Top 10 Nurse Consultant Certifications
This article will provide an overview of the top nurse consultant certifications available and the benefits of each.
Published 17 min read
Certifications are important for a nurse consultant in the job market because they demonstrate a level of competence and expertise in the field. A certification provides employers with assurance that the individual has acquired the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively perform their duties. The certifications also serve as proof that the consultant is up-to-date on current trends, regulations, and technologies in the nursing field. Certification can also give a nurse consultant an edge over other applicants when competing for jobs. Furthermore, having a certification may open doors to higher salaries and better positions within organizations. In short, certifications can provide a nurse consultant with credibility, recognition, and opportunities for advancement in their career.
This article reviews some of the top certifications for Nurse Consultants and explains how they can benefit a nurse consultant's career.
What are Nurse Consultant Certifications?
Nurse consultant certification is a credential that recognizes nurses who have achieved advanced education and specialized experience in providing nursing consultation services. It is awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and demonstrates an individual’s commitment to the profession of nursing and their expertise in providing quality care.
Being certified as a nurse consultant can help nurses stand out from the competition when seeking consulting positions, as well as provide them with additional credibility and recognition among their peers. The certification also provides nurses with an opportunity to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in health care, gain access to educational resources, and network with other nurse consultants. In addition, certified nurse consultants may be eligible for higher salaries or more desirable job opportunities than those without this credential.
Having a nurse consultant certification signals that a nurse has achieved the highest level of professional excellence in their field and is committed to providing quality care for patients. This credential can help nurses become more marketable in their field, allowing them to pursue higher-level positions or consulting opportunities. Ultimately, being certified as a nurse consultant can help nurses advance their careers while also helping them provide better patient care.
Pro Tip: When considering nurse consultant certification, make sure to research the different types of certification options available and determine which one best fits your career goals. Additionally, investigate the cost associated with obtaining the necessary certifications as well as any additional requirements for maintaining them.
Related: What does a Nurse Consultant do?
Top 10 Nurse Consultant Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Nurse Consultants today.
1. Certified Nurse Consultant (CNC)
A Certified Nurse Consultant (CNC) is a type of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who provides expert advice and guidance to healthcare organizations, patients, and other healthcare professionals. CNCs are knowledgeable in the areas of nursing, health care policy, and clinical practice.
To become a Certified Nurse Consultant, an individual must first obtain their RN license. Depending on the state in which they live, this may involve completing an accredited nursing program and passing the NCLEX-RN exam. After obtaining their RN license, individuals can then pursue certification as a CNC by taking an exam administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The exam consists of 175 multiple choice questions that cover topics such as clinical practice management, health care policy, and legal issues related to nursing.
The cost for the ANCC Certified Nurse Consultant Exam is $385 for members of the American Nurses Association or $435 for non-members. The exam typically takes about 4 hours to complete.
2. Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) is a type of registered nurse who has completed additional education and training beyond the basic RN program. APRNs have advanced knowledge and skills in areas such as diagnosis, treatment, and management of health conditions. They may also provide primary care services, including physical exams, ordering tests, prescribing medications, and providing patient education.
It typically takes two to three years to complete an APRN program after earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Depending on the state, some programs may require a master’s degree or doctoral degree in nursing. The cost for an APRN program varies depending on the school and program chosen. Generally speaking, tuition can range from $15,000 to $30,000 for a two-year program. Additional costs may include books and supplies, fees for clinical rotations or practicums, licensing fees, and other miscellaneous expenses.
3. Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist (CCNS)
A Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist (CCNS) is an advanced practice registered nurse who has achieved a higher level of education and certification in a specialty area. CCNSs are trained to provide direct patient care, as well as to coordinate, plan, and evaluate the delivery of healthcare services. They may also be involved in research and teaching.
It typically takes two to three years to obtain a CCNS certification. The first step is to earn a Master’s degree in nursing from an accredited school. After graduating from the program, the individual must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Once licensed as a registered nurse, the individual must then complete an additional 500 hours of clinical experience in their specialty area.
The next step is to take and pass the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) Certification Exam for Clinical Nurse Specialists. This exam tests knowledge related to clinical practice, research, leadership, and professional development. Upon passing this exam, individuals are eligible for certification as a CCNS.
The cost of obtaining a CCNS certification varies depending on the institution offering the program and other factors such as travel expenses or study materials needed. In general, however, it can cost anywhere from $10,000-$20,000 USD for tuition alone. Additional costs may include registration fees for the AACN Certification Exam ($395 USD), books ($150-$200 USD), study materials ($50-$100 USD), and travel expenses associated with attending conferences or workshops related to one’s specialty area ($500-$1,000 USD).
4. Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ)
Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) is a professional certification for individuals who are involved in the management and delivery of healthcare quality. The certification is offered by the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ). It is designed to recognize professionals who have achieved a level of knowledge and experience in healthcare quality that meets or exceeds industry standards.
It typically takes between six months and one year to prepare for the CPHQ exam, depending on your current knowledge base and experience in the field. Preparation involves studying relevant materials such as textbooks, practice exams, webinars, and other resources.
In order to become certified, you must pass an exam administered by NAHQ. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as healthcare quality management systems, patient safety, risk management, performance improvement, data analysis and reporting, accreditation standards and regulations, leadership development, and more.
The cost to take the CPHQ exam varies depending on whether you are a NAHQ member or non-member. For members it costs $299 USD while non-members pay $399 USD.
5. American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Certification
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Certification is a voluntary certification program for nurses in the United States. It is designed to recognize nurses who have achieved excellence in their field and demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning and professional development. ANCC certification is highly sought after by employers, as it provides evidence of an individual nurse's knowledge, skills, and abilities.
In order to obtain ANCC certification, nurses must meet certain eligibility requirements and pass a comprehensive exam. The exam covers topics such as clinical judgment, patient safety, communication, health promotion, and more. The exam typically takes two to three hours to complete and can be taken at any testing center that offers the ANCC exam.
Once the exam has been passed, nurses must submit an application for certification along with documentation of their education and experience. After submitting the application, it typically takes four to six weeks for the application to be reviewed and approved.
The cost of obtaining ANCC certification varies depending on the type of certification being sought. Generally speaking, most certifications range from $200-$400 USD in fees. Additional fees may be required for late applications or re-certification exams.
6. National Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (NALNC) Certification
The National Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (NALNC) Certification is a professional credential that provides recognition to legal nurse consultants who have demonstrated their knowledge and expertise in the field. The certification is designed to validate the skills, experience, and knowledge of legal nurse consultants.
In order to obtain the NALNC certification, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements and pass an exam. To be eligible for the exam, applicants must have at least two years of full-time clinical nursing experience and be currently licensed as a Registered Nurse in the United States or its territories.
The NALNC certification exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as medical terminology, legal principles, risk management, documentation review, and case analysis. The exam typically takes around four hours to complete.
The cost for taking the NALNC certification exam is $375 USD. This fee covers the cost of registration and administration of the exam. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with obtaining study materials or preparing for the exam.
Once an applicant has successfully passed the NALNC certification exam they will receive a certificate of completion from NALNC recognizing them as a certified Legal Nurse Consultant (CLNC). This certificate must be renewed every three years in order to maintain active status.
7. American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN) Certification
The American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN) Certification is a credential that recognizes the specialized knowledge and skills of nurses who care for patients in ambulatory settings. AAACN certification is designed to promote excellence in ambulatory care nursing practice and to recognize the highest level of achievement in this specialty.
The certification process typically takes about six months to complete. The first step is to submit an application, which includes providing evidence of current RN licensure, proof of at least two years of full-time ambulatory care nursing experience within the past five years, and completion of an approved continuing education program related to ambulatory care nursing. Once the application has been accepted, applicants must pass a written examination that tests their knowledge and skills related to ambulatory care nursing.
The cost for AAACN certification varies depending on whether or not you are already a member of AAACN. For non-members, the cost is $350 for the application fee plus $225 for the exam fee. For members, the cost is $250 for the application fee plus $125 for the exam fee.
Once certified, AAACN credential holders must recertify every five years by completing 75 hours of continuing education or retaking the written examination.
8. American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) Certification
The American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) Certification is a voluntary certification program for nurse executives. It is designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate excellence in the field of nursing leadership and management. The AONE Certification program is offered through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
To be eligible for AONE Certification, applicants must have a valid RN license, hold a master's degree or higher in nursing or healthcare-related field, and have three years of full-time experience as a nurse executive. Additionally, applicants must complete an approved professional development program related to nursing leadership and management.
The process of obtaining AONE Certification typically takes approximately four to six months from start to finish. Applicants must first submit an application along with the required documentation and fee. Once the application has been reviewed and approved, applicants must then take and pass the AONE Certification Exam. This exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as healthcare operations, patient safety, quality improvement, financial management, human resources management, legal issues in healthcare, strategic planning and marketing, and organizational dynamics.
The cost of obtaining AONE Certification varies depending on the type of application being submitted. For example, initial applications cost $350 while renewal applications cost $250. Additionally, there is an additional fee for taking the certification exam which currently stands at $400 per attempt.
