NAPNAP Career Resource Guide
After You Accept the Job Offer
Get to Know Your State Board of Nursing’s Rules and Regulations
It’s extremely important to become very familiar with the rules and regulations of the state board of nursing in the state that you will be practicing. State board regulations and requirements vary from state to state and it is your responsibility as a nurse practitioner to know and understand your requirements as well as make sure that you have met all of them and continue to do so. For more information on the various regulations of all state boards, visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing website.
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Certification
PNP Certification Exams
After completion of an advanced practice degree from an accredited pediatric nurse practitioner program, graduates are qualified to take a certification exam to attest to minimum competency to practice. The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) currently offers the Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care (CPNP-PC®) certification exam and the Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Acute Care (CPNP-AC®) certification exam.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) used to offer the Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (PPCNP) certification exam, but the ANCC Commission on Certification (COC) decided to retire the PPCNP examination as of Dec. 31, 2018. The decision to retire this certification was based on the persistently low number of initial test takers and the availability of a primary care pediatric nurse practitioner certification through the PNCB.
There are resources available for examination preparation, which can be found on PNCB’s website. Additionally, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners offers our highly-rated Primary Care and Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Certification Review Courses at our national conference and in different regions of the country each year at our specialty symposium.
After successfully passing a certification exam, a graduate nurse practitioner may apply for state licensure and prescriptive authority through their state board of nursing. Current pediatric nurse practitioner certification must be maintained in order to be a licensed provider.
Obtaining a National Provider Identifier Number – NPI
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) adopted the National Provider Identifier (NPI) in May 2005. This is the “standard unique health identifier” for healthcare providers to use in filing and processing healthcare claims and other transactions. It is issued through the National Provider System and replaces all “legacy” identifiers, including the UPIN number. All healthcare providers need to obtain NPIs and will only be assigned one, which will not change over time. To learn more information about the National Provider Identifier (NPI) and apply for your NPI, visit the CMS website or call CMS at 877-267-2323. There is no fee associated with obtaining your own unique number.
How to Obtain a DEA Number
The United States Department of Justice in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) requires all healthcare providers who prescribe controlled substances to have a DEA number. Prior to obtaining a DEA number, a provider must obtain a state advanced practice registered nurse license in addition to authorization to prescribe controlled substances and must be aware of what class substance they are authorized to prescribe by the individual state (refer to your state board of nursing rules and regulations for more information).
Applications are available online at the DEA’s website.
An application must be completed for each individual practice location and should be updated with any job change or relocation of a practice. At a minimum, DEA numbers must be renewed every three years. Obtaining and providing under your own DEA number is an important strategy of increasing nurse practitioner visibility among patients, families, pharmacists, pharmaceutical companies and other healthcare providers.