The District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH) recognizes four advanced practice nursing roles:
Advanced practice nurses are licensed to practice professional nursing and certificated to practice the particular advanced practice role that is consistent with their training. A clinical nurse specialist or nurse practitioner will have a particular population focus; this may be broad or narrow.
The nurse must hold DC RN licensing; DC is not a party to the nurse license compact. Out-of-state APNs, however, can be endorsed into DC.
The University of Southern California (Nursing@USC) Master of Science in Nursing (MSN-FNP) program addresses both the biomedical and social factors affecting patient health. This is a first of its kind blend of nursing and social work education. This program trains Family Nurse Practitioners to deliver care across the life span in a variety of settings. Click Here to contact Nursing@USC for more information.
Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Sciences has an online Family Nurse Practitioner Master's program. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) Family Nurse Practitioner certification exams. Click here to contact Nursing@Georgetown and request additional information.
DC regulations require nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, and nurse anesthetists to have post-basic nursing education. Educational programs are to be appropriately accredited. The usual accrediting agency for nurse midwife programs is the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM). The usual accrediting agency for nurse anesthetists is the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Education Programs.
Clinical nurse specialists must hold degrees at at least the master’s level; they are to complete programs in their specialty area.
The prospective advanced practice nurse will go through a national certification process; the process will involve examination. DC regulations mandate that applicants pass an examination that meets a specific set of criteria. The application packet includes a list of current certifications that meet Board criteria. Currently, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists earn their certification through the American Association of Nurse Anesthetist, and Certified Nurse Midwives earn their certification through the American Midwifery Certification Board.
There are multiple approved certifying agencies for nurse practitioners. In many cases, certification will be determined by the specialty/ population focus. In some cases, the practitioner may have a choice between two certifying bodies. Approved certifications include the following:
The following certifications have been approved for clinical nurse specialists:
The DC Board has also approved the Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialist certification. According to the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, the credential may be applicable to the CNS or Adult Family NP/ Pediatric NP role (http://www.pncb.org/ptistore/control/exams/mh/index).
Applicants will need to have fingerprint-based criminal background checks unless they have previously had background checks made for the Health Regulation and Licensing Administration (http://doh.dc.gov/node/120532).
MorphoTrust (formerly L-1) is an approved vendor. Local applicants can have their fingerprints made electronically; there are sites in DC, Virginia, and Maryland. Applicants who do not live locally may have fingerprint cards scanned by MorphoTrust. In either case, applicants will initiate the process by registering. They may register online (http://www.l1enrollment.com/state/?st=dc) or call 1-877-783-4187. Applicants with questions about the background check process may call 202-442-9004.
License applications can be downloaded from the website of the Department of Health (http://doh.dc.gov/node/323062).
The licensing agency will require verification of national certification. The applicant may submit verification in a sealed envelope or have the certifying agency email it to either of the addresses found in the application packet.
Applicants are directed to provide two photographs and verification of any name changes.
Endorsement applicants will need to provide verification from the original state of credentialing. Those who are no longer licensed in the original state will also provide verification from the current state of licensure. Official verification is to be sent directly from the licensing agency. However, applicants are directed to also include a copy of the current license in the application package.
A professional who is already licensed as an RN will pay $230 with the APN certification. A professional who is simultaneously applying for RN and APN licensing will pay $375.
Internationally educated applicants must demonstrate English proficiency. If the applicant did not graduate from a program that used English as the primary language and does not have two years of recent experience in the United States, he or she will need to pass the TOEFL iBT or IELTS.
Certificates are renewed every two years.
In order to renew the certificate, the individual will need to demonstrate current national certification. He or she will also need to provide evidence of 15 hours of continuing education; there must be a pharmacology component.
Information about advanced practice nursing is available from the DC Board of Nursing. The Board of Nursing is under the banner of the Department of Health. The DOH can be reached by telephone at (877) 672-2174 or by email at 'doh at dc.gov'.
DC’s advanced practice professional associations include:
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