Hold a current, active RN license in a state or territory of the United States or hold the professional, legally recognized equivalent in another country. International Applicants: Learn about additional requirements for candidates outside the US.
Hold a master's, postgraduate, or doctoral degree* from an adult psychiatric-mental health clinical nurse specialist program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) (formerly NLNAC | National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission). A minimum of 500 faculty-supervised clinical hours in the adult psychiatric-mental health clinical nurse specialist role and population must be included in the educational program. The adult psychiatric-mental health clinical nurse specialist graduate program must include three separate, comprehensive courses in:
-Advanced physical/health assessment
AND clinical training in at least two psychotherapeutic treatment modalities.
*Candidates may be authorized to sit for the examination after all coursework for the degree is complete, prior to degree conferral, provided that all other eligibility requirements are met. Please note, Validation of Education form and transcript showing that coursework is completed are required before authorization to test will be issued. ANCC will retain the candidate's exam result and will issue certification on the date the requested documents are received, all eligibility requirements are met, and a passing result is on file.
Adult Psychiatric- Mental Health CNS Website