All out for excellence certification and degree completion for public health nurses
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“ALL OUT” FOR EXCELLENCE CERTIFICATION AND DEGREE COMPLETION FOR PUBLIC HEALTH NURSES. Quad Council for Public Health Nursing Organizations Educational Webinar April 11, 2012. PRESENTERS. Moderator: Glynnis LaRosa, RN, MPH, CPHQ ASTDN President 2011-12 Boston, MA Presenters:

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All out for excellence certification and degree completion for public health nurses

Quad Council for Public Health Nursing Organizations

Educational Webinar

April 11, 2012



  • Glynnis LaRosa, RN, MPH, CPHQ

    ASTDN President 2011-12

    Boston, MA


  • Lisa Campbell, DNP, RN, APHN-BC, GNP-BC

    PHN Section-APHA, ASTDN

    Victoria, TX

  • Michelle Cravetz, MS, RN-BC, APHN-BCASTDN, ACHNE, PHN Section-APHA

    Albany, NY

  • Christine Vandenhouten, PhD, RN, APHN-BCACHNE, PHN Section-APHA

    Green Bay, Wisconsin


ACHNE Education Committee Members

Barbara Battin Little, DNP, MPH, RN, APHN-BC, CNE (Chair)

Pamela Ark, PhD, RN

Laurel Janssen Breen, PhD RN CNE

Crystal DeVance-Wilson, MSN, MBA, APRN, BC

Mary Ann Drake, PhD, RN

Diane Ernst, RN, MSN, MBA, PhD

Cathy Hughes, DNP, MSN, RN

Joan Kub, PhD, APHN-BC

Eileen Sarsfield, PhD, PHCNS-BC 

Christine Savage, RN, PhD, CARN

Christine L. Vandenhouten, PhD, RN, APHN-BC



  • PHN Practice Standards and Credentialing

  • Education

    • PHN Ready Program – continuing education

    • RN-to-BSN and Masters Programs

  • National Certifications

    • American Nurses Credentialing Center

    • National Board of Public Health Examiners

    • Resources for studying

Learning objectives
Learning Objectives

At the end of this offering, the learner will be able to:

  • List at least three ways PHNs are accountable for their practice

  • Describe continuing education opportunities through the Public Health Nurse Ready Program

  • Locate resources for RN-to-BSN and Masters degree completion on the web

  • Describe opportunities for PHNs to attain certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the National Board of Public Health Examiners

  • Apply exam preparation strategies to certification exams

Professionals are accountable for their practice
Professionals are Accountable for their Practice

Public Health Nurses are accountable for their practice by:

  • Establishing standards and credentials for their practice;

  • Meeting professional standards;

  • Achieving relevant credentials; and

  • Meeting program and organizational standards.

Establishing standards and credentials
Establishing Standards And Credentials

Standards may be applied on an individualor organizational level.

  • American Nurses Association -

    Scope and Standards of Practice for Public Health Nurses

    Developed by PHNs to outline expectations for the highest level of practice.

  • Quad Council of Public Health Nursing Organizations –

    Core Competencies for Public Health Nurses

    Outlines performance expectations for PHNs at different levels of practice.

  • Council on Linkages between Academia and Practice –

    Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals - Not specific to nursing or public health nurses.

  • Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) – public health agency accreditation.

Establishing phn credentials
Establishing PHN Credentials

  • Level of education – Pre- and Post-employment requirements.

    • Scope and Standards require BSN as minimum for PHNs.

    • Some states require BSN as minimum education for PHNs.

  • Licensure – What is legally required to practice?

    • Cannot work as a nurse in the state without this credential.

    • Established by states – RN, APN.

  • Workplace requirements – Employer-based.

    • Verification of transcripts, licensure, work history.

    • Wide range of jobs in public health employ nurses.

    • May determine reimbursement.

Public health nurse phn ready program
Public Health Nurse (PHN) Ready Program

  • Free, online education

  • Available 24/7 wherever there is internet access

  • Based on Quad Council competencies

  • CNE available for every offering - free

  • Awards a certificate

  • Especially valuable to nurses new to public health or re-entering the field

  • Useful to those who want a refresher

  • Does not offer academic credit – CNEs only


Rn to bsn completion
RN-To-BSN Completion

  • Scope and Standards document: calls for BSN as entry level to Public Health

  • It is at the BSN level where the student learns about the community as patient

  • Myth or Fact?

  • To find a BSN completion program, go to:

Seeking a higher degree
Seeking a Higher Degree

  • MSN and/or MPH?

  • Doctoral Degrees – DNP, PhD

  • Preparation for higher levels of practice/different type of practice?

  • See: Your Guide to Graduate Nursing Programs


  • Cost vs. benefit of getting the degree

  • Time commitments/restraints

  • Money – look for sources of financial assistance. See:, for future Nurse Educators:

  • Family and employer factors

  • Goals – career and personal

  • Format – in-person/on-line/hybrids

  • What are you looking for out of your educational experience?

  • What can you put in?

National certifications1
National Certifications

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center

    • For nurses only


  • National Board of Public Health Examiners

    • CPH – “Certified in Public Health”

    • Must have completed an MPH

    • Public health generalist

Public health certification survey results
Public health Certification Survey Results

Perspectives from ACHNE, APHA-PHN, ASTDN, & ANA members

Phn certification survey results
PHN Certification Survey Results

  • Survey Conducted in March/April, 2012

  • Sample: 897 Surveys completed

    • Membership in sponsoring organizations

Phn certification survey results1
PHN Certification Survey Results

  • The Sample

    • Primary Setting

      • 65% Official PH setting

      • 17% Faculty

      • Others - Hospital, State Consultant, School Health, CDC

    • Primary Role

      • 33% Administrative

      • 30% Staff Nurse

      • 18% Faculty

      • 2% Educator

    • Education

      • 16% ADN

      • 36% BSN

      • 30% Masters prepared (21% MSN; 6% MPH; 3% MS)

      • 16% Doctorally prepared

Phn certification survey results2
PHN Certification Survey Results

Certification Status

  • Majority (69%) of respondents are not certified in Public Health (PHN or PH)

    • 79% were never certified in PHN or PH

  • Current Certifications held include:

    • 4% (35) APHN-BC

    • 5% (42) PHCNS-BC

    • 3% (22) PH (non-nursing)

    • 22%(190) Hold other certifications

  • 60% interested in becoming certified

    • 55% PHN

    • 5% PH

Phn certification survey results3
PHN Certification Survey Results

Rewards, Incentives, Barriers to Certification

  • 79% Were unaware of the new eligibility criteria for PHN certification.

  • 90% Employers do not require certification

  • 75% No incentive offered by employer

  • 12% Certification helped them when applying to new positions

    • 32% Felt it did not help

    • 55% Did not know if it made a difference

Phn certification survey results4
PHN Certification Survey Results

Barriers to Certification

  • 52% Lack of knowledge of certification opportunities

  • 52% Unaware of eligibility criteria

  • 41% Cost

  • 40% Not valued/rewarded by employer

  • 36% Time to Prepare

  • 16% Other - retired, job security in question, no study guide, unaware of testing process or location.

Phn certification survey results