A new program from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) will provide an alternative credentialing method for emergency nurse practitioners. It also opens the door for credentialing for other, more niche nursing specialties.
Typically, nurses take an exam to get specialty certifications. But this new program, which is scheduled to launch in late 2013, offers portfolio credentialing as alternative method for issuing board certification.
Ellen Swartwout, senior director of certification and measurement services at ANCC, told me that although it's a new methodology, it will "follow the same accreditation standard that one would follow to create an exam." For example, content experts in the subject area will recommend eligibility criteria, and portfolios will be subject to peer review.
The emergency nurse practitioner certification will require competencies over and above the NP role.
"It has to be at a level that's reflected at being an expert not just an entry level," Swartwout says. "This is really considered a specialty on top of that nurse practitioner role."