A Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Health (ACNS) is an advanced nursing practitioner who participates in the advanced care of seriously ill, adult patients. This profession is involved with all aspects of adult care, from assessment to treatment and management of outcomes.
American Nurses Credentialing Center. You will be required to take a computer-based examination, the fee for which will depend on whether you are a member of the American Nurses Association or the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists.
Upon passing the examination, you will be given the following credential: ACNS-BC (Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist-Board Certified). You’ll need to renew your certification after five years. Please apply to the American Nurses Credentialing Center at least three months before your current certificate expires.
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Before being certified as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Health, you’ll need:
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- Hold a current license as a registered nurse (RN). This license should either be issued by an official body in the United States or by a legally recognized licensing body elsewhere.
- Have a degree on at least the Master’s level from an educational body accredited by one of these two bodies: the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on the Collegiate of Nursing Education (CCNE).
- 500 or more hours as a clinical nurse specialist supervised by faculty as part of your degree program.
- Course work in the following subjects:
- advanced health assessment
- advanced pathophysiology
- advanced pharmacology
About the Certification Exam
The exam consists of 175 questions divided into six domains:
- Nursing Science (62 questions 41.3 percent of the test)
- Organization/Network/HealthSystem (23 questions or 15.3 percent of the test)
- Basic and Applied Science (16 questions or 10.7 percent of the test)
- Research (11 questions or 7.3 percent of the test)
- Education (17 questions or 11.3 percent of the test)
- and Professional Attitudes (21 questions or 14 percent of the test).
Of these questions, 150 count toward the final score. (The remainder are questions being statistically tested for inclusion in future exams.)