Certification, accreditation, and licensure are all professional development opportunities for students and health care workers who want to improve their knowledge and skills in the health care industry. Licensing can also be thought of as mandatory certification. Certification vs. Licensure A common problem for those entering the healthcare professions is to define the difference between licensure and certification. Due to recent changes in state law, nursing assistant certification and licensing numbers have changed. However, you are required to have your Canadian nursing transcript submitted, and you must take and pass the NCLEX exam to receive a full Michigan license. In this case, a board of experts at the state level in the field of nursing examines the credentials and qualifications of a nurse in order to determine eligibility for licensure. In addition, many boards of nursing do not accept APRN certification examinations with a narrow focus, resulting in one's inability to practice in other states. License VS Certification. Member Board Profiles. In: Schoon C, Smith I, eds. Licensure examinations measure entry-level practice to prevent unnecessary barriers to individuals aspiring to practice and the minimal competency level necessary for the protection of the public. Because the primary purpose of licensure is public protection and safety, the major stakeholder for licensure is the public.3. NCSBN Video: New Nurses - Your License to Practice Video addresses key issues for new nurses. The difference between licensure and certification seems very distinct in many healthcare roles. Registered nurse licensure is a prerequisite for achieving nursing certification. For instance, the distinction between RN licensure examinations and RN certification examinations is clear. "Licensure, Certification, and Accreditation" Online Journal of Issues in Nursing AvailableVol. Once you have successfully applied for AND received certification from the Department of Health (again for Washington State) you are able to function in that profession under the authority or delegation of a licensed provider. © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. An RN degree (sometimes an advanced degree, like an MSN), an unencumbered RN license, a minimum number of direct-care hours in the specialty, and a certification test are usually all required for a nurse to become certified in an area of care. Thus, for a state to be able to join the APRN Compact, it must require APRN nurses to take a national certification examination. This is further complicated by the variety of uses for these terms both in statute (law) and common vernacular (or language). What is the purpose of APRN certification examinations? Licensure authorizes a legal scope of practice for a nurse, provides legal use of a title, and includes standards of practice. If you are licensed to do something, for example practice medicine, then you have the legal authority to do that. A major difference between a certificate and a license for many health-related professions involves who administers the qualification. Duke, Finally, the Washington State Department of Health defines certification as, “‘Certificate’ and ‘certification’ mean a voluntary process by which a statutory regulatory entity grants recognition to an individual who (a) has met certain prerequisite qualifications specified by that regulatory entity, and (b) may assume or use ‘certified’ in the title or designation to perform prescribed health professional tasks.” RCW 18.120.020. 3, Manuscript 1. The status of women in society is inextricably tied to the development of nursing as a profession. Boards of nursing have reported cases of APRNs neglecting to apply to their board of nursing for licensure and, instead, practicing as an APRN after successfully taking an APRN certification examination. The public can rightfully assume that the use of certified professionals will increase the probability of more proficient care. The nurse practitioner with a narrow subspecialty is also limited in his/her ability to change to another specialty practice, which may decrease a practitioner's flexibility in changing work settings. The Nurse License Verification service enables nurses to verify their license(s) from a Nursys verification participating board when applying for endorsement into another state. A license is granted to those individuals who meet prerequisite qualifications to perform prescribed health professional tasks and for the use of a particular title.” RCW 18.120.020, Certification may be defined as, “a written assurance, or official representation, that some act has or has not been done, or some event occurred, or some legal formality been complied with.” Lawdictionary, The federal government has defined “certification” as the process by which a non-governmental organization grants recognition to an individual who has met predetermined qualifications specified by that organization. Licensure and NCARB certification are often confused, but it’s crucial to understand the differences, whether you’re embarking on the path to become an architect or already licensed! Effective January 1, 2017, previously barred health care workers and first time applicants may become eligible for a license. Nursing licensure is a form of credentialing or regulatory method that is used when the activities being regulated are complex and require specialized knowledge coupled with the ability to make independent decisions. Only those certification programs willing to make the necessary changes can be used for licensure. By contrast, certification is usually a voluntary process by which individuals take an examination in a specialty area for the purpose of professional recognition. For instance, the distinction between RN licensure examinations and RN certification examinations is clear. This does. Licensure, certifications, and scope of practice Depending upon your license or certification, your scope of practice will differ. Chicago, IL: National Council of State Boards of Nursing; 2002. The Licensure and Certification Unit maintains the responsibility for licensing these long-term care facilities and for certifying those facilities participating in the Medicare and/or Medicaid programs. Certification by the National Registry is a distinct process from licensure; and it serves the important independent purpose of identifying for the public, state licensure agencies and employers, those individuals who have successfully completed the Registry’s educational requirements and demonstrated their skills and abilities in the mandated examinations. Another way of determining what APRN certification examinations are accepted in your state is to call the state board of nursing. The APRN certification program must determine the degree to which it is willing to assume the obligation to meet the public protection needs of the licensure boards. The content may not be consistent with the legal scope of practice, or the specialty area can be inappropriate. For accurate results, search for nursing assistants by name rather than credential number. Examination items are reviewed for content validity, currency, and cultural bias, and examinations are evaluated for psychometric performance. The intent of this article is to clarify the role of APRN certification examinations in the licensure process and to identify regulatory issues that APRNs should be aware of. Although boards of nursing use APRN certification examinations, they must retain the ultimate responsibility of determining if an APRN certification examination meets the board's regulatory criteria to protect the public. If you are certified to do something, then you have been recognized as being qualified in that activity, however, you do not have the legal authority to actually do that with out authorization or delegation of a licensed individual. The use of APRN certification examinations for licensure purposes can cause confusion among APRNs. Citation: Barnum, B., (August 13, 1997). 3. Advanced practice registered nurse examinations used as a basis for licensure may only consist of job-related knowledge and skills and use a pass/fail at the point of the minimum essential level for safety and effectiveness. State licensure is permission from a particular state government to practice counselor or identify oneself as a licensed counselor.