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How to Get Certified for Nursing Professional Development

Updated on January 19, 2012

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) has a certification program for nursing professional development. Experienced registered nurses interested in getting certified must pass the nurse professional development exam.

First, a prospective applicant for certification must have an RN license. While a license from a US state is always sufficient, foreign nurses can also qualify if the license they have is considered the equivalent of a US registered-nurse license.

Certification in nursing professional development is definitely not for entry-level-type registered nurses, though. All applicants must have at least a bachelor's degree in any nursing field. They must also have work experience in nursing professional development to the tune of 4000 clinical hours over the 5 years preceding the application for the nursing professional development certification exam. Similarly, all applicants must have at least 30 hours of continuing education in this nursing field within the past 3 years.

Those who qualify under these difficult ANCC requirements can then take the nursing professional development exam to get certified. First, check out the most recent test content outline. The certification exam does change over time, so you need to use the most recent version of the outline. See the link in the Resources below to access the outline.

Now, take that outline and create a study plan with the professional development exam references. You can also access the list of references at the ANCC website. See the link below. The content outline will tell you what to study in the reference textbooks. This is going to be very time consuming if you expect to get certified for nursing professional development. Give yourself 6 months or so of part-time study to get ready for the certification test.

As you study, you can assess your progress by using the ANCC nursing professional development exam practice questions. There are very few, but they are representative of the kinds of questions you need to get used to answering to get certification for nursing professional development.


ANCC: Nursing Professional Development Test Content Outline

ANCC: Exam Study References


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