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.

American Nurses Credentialing Center
HeadquartersSilver Spring, MD
Parent organization
American Nurses Association

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]


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 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][6]

In 1998 the ANCC created the Institute for Research, Education, and Consultation (IREC)[7] which provides the following services: Certification, Magnet Recognition Program, Pathway to Excellence, and Accreditation.

Certification-related products and servicesEdit

  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 servicesEdit

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

Pathway to Excellence program-related products and servicesEdit

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

Accreditation program-related products and servicesEdit

  1. Annual Accreditation Symposium
  2. Consulting services

Certification examsEdit

ANCC offers certification programs in 29 nursing specialties:[8]


  1. ^ "About ANCC". Archived from the original on 2012-09-08. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Content Expert Panel Member Handbook". Archived from the original on 2011-09-26. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-02-06. Retrieved 2011-01-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "The Magnet Nursing Services Recognition Program: A Compariso... : AJN The American Journal of Nursing". LWW. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  5. ^ "Nursing News & RN Career Information". NurseZone. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  6. ^ "ANCC Pathway to Excellence Program". The American Nurses Association. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  7. ^ Joel, Lucille A. (2003-03-22). Kelly's Dimensions of Professional Nursing. McGraw Hill Professional. ISBN 9780071428538.
  8. ^ "ANCC Certification Center". Archived from the original on December 30, 2018. Retrieved April 11, 2018.

External linksEdit