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Joint Statement of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board Regarding Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialist (PMHS®) Certification

In response to recent questions raised by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) and the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) offer this joint commentary on our shared view of the purpose and scope of the PNCB Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialist (PMHS) certification exam. Both organizations support the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Consensus Model, a uniform model of regulation for the future of advanced practice nursing that is designed to align the interrelationships among licensure, accreditation, certification, and education (LACE).

The PNCB PMHS specialty exam for primary care APRNs validates the enhanced knowledge and skills in early identification, intervention, and collaboration, including referral for complex issues, in the care for children and adolescents with mental and behavioral health concerns. We agree that this exam does not and cannot alter the scope of practice for any licensed APRN. It is not intended to offer an equivalency to the PMH-APRN certification and does not confer the title of PMH-APRN to those who achieve the PMHS certification of added qualifications.