9. National Board for Certification in Occupational Health Nursing (NBCOHN) Certification
The National Board for Certification in Occupational Health Nursing (NBCOHN) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of occupational health nurses. The NBCOHN certification provides recognition of advanced practice nursing expertise in the field of occupational health.
The certification process takes approximately six months to complete, depending on the individual's experience and preparation. To become certified, applicants must meet eligibility requirements, which include having an active registered nurse license, two years of full-time practice as an occupational health nurse within the past five years, and completion of at least 30 hours of continuing education related to occupational health nursing within the past three years.
Once these eligibility requirements are met, applicants can apply for the NBCOHN certification exam by submitting an application form along with supporting documentation and paying a fee. The fee for the exam is $350 USD. After submitting their application and payment, applicants will receive an authorization to test letter from NBCOHN which will allow them to schedule their exam at a Pearson VUE testing center.
Once they have passed their exam, applicants will receive their official NBCOHN certificate in the mail. This certificate is valid for five years from the date it was issued and must be renewed every five years by completing additional continuing education courses related to occupational health nursing.
10. American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Certification
The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Certification is a professional credential that recognizes healthcare executives who have demonstrated the knowledge and experience necessary to excel in their field. It is the only certification program accredited by The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
To become certified, applicants must meet certain educational and professional requirements, pass an exam, and demonstrate their commitment to continuing education. The ACHE certification process typically takes about six months to complete.
To get started, applicants must first submit an application and fee to ACHE. Once approved, they will be required to take an online examination that covers topics such as healthcare management, finance, legal issues, ethics, quality improvement, and human resources. After passing the exam with a score of 70% or higher, applicants must also submit proof of continuing education credits earned within the last three years. Finally, they must pay an annual maintenance fee in order to maintain their certification status.
The cost of obtaining ACHE Certification varies depending on the applicant’s current membership status with ACHE. For non-members, it costs $500 for the initial application fee plus $125 for each year of maintenance fees. For members of ACHE, it costs $350 for the initial application fee plus $95 for each year of maintenance fees.
Do You Really Need a Nurse Consultant Certificate?
Whether or not you need a nurse consultant certificate depends on the type of nurse consultant job you are seeking. A certificate is often required to demonstrate that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to work as a nurse consultant. Additionally, some employers may prefer to hire candidates who have obtained a certificate in this field.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers certification for nurse consultants through their Nurse Consultant Certification Program. This certification program consists of an examination, which tests the individual’s knowledge and expertise in the areas of gerontology, health care management, nursing informatics, patient safety and quality improvement, population health management and risk management. The exam also requires applicants to demonstrate their ability to assess patients’ needs and develop effective strategies for delivering care within a given budget. Passing this exam allows individuals to become certified as an ANCC Nurse Consultant.
In addition to obtaining a certificate from the ANCC, many employers will require applicants for nurse consultant positions to have a certain amount of experience in the field. Depending on the type of position sought, this can vary from two years up to five years or more. It is important to note that most employers will require individuals applying for these positions to provide evidence of their qualifications such as transcripts or certifications from educational institutions or professional organizations related to nursing practice.
In conclusion, whether or not you need a nurse consultant certificate depends on your level of experience in the field and what position you are seeking. If you want to work as a nurse consultant it is likely that obtaining a certificate from the ANCC will be beneficial in helping you secure employment in this field.
Related: Nurse Consultant Resume Examples
FAQs About Nurse Consultant Certifications
1. What type of nurse consultant certifications are available?
Answer: There are several types of nurse consultant certifications available, including Certified Legal Nurse Consultant (CLNC), Certified Medical-Legal Nurse Consultant (CMLNC), and Board Certified Nurse Consultant (BCNC).
2. How do I become a certified nurse consultant?
Answer: To become a certified nurse consultant, you must meet certain educational and experience requirements, such as obtaining a nursing degree and having at least two years of professional experience in nursing or related field. After meeting the educational and experience requirements, you must pass an examination to receive certification.
3. What is the cost associated with obtaining a nurse consultant certification?
Answer: The cost associated with obtaining a nurse consultant certification varies depending on the particular certification program chosen. Generally, fees range from $200 to $500 for application fees and exam fees.
4. How long does it take to obtain a nurse consultant certification?
Answer: The length of time required to obtain a nurse consultant certification varies depending on the individual's background and preparation for the exam. Generally, it takes about six months to one year to complete the process from start to finish.
5. What is the benefit of becoming a certified nurse consultant?
Answer: Becoming a certified nurse consultant can provide numerous benefits including increased job opportunities, higher wages, greater credibility within the industry, access to continuing education opportunities, and recognition by peers as an expert in your field.