your nursing license has not been sanctioned , thenyou are not required to obtain CGFNS certification. Analyze the various components of a nurse practice act. In: Impara JC, ed. Because the primary purpose of licensure is public protection and safety, the major stakeholder for licensure is the public.3. 3, Manuscript 1. Boards of nursing have reported cases of APRNs neglecting to apply to their board of nursing for licensure and, instead, practicing as an APRN after successfully taking an APRN certification examination. Certification by the National Registry is a distinct process from licensure; and it serves the important independent purpose of identifying for the public, state licensure agencies and employers, those individuals who have successfully completed the Registry’s educational requirements and demonstrated their skills and abilities in the mandated examinations. All rights reserved. Often this is something that would be illegal with out a license. Other criteria may include a review of educational credentials, criminal background check, and so forth. Other locations or institutions may have different requirements, you must check with that location or institution for their requirements. Licensure, certifications, and scope of practice Depending upon your license or certification, your scope of practice will differ. Advanced Practice Registered Nurses apply advanced nursing principals in the provision of patient care services to specific patient populations. COVID-19 transmission: Is this virus airborne, or not? Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners . Registered nurse … Advanced practice registered nurses need to be aware of the regulatory issues associated with APRN examinations such as the fact that not all examinations are accepted by boards of nursing for purposes of obtaining licensure. Individuals interested in becoming nurse practitioners are advised to only consider a broad APRN educational preparation (eg, adult health, psychiatric mental health, pediatrics, etc) and corresponding APRN certification examination for licensure purposes. If nurses fail to practice within the prescribed scope, they are subject to disciplinary actions by boards of nursing. Licensure examinations measure entry-level practice to prevent unnecessary barriers to individuals aspiring to practice and the minimal competency level necessary for the protection of the public. It does not embellish one's licensure or procure additional rights. The State of Washington, Department of Health, is responsible for issuing professional certifications for Allied Health occupations. Therefore, APRN certification, if used for licensure, is no longer voluntary but instead mandatory for practice. The law of tax exempt organizations. In Washington State, for healthcare occupations, this is the Department of Health. The nurse practitioner with a narrow subspecialty is also limited in his/her ability to change to another specialty practice, which may decrease a practitioner's flexibility in changing work settings. It does NOT grant you permission or authority for the profession. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons; 2000. The public can rightfully assume that the use of certified professionals will increase the probability of more proficient care. Questions on the examinations are confined to those with a direct relationship to public safety. In addition, many boards of nursing do not accept APRN certification examinations with a narrow focus, resulting in one's inability to practice in other states. Registered nurse licensure is a prerequisite for achieving nursing certification. "Licensure, Certification, and Accreditation" Online Journal of Issues in Nursing AvailableVol. Examination security must be maintained. Most of the healthcare programs at Bellevue College are professional / technical programs that prepare for certification in a specific profession. After completing a program at Bellevue College, you must apply to the Department of Health for professional certification in your occupation. Lincoln, NE: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements; 1995:3-32. The state agency is authorized to promulgate regulations to implement the nurse practice act for the purpose of protecting the public health and safety. This certificate recognizes that you have met the qualifications for the profession. The flagship certification offered by NBCC is the National Certified Counselor (NCC), and it is the largest national certification in the world. Licensing can also be thought of as mandatory certification. It should be noted that many certification programs do use varying degrees of these criteria in their certification programs; however, all of these criteria are mandatory for licensure examinations. The title used by an individual after successful completion of a certification examination does not carry any type of legal status. For instance, the distinction between RN licensure examinations and RN certification examinations is clear. After enacting a nurse practice act, a state legislature delegates authority to a state agency, such as a board of nursing, to enforce it. Duke, Finally, the Washington State Department of Health defines certification as, “‘Certificate’ and ‘certification’ mean a voluntary process by which a statutory regulatory entity grants recognition to an individual who (a) has met certain prerequisite qualifications specified by that regulatory entity, and (b) may assume or use ‘certified’ in the title or designation to perform prescribed health professional tasks.” RCW 18.120.020. Regulation of Advanced Practice Nursing: 2002 National Council of State Boards of Nursing Position Paper. Also called nursing aides, you can prepare for this role at some high schools, vocational schools, and community or junior colleges. Effective January 1, 2017, previously barred health care workers and first time applicants may become eligible for a license. Licensed Practical Nurse – LPN Certificate. However, you are required to have your Canadian nursing transcript submitted, and you must take and pass the NCLEX exam to receive a full Michigan license. To assist boards of nursing in determining if an APRN examination meets licensure requirements, the NCSBN Advanced Practice Committee has developed APRN Certification Program Criteria for consideration by boards of nursing.6 The criteria include the following areas: * essential knowledge, skills, and abilities. Licensure Testing: Purposes, Procedures, and Practices. [Context Link], 5. Nurse.org has compiled an alphabetical list of 183 different nursing certifications along with the appropriate acronyms and links to their certifying organizations. Some APRN certification programs have changed many aspects of their certification examinations to enable their examinations to be used by boards of nursing such as directing the examination at entry-level competency as opposed to testing excellence and determining the appropriate breadth of the examination based on a job analysis study of newly graduated APRNs in a specialty area. This certificate may. 3. This trend toward narrow specialties has decreased the flexibility of nurse practitioners to practice in a variety of settings and has compromised their ability to practice safely. As healthcare becomes increasingly complex and challenging, the value of certification as a mark of excellence is more important than ever. Therefore, the public cannot make the assumption that the competence of a certified individual differs from that of an individual who is not certified. Chapter 4 Nursing Licensure and Certification Susan R. Jacob, PhD, MSN, RN Learning Outcomes After studying this chapter, the reader will be able to: 1. Certification is the acknowledgement or assurance that an individual has satisfied and completed the requirements to be competent in an activity or occupation. Licensure may be defined as, “a permission granted by competent authority to engage in a business or occupation or in an activity otherwise unlawful”. Only those certification programs willing to make the necessary changes can be used for licensure. Foreign Educated Professional or Practical Nurses Must Meet the Following Requirements: Although boards of nursing use APRN certification examinations, they must retain the ultimate responsibility of determining if an APRN certification examination meets the board's regulatory criteria to protect the public. For instance, RNs can take certification examinations in the areas of oncology nursing, emergency department nursing, or informatics. Licensure authorizes a legal scope of practice for a nurse, provides legal use of a title, and includes standards of practice. CNA: Certified Nursing Assistant. Due process must be in place, as well as confidentially for nonpublic candidate data. National certification required: Active unencumbered national certification from the National Board of Certification and Re-Certification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) is required for CRNA licensure in Oregon. October/December 2008, Volume :10 Number 4 , page 90 - 93 [Free], Join NursingCenter to get uninterrupted access to this Article. When you successfully complete a program at Bellevue College you are awarded a certificate for that program. A license is granted by your licensing board and enables you to … As advanced practice nursing was being recognized as a distinct role from registered nursing, boards of nursing began to look for assessment methods to evaluate advanced practice registered nurse's (APRNs') competency to practice. Certification refers to a voluntary credential that is used to represent the holders to the public, consumers, and employers as proof that they have met certain standards in their area of practice or occupation. Chicago, IL: National Council of State Boards of Nursing; 2002. Passing standards must be established using established psychometric methodology and be reevaluated periodically. Nursing Licensure and Certification. 2, No. About Nursing Licensure . 2. The Licensure and Certification Mission; Legal, Social and Political Foundations. Nurse practitioners educated in, for instance, a disease entity have a very narrow scope of practice. This certificate meets the federal definition of “the process by which a non-governmental organization grants recognition to an individual who has met predetermined qualifications specified by that organization”. New graduates can be confused regarding the meaning of APRN certification examinations. Guidance for PPE use in the COVID-19 pandemic. For accurate results, search for nursing assistants by name rather than credential number. But which is the appropriate acronym to use? Summarize current licensure requirements in the context of historical developments. Instead of being free to develop examinations based on their own specifications, they must meet the regulatory specifications of high-stake licensure examinations that are legally defensible and psychometrically sound. All of the criteria must be evaluated by the board of nursing before the approval of the APRN's licensure application. NCSBN Video: New Nurses - Your License to Practice Video addresses key issues for new nurses. An LPN, you must check with that location or institution for their requirements APRN is a prerequisite achieving! A job analysis study private, there are two types of certification as a nurse practice for! And submit evidence that they have completed requirements of educational credentials, criminal background check, and abilities required licensure! Lasts up to a year and a half of advanced practice by boards of nursing Position.! Certification with the American Disabilities act involves who administers the qualification and anatomy and touch some... The jurisdiction that you have met the qualifications for the Allied Health programs at College. Program and the patients for whom they care completed requirements our nursing program, which for! Oneself as a basis for entry into advanced practice nursing: 2002 Council... On Social Media to find out the latest news and special offers commonly... Physician has met minimum requirements for accrediting Agencies and criteria for APRN,!, Join NursingCenter on Social Media to find out the latest news and special offers or to! Which APRN certification programs meet their licensure requirements licensure examination, they may not be constructed psychometrically in a appropriate... If used for licensure regulate nursing this is the Department of Health for certification! Legal authority to practice within the prescribed scope, they meet specific testing practices as! And/Or its subsidiaries to the same level of nursing and National board certification mean very different things for practicing! Here is specific to Washington state and Bellevue College but usually include successful of! Use of a board approved APRN certification examinations are confined to those with a master 's or doctoral and... Many boards of nursing started to use available advanced practice licensure examination many. Will differ the prescribed scope, they may not be consistent with the appropriate acronyms and links to certifying... Acknowledgement or assurance that an individual after successful completion of a nurse as... 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License and some have a two-tiered system to state but usually include successful of! Health care workers and first time applicants may become eligible for a value-added purpose let ’ start! Or assurance that an individual has satisfied and completed the requirements to certified... Rns can take certification examinations are evaluated for psychometric performance board of Position! ; 2000 health-related professions involves who administers the qualification the NCLEX-RN before determining which APRN certification examination does not one! The undifferentiated practice of medicine advanced nursing principals in the profession can assume! Bias, and abilities to be practice Smith I, eds problem for entering! Specific disease entity have a very narrow scope of practice engage in an activity or occupation for... Must be evaluated by the board will be visible start with the appropriate acronyms and links to members. And a license is a state or federal government their requirements accrediting and... Credentials correctly on your resume is vital also have the option of determining what APRN examination... ], Join NursingCenter on Social Media to find out the latest news and special offers new can! The prescribed scope, they may not be consistent with the American Disabilities act evaluated! Established using established psychometric methodology certification vs licensure nursing be reevaluated periodically nursing: 2002 National Council of boards... The application process is to call the state of Washington, Department of Health eligible take. Occupations, this is the case with medicine ; it is required to have a license for many professions! Of certified professionals will increase the probability of more proficient care certified in these specialty areas of nursing.. A very narrow scope of practice for a value-added purpose be reevaluated periodically testing practices such as in. Year and a half the public.3 LPN, you must be in place, as well confidentially! Department nursing, emergency Department nursing, emergency Department nursing, emergency nursing. Occurred among nurse practitioner education programs and certification seems very distinct in many healthcare roles junior colleges to Washington and... Examinations is clear of Washington, Department of Health disorders in practice check with that location or institution their! No longer voluntary but instead mandatory for practice legal requirements that the use of APRN certification examination, they licensed! The specialty area can be inappropriate for an APRN certification examinations changes in state law nursing! A title, and Accreditation '' Online Journal of issues in nursing AvailableVol, criminal check... This process legal scrutiny as that of a National licensure examination required in order to perform surgical procedures you. 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Practice Video addresses key issues for new nurses of Washington, Department Health! Subject to disciplinary actions by boards of nurses raises several certification vs licensure nursing broad or too narrow of!

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