Working as a nurse practitioner in the emergency room is an exciting career, full of both challenges and rewarding experiences. ERNPs can work in hospitals, urgent care centers, trauma centers, and as first responders in ambulances and in life flight services. Nurses can become an emergency NP by completing a master’s degree, doctoral degree, or post-graduate certificate program in emergency or acute care. Then they can sit for the emergency nurse practitioner certification exam.

Why Do I Need an Emergency Nurse Practitioner Certification?

The main reason that emergency nurse practitioners need certification is that it is commonly required for licensure in the state where they practice. Employers may also require certification. However, some NPs choose to earn certification to expand their practice. For example, a pediatric NP may choose to become certified in emergency medicine in order to work with kids in the ER or urgent care.

Where Can I Get an Emergency Nurse Practitioner Certification?

There are several agencies which offer emergency nurse practitioner certification. The agencies are listed below.

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANP)

Certificate Name: Emergency Nurse Practitioner Certification

Credential Awarded: ENP-C

Cost: AANP members: $240, non-members: $315. Cost is $50 more for paper applications. A complete breakdown of costs, including practice exams, verification fees, etc. can be found here.

Certification Requirements & Eligibility

Requirements to sit for the ENP certification exam include:

  • Option 1: Have completed a minimum of 2,000 hours of direct emergency care practice hours in the previous 5 years (working as an NP) AND have evidence of 100 hours of continuing education in emergency care, with 30 of those hours in emergency care procedures. CE hours must have been completed in the previous 5 years.
  • Option 2: Have completed an academic emergency care graduate or post-graduate NP program from an accredited school
  • Option 3: Have completed an approved emergency NP fellowship program

Details on the above requirements can be found on the ENP online handbook.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) – Recertification Only

Certificate Name: Emergency Nurse Practitioner Certification

Credential Awarded: ENP-BC

Cost: Non-member: $350, ANA member: from $200, American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners member: $280, Emergency Nurses Association member: $280

Certification Requirements & Eligibility

The ANCC no longer offers initial ENP certification. Requirements to renew current certification include:

  • Have completed 75 continuing education hours plus one or more of the eight ANCC renewal categories in the ENP specialty
  • Must complete 25 continuing education hours in pharmacotherapeutics as a portion of the above 75 total hours.
  • Hold a current ANCC certification that is expiring within 12 months
  • Hold a current RN or APRN license
  • Pay applicable fees

For details on the required renewal categories, or for information on the reactivation of expired certification, please click here.

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