certification vs licensure nursing

The use of APRN certification examinations for licensure purposes can cause confusion among APRNs. [Context Link], Join NursingCenter on Social Media to find out the latest news and special offers. Licensure is a formal recognition by a regulation agency that someone is proficient in a skill to practice it in an area, often a state. The title given to an individual (eg, registered nurse [RN], licensed practical nurse, etc) indicates that he/she has completed eligibility requirements to obtain the title and authorizes him/her to be able to practice within a specific scope of practice. The public can rightfully assume that the use of certified professionals will increase the probability of more proficient care. Nursing licensure is a form of credentialing or regulatory method that is used when the activities being regulated are complex and require specialized knowledge coupled with the ability to make independent decisions. Examination security must be maintained. 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”. The content may not be consistent with the legal scope of practice, or the specialty area can be inappropriate. Evidence of the job-related knowledge, skills, and abilities required for entry-level practice must be identified and incorporated into the examination process. Chicago, IL: National Council of State Boards of Nursing; 2002. – Terms & Conditions – Privacy Policy – Disclaimer -- v7.7.7, Changes to Lippincott Professional Development Program, Calming the COVID-19 Storm - Q&A Podcast Series, Improving Health through Board Leadership, Profiles in Nursing Leadership: Pathways to Board Membership, Trust and Spheres of Influence: An Interview with Karen Cox, PhD, RN, FACHE, FAAN, Uniting Technology & Clinicians: An Interview with Molly McCarthy, MBA, RN-BC, Where are our N95s? Advanced Practice Registered Nurses apply advanced nursing principals in the provision of patient care services to specific patient populations. All of the criteria must be evaluated by the board of nursing before the approval of the APRN's licensure application. A common problem for those entering the healthcare professions is to define the difference between licensure and certification. Some states have a single license and some have a tiered system, and the names of licenses, as well as requirements, vary from state to state. An RN degree (sometimes an advanced degree, like an MSN), an unencumbered RN license, a minimum number of direct-care hours in the specialty, and a certification test are usually all required for a nurse to become certified in an area of care. In general, doctors, nurses or other healthcare career professions earn a license from a state or federal government. Most of the healthcare programs at Bellevue College are professional / technical programs that prepare for certification in a specific profession. 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. Certification organizations, being accountable only to themselves, are free to establish criteria in the interest of their members.4 They are not accountable to the public. Due process must be in place, as well as confidentially for nonpublic candidate data. This is further complicated by the variety of uses for these terms both in statute (law) and common vernacular (or language). A license is required to practice medicine in this country. For instance, the distinction between RN licensure examinations and RN certification examinations is clear. NONE of the Allied Health programs grant or lead to licensure. Successful completion of a board approved APRN certification examination is used by boards of nursing as only one criterion for licensure. Regulation of Advanced Practice Nursing: 2002 National Council of State Boards of Nursing Position Paper. Licensure Testing: Purposes, Procedures, and Practices. A too broad or too narrow scope would be inappropriate for an APRN examination used for licensure. While the Washington State governor’s emergency proclamation is in effect for COVID-19 response, the Department of Health supports enrollment and activation of volunteer health practitioners (paid and unpaid) under the Uniform Volunteer Health Practitioner Act (chapter 70.15 RCW). On the basis of 2007 data (National Council of State Boards of Nursing [NCSBN]), 45 boards of nursing (out of 57 jurisdictions in the United States and its territories) use APRN certification examinations as one of the requirements for advanced practice licensure for nurse practitioners, and 38 boards of nursing use APRN certification examinations for clinical nurse specialists.1 With the adoption of the APRN Uniform Requirements, the number of boards using certification examinations promises to increase.2 The APRN Uniform Requirements were developed to serve as a foundation for the APRN Compact. Chicago, IL: National Council of State Boards of Nursing; 2002. Also called nursing aides, you can prepare for this role at some high schools, vocational schools, and community or junior colleges. Some nurses have assumed that by taking an APRN certification examination, they are entitled to practice as an APRN. Nurses can verify their licenses by completing the Nursys verification process for $30 per license type, per each board of nursing where the nurse is applying. NCSBN Video: New Nurses - Your License to Practice Video addresses key issues for new nurses. The exception is our nursing program, which prepares for licensure in nursing (RN). 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. Explain the development of licensure requirements in the United States. The following are some of the striking differences between Certification Vs. Licensure: Meaning. In the absence of a national licensure examination, many boards of nursing started to use available advanced practice certification examinations. Never fear. In order to function in the profession, you must still apply for certification with the jurisdiction that you are planning to work in. Nurse practitioners educated in, for instance, a disease entity have a very narrow scope of practice. Nursing Licensure. certification as signifying governmental authority to practice a profession, the difference between licensure and certification is essentially the difference between governmental regulation and self-regulation of a profession. 