To be eligible to sit for the Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner (DCNP) exam, candidates must meet the following requirements:
· Masters or Doctoral degree in nursing
· Current NP state licensure
· National certification as a NP
· Minimum of 3,000 hours of recent NP practice with current practice in dermatology (hours obtained from a formal dermatology NP academic program count towards the 3,000 hours)
This article is to clear up some questions that have come up affecting your professional credentials and licensure in relationship to the Nurse Practitioner certification exam. We want to emphasize that sitting for the Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner (DCNP) exam does not and will not replace the national certification you hold as a Nurse Practitioner. You must maintain your certification as a Family, Adult, Pediatric or Geriatric Nurse Practitioner through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and /or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) in order to continue to practice as a Nurse Practitioner as required by applicable state law. You must not let those certifications lapse or you will have to retake those exams. The failure to continue your separate Nurse Practitioner status with ANCC or AANP could lead to your losing the right to practice certain aspects of health care treatment permitted to Nurse Practitioners. The DCNP is an additional credential to the Nurse Practitioner certification but does not replace it.
Paula Bermann, MSN, DCNP
President, Dermatology Nurse Practitioner Certification Board