American Nurses Credentialing Center

American Nurses Credentialing Center

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association (ANA), is a certification body for nursing board certification and the largest certification body for advanced practice registered nurses in the United States,[1] as of 2011 certifying over 75,000 APRNs, including nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists.

ANCC's nursing board certification program is one of the oldest in the USA, and many of its certifications were established before 1980, when nursing certification was still in early developmental stages.[2]


  • History 1
  • Services 2
    • Certification-Related Products and Services 2.1
    • Magnet Recognition Program-Related Products and Services 2.2
    • Pathway to Excellence Program-Related Products and Services 2.3
    • Accreditation Program-Related Products and Services 2.4
    • Certification Exams 2.5
  • References 3
  • External links 4


In 1966 The American Nursing Association amended its bylaws to allow the creation of certification boards for nurses in various areas of practice.[2]

Two years later, the ANC's Nursing Practice Department published a paper promoting certification standards. From the ideas presented in this paper, the Congress for Nursing Practice drafted guidelines for the certification process in 1969. Within a few years, several nursing practice divisions had drafted certification processes based upon these guidelines.[2]

In 1973 the ANA announced a national certification program for nursing practice. By 1974 the first certification examinations were administered.[2]

Over the following seventeen years the ANA continued to expand its nursing credentialing exams to cover more areas of practice and administration. The ANA decided in 1990 to create the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a subsidiary non-profit corporation, through which it would sell its certification services and exams.[2]

In 1999 the ANCC created an international branch of the organization in order to provide its services outside of the United States.[3]

Primary Accreditation Established in 1974, Primary Accreditation recognizes organizations (or components of organizations) that offer high quality continuing education for nurses. This accreditation contributes to health care quality and professional nursing practice by defining standards for the development and delivery of continuing education and by providing a voluntary peer review process to assure compliance.


Other services of the ANCC include an Accreditation Program for nursing continuing education providers and approvers, and the Magnet Recognition Program, which rates medical institutions for their nursing excellence.[4] The ANCC also runs the Pathway to Excellence program to help hospitals improve their working environment for nurses.[5]

In 1998 the ANCC created the Institute for Research, Education, and Consultation (IREC) [6] which provides the following services: Certification, Magnet Recognition Program, Pathway to Excellence, and Accreditation.

Certification-Related Products and Services

  1. Live review seminars
  2. National study groups
  3. Web-based e-learning
  4. Certification review manuals
  5. Web-based practice questions and answers

Magnet Recognition Program-Related Products and Services

  1. Annual National Magnet Conference
  2. Magnet workshops
  3. Consulting services
  4. Web-based e-learning

Pathway to Excellence Program-Related Products and Services

  1. Pathway workshops
  2. Consulting services
  3. Web-based e-learning

Accreditation Program-Related Products and Services

  1. Annual Accreditation Symposium
  2. Consulting services

Certification Exams

ANCC offers certification programs in 29 nursing specialties:[7]


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  2. ^ a b c d e
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  6. ^ Kelly's Dimensions of Professional Nursing, 9th Edition, By Lucille A. Joel, Lucie Young Kelly, McGraw Hill Books, 2003, p. 602,%20Education,%20and%20Consultation%22%20ANCC&f=false
  7. ^

External links

  • Official website