Academic journal article Perspectives in Psychiatric Care

ANCC Responds

Academic journal article Perspectives in Psychiatric Care

ANCC Responds

Article excerpt

As chair of the Commission on Certification of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), I thank you for the opportunity to respond to Dr. Rice.

Dr. Rice takes a giant leap in his first sentence when he calls the psychiatric-mental health clinical nurse specialist (PMH-CNS) the world's "first nurse practitioner," and this flaw permeates the argument that PMH-CNSs have with ANCC about two separate certification examinations for the PMH-CNS and the psychiatric mental health-nurse practitioner (PMH-NP). True, the PMHCNS was the first area of advanced practice nursing to require a master's degree as minimal preparation. Advanced practice, however, is defined in the scope and standards document of the American Nurses Association (ANA) in terms of four roles--nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), and certified nurse midwife (CNM). Just as CRNAs would not consider themselves the same as CNMs or NPs, one should not equate NPs and CNSs.

ANCC developed a set of criteria for the advanced practice PMH-NP that adheres to the education preparation guidelines of nurse practitioners. The specialized PMH-NP program focus discussed by ANCC's Test Development Committee (TDC) is specific to psychiatricmental health and psychotherapeutic interventions, but also includes a primary care orientation. The interventions include other modalities besides psychotherapy, such as medications and alternative therapies, but does not minimize the importance of psychotherapy. Instead, it allows the PMH-NP to incorporate psychotherapy as needed into the management plan.

ANCC's actions regarding the development of certification examinations for NPs are based on the standards and the unique preparation essential for each advanced practice role. ANCC has not fragmented the psychiatricmental health advanced practice role; this has been done by those within the psychiatric-mental health profession who either do not agree with the current role or felt it unnecessary to respond to the needs expressed by the public and the healthcare system. Instead, educators responded by creating a variety of programs with an NP primary care focus, whether these programs were strictly NP, combinations of CNS/NP, or blended Many of these decisions hinged on the ability to be recognized by the state board of nursing for advanced practice hence, the programs that allowed the graduate to sit for either CNS or adult nurse practitioner (ANP) examinations. …

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