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. The Requirements for Accrediting Agencies and Criteria for APRN Certification Programs. Certification vs. Licensure A common problem for those entering the healthcare professions is to define the difference between licensure and certification. A list of boards of nursing and their contact information can be found on NCSBN's Web site. Lincoln, NE: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements; 1995:3-32. October/December 2008, Volume :10 Number 4 , page 90 - 93 [Free], Join NursingCenter to get uninterrupted access to this Article. Even after approving an examination for licensure purposes, it is the duty of the board of nursing to continue to monitor the examination to ensure that it continues to meet their standards. Questions on the examinations are confined to those with a direct relationship to public safety. Some states have a single license and some have a two-tiered system. government VS private. Thus, for a state to be able to join the APRN Compact, it must require APRN nurses to take a national certification examination. Advanced practice registered nurse examinations used as a basis for licensure may only consist of job-related knowledge and skills and use a pass/fail at the point of the minimum essential level for safety and effectiveness. You must be licensed and registeredby the New York State Education Department (NYSED) as a registered professional nurse (RN) to practice nursing as an RN or refer to yourself as an “RN”, “registered nurse” or “registered professional nurse” in New York State. From a measurement perspective, they may not be constructed psychometrically in a manner appropriate for legal recognition. In Washington State, for healthcare occupations, this is the Department of Health. Nursing Licensure and Certification. 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. [Context Link], 2. Uniform Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Licensure; Authority to Practice Requirements. You will learn about general patient care, human physiology and anatomy and touch on some nursing theories. Often this is something that would be illegal with out a license. Schmitt K. What is licensure? But which is the appropriate acronym to use? Part of that application process is to demonstrate that you have received appropriate training and have demonstrated competency. Miriam-Webster, The federal government further defines licensure as “process by which an agency of government grants permission to persons to engage in a given profession or occupation by certifying that those licensed have attained the minimal degree of competency necessary to ensure that the public health, safety, and welfare will be reasonably well protected.” Duke, Finally, the Washington State Department of Health defines licensure as, “License,” “licensing,” and “licensure” mean permission to engage in a health profession which would otherwise be unlawful in the state in the absence of the permission. Certification, accreditation, and licensure are all professional development opportunities for students and health care workers who want to improve their knowledge and skills in the health care industry. The law of tax exempt organizations. If you have been certified to assist in surgical procedures, you are not allowed to perform surgery, however, you are allowed to assist under the direction of a licensed provider; again most commonly a physician. The flagship certification offered by NBCC is the National Certified Counselor (NCC), and it is the largest national certification in the world. Lippincott NursingCenter’s Best Practice Advisor, Lippincott NursingCenter’s Cardiac Insider, Lippincott NursingCenter’s Career Advisor, Lippincott NursingCenter’s Critical Care Insider, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Management of Lower Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Management of Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), Comparison of Licensure and Certification. [Context Link], 5. If licensure guarantees that a nurse has the qualifications to deliver a level of care, certification is focused on a nurse’s specialized ability and competence, providing a powerful means to distinguish nurses from their peers. In addition, they meet specific testing practices such as being in compliance with the American Disabilities Act. Nursing Licensure. Licensure Licensure is the process by which a federal, state or local governmental agency grants an individual permission As healthcare becomes increasingly complex and challenging, the value of certification as a mark of excellence is more important than ever. 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. After enacting a nurse practice act, a state legislature delegates authority to a state agency, such as a board of nursing, to enforce it. 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. Successful candidates certified in these specialty areas use specific initials after their names to signify excellence in these specialty areas. Nurse Practitioner License Requirements: Change is in the Air A future nurse practitioner will have the most options if his or her education and third party certification meet the national standard. Achieving board certification demonstrates to patients, employers and the public that a nurse’s knowledge reflects … Chicago, IL: National Council of State Boards of Nursing; 2002. Summarize current licensure requirements in the context of historical developments. Licensure is the legal right and responsibility to engage in an activity or occupation. A license is a state’s grant of legal authority to practice a profession within a designated scope of practice. [Context Link], 4. Hopkins BR. Registered nurse … Examination items are reviewed for content validity, currency, and cultural bias, and examinations are evaluated for psychometric performance. Nurses' postnominal letters (abbreviations listed after the name) reflect their credentials—that is, their achievements in nursing education, licensure, certification, and fellowship.The letters usually appear in the following order: There is no advanced practice licensure examination that parallels the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN. Identification of the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be included in the examination is based on a job analysis study. The use of APRN certification examinations by boards of nursing to make APRN licensure decisions has major ramifications for both certification programs and boards of nursing. Boards of nursing very carefully review APRN examinations before determining which APRN certification programs meet their licensure requirements. National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) and the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN) are the nursing licensure examinations for RN and licensed practical/vocational nurses. 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. Licensure, certifications, and scope of practice Depending upon your license or certification, your scope of practice will differ. The previous distinctions between certification and licensure have subsequently become blurred, and questions arise regarding the meaning of APRN certification examinations. Purpose of licensure As nursing programs proliferated, the need to demonstrate a certain level of nursing skill and knowledge evolved. Before practicing as an RN, candidates must apply to a board of nursing and submit evidence that they have completed requirements. However, by virtue of a certification examination being private and voluntary, it cannot be used by state as a public protection mechanism. 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. "Licensure, Certification, and Accreditation" Online Journal of Issues in Nursing AvailableVol. Nurses new to practice or preparing for their first nursing jobs will learn the ways the profession is regulated - through nursing licensure, boards of nursing and state laws called Nurse Practice Acts. 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. However, the use of APRN certification examinations as a basis for licensure has caused confusion among APRNs and APRN stakeholders regarding the difference between certification and licensure. 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. Students who graduate from Allied Health programs at Bellevue College are awarded a certificate that recognizes they have met the educational qualifications for a profession. The nursing license is the end product of this process. The purpose of public protection, which is inherent in licensure examinations, has been extended to the certification programs developing APRN examinations for licensure, and APRN certification programs used for licensure now must meet the public safety goal of licensure examinations. 2. Once licensed, you are be able to work while being supervised by a registered nurse (RN). © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. Therefore, the public cannot make the assumption that the competence of a certified individual differs from that of an individual who is not certified. Medical licensure and Board Certification mean very different things for physicians practicing in the United States and the patients for whom they care. 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. For instance, RNs can take certification examinations in the areas of oncology nursing, emergency department nursing, or informatics. An APRN is a registered nurse (RN) with a master's or doctoral degree and national board certification to qualify for licensure. This is accomplished by submitting the certification from Bellevue College. Licensed Practical Nurse – LPN Certificate. Requirements for licensure can vary from state to state but usually include successful completion of an approved nursing education program and the NCLEX-RN. A list of the APRN certification examinations that are acceptable by a board of nursing can often be found in their nurse practice act or rules. National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Licensure for Allied Health programs is. Requirements for licensure can vary from state to state but usually include successful completion of an approved nursing education program and the NCLEX-RN. Individuals are required to have a license to practice as a nurse. This is further complicated by the variety of uses for these terms both in statute (law) and common vernacular (or language). The Licensure and Certification Unit maintains the responsibility for licensing these long-term care facilities and for certifying those facilities participating in the Medicare and/or Medicaid programs. Registered nurse licensure is a prerequisite for achieving nursing certification. Before practicing as an RN, candidates must apply to a board of nursing and submit evidence that they have completed requirements. Analyze the various components of a nurse practice act. Passing standards must be established using established psychometric methodology and be reevaluated periodically. Upon successful completion of a program of study at Bellevue College, the College issues a certificate that acknowledges you have satisfied the requirements for an activity or profession. This does. This certificate recognizes that you have met the qualifications for the profession. Due to recent changes in state law, nursing assistant certification and licensing numbers have changed. CNA: Certified Nursing Assistant. 2, No. All rights reserved. Primary purpose was, and still is, COVID-19 transmission: Is this virus airborne, or not? 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. State licensure is permission from a particular state government to practice counselor or identify oneself as a licensed counselor. The status of women in society is inextricably tied to the development of nursing as a profession. In: Schoon C, Smith I, eds. 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. If you are licensed to do something, for example practice medicine, then you have the legal authority to do that. Since the certification is voluntary and private, there are no legal requirements that the individual must be certified to be practice. 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. The State of Washington, Department of Health, is responsible for issuing professional certifications for Allied Health occupations. Once you are certified by the Department of Health, you are then allowed to participate in that activity or occupation. Chicago, IL: National Council of State Boards of Nursing; 2007. Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners . It does not embellish one's licensure or procure additional rights. Certification is granted by national organizations in specialty areas of nursing practice. The complete list of criteria for certification programs, "Requirements for Accrediting Agencies and Criteria for Certification Programs," can be found on NCSBN's Web site at http://www.ncsbn.org. Nurse.org has compiled an alphabetical list of 183 different nursing certifications along with the appropriate acronyms and links to their certifying organizations. Licensing can also be thought of as mandatory certification. About Nursing Licensure . In addition, the certifying body must ensure that the individual meets specific qualification criteria such as ensuring that the educational background of the individual is consistent with the APRN certification examination. How have the stakeholders changed? 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. 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. PLAY. Another way of determining what APRN certification examinations are accepted in your state is to call the state board of nursing. 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. Laws governing individual healthcare providers are enacted through state legislatures. 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