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Frequently Asked Questions About ACNPC-AG Certification

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Q: What is the ACNPC-AG?
A: ACNPC-AG is the credential awarded by AACN Certification Corporation to those who meet eligibility requirements and pass the ACNPC-AG exam as an adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner. The ACNPC-AG certification program aligns with AACN’s extensive expertise as the specialty organization that understands the practice of acute care nurse practitioners.  

The ACNPC-AG exam is in alignment with requirements of the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification and Education, is based on AACN’s comprehensive study of practice of nurse practitioners (NPs) in acute care settings and is targeted at entry-level acute care NP competencies.

Q: Is the ACNPC-AG certification exam accredited?
A: All AACN Certification Corporation exams are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). AACN’s APRN certification exams are recognized as meeting the national criteria for APRN licensure by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and by individual state boards of nursing.


Q: What does “board certified” mean? Are AACN certifications considered board certifications?

A: Board certified is a term primarily used by physician organizations. Only 3 of the 34 national nursing certifying organizations that are members of the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS) label their credentials/programs in this way. While an organization may use the term board certified when referring to their nursing certification programs, it does not reflect a different or higher level of certification.

Board certified in the nursing world simply refers to certification from a nationally-accredited organization that is governed by a board of directors. As such, AACN certification programs are, indeed, board certified.  

Q: Do state boards of nursing accept AACN’s ACNPC-AG exam?

A: NCSBN has reviewed the Consensus Model-based APRN exams for compliance with the NCSBN Criteria for APRN Certification Exams and advised that state boards of nursing accept the Consensus Model-based exams. We anticipate that each state will ultimately accept all AACN Certification Corporation's Consensus Model-based exams. While some boards add each exam title and/or credential to a their list of accepted exams, many states have moved to simply listing approved certification organizations with exams approved for APRN licensure or designation.  

ACNPC-AG certification provides an opportunity for advanced practice nurses to further validate their skills and knowledge, and allows for reimbursement for services provided by Medicare and Medicaid (CMS).  

Q: Is the ACNPC-AG exam computer-based?

A: Yes, AACN Certification Corporation’s ACNPC-AG exam is offered via computer-based testing at more than 175 AMP testing sites across the U.S. For a listing of computer-based testing sites visit www.goAMP.com.

Q: Where can I obtain a copy of the ACNPC-AG Test Plan?

A: Information about the ACNPC-AG exam, including the test plan, is available in the ACNPC-AG Exam Handbook.

Q: How many items are on the exam?

A: The ACNPC-AG exam consists of 175 multiple-choice items, 150 of which are scored; the remaining 25 items are used to gather statistical data on item performance for future exams.

The exam is in a computer linear format, so candidates may skip and mark items and then review and answer them later. Candidates are allowed 3½ hours to complete the exam.

Q: What are the ACNPC-AG eligibility requirements?

A: Eligibility requirements are congruent with NCSBN’s Criteria for APRN Certification Programs and The Essentials of Master’s Education for Advanced Practice Nursing. Details can be found in the ACNPC-AG Exam Handbook.

Q: What are the ACNPC-AG renewal requirements?

A: ACNPC-AG certification is recognized for a period of 5 years. Renewing candidates may complete one of the following renewal options.

Option 1 - 1,000 Practice Hours and 150 CE Points
Option 2 - 1,000 Practice Hours, Exam and 25 Pharma CE
Option 3 - 150 CE Points and Exam

For complete information about the ACNPC-AG renewal requirements, please refer to the ACNPC-AG Renewal Handbook.  

Q: How can I obtain a copy of the ACNP Scope and Standards?

A: Scope and Standards of Practice for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Practice, published by AACN, is available for purchase, AACN product #128102.  

To order, visit AACN’s Online Bookstore, or call AACN Customer Care at (800) 899-2226, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time.  

A free downloadable PDF version is also available.