National Task Force on Quality Nurse Practitioner Education: Criteria for Evaluation of NP Programs

August 2012

The new Criteria for Evaluation of NP Programs has been posted on the NONPF website.  APNA has endorsed the new criteria and was an active participant in the process to review and revise the criteria. APNA was represented by Susie Adams, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC, FAANP, current Member at Large on the Board of Directors. 

We recommend that you read the entire document but wish to call your attention to two particular sections that point to the support of current PMH-CNSs. APNA has and will continue to stress that the Consensus Model does not require currently certified APRNs to attain new or additional certification.  In the event that an individual with PMH-CNS certification voluntarily seeks PMH-NP certification, consideration is to be given to their previous education. This position is supported by all organizations that endorsed the Model and is further evidenced by their endorsement of these new criteria. In this regard, we call your attention to the following pages from the new criteria.

Page 4:

“Criterion I.B: The faculty member who provides direct oversight for the nurse practitioner educational component or track is nationally certified in the same population-focused area of practice.”

Please note that this criterion includes the following example:

A nationally-certified psychiatric-mental health CNS who oversees a psychiatric-mental health NP track.”

Page 9:

“Criterion III.F: Post-graduate students must successfully complete graduate didactic and clinical requirements of an academic graduate NP program through a formal graduate-level certificate or degree-granting graduate level NP program in the desired area of practice. Post-graduate students are expected to master the same outcome criteria as graduate degree granting program NP students. Post-graduate certificate students who are not already NPs are required to complete a minimum of 500 supervised direct patient care clinical hours.”

Please note that this criterion includes the following statement:

“PMH CNSs returning for a post-graduate certificate or an academic degree as a PMH NP To address a period of transition and consistency with the Consensus Model on APRN Regulation, consideration for challenging selected courses and experiences may be given to those Psychiatric-Mental Health CNSs who are seeking national certification as a Psychiatric- Mental Health NP. However, didactic and clinical experiences shall be sufficient for the student to master the NP competencies and meet the criteria for certification as a PMH NP. These students should complete a sufficient number of direct patient care clinical hours to establish/demonstrate competency in the role and population-focused area of practice. Programs must document credit granted for prior didactic and clinical experiences for individual students through a gap analysis.”


Organizations who have endorsed the NTF Criteria:
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
American Association of Critical Care Nurses Certification Corporation
American Nurses Credentialing Center
American Psychiatric Nurses Association
Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses
National Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners
National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health
National Certification Corporation
National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission
National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties
Pediatric Nursing Certification Board

Press Release: The American Psychiatric Nurses Association Applauds the Release of New Criteria for Evaluation of Nurse Practitioner Programs
Full documentation:

If you have any questions about this information, please contact us.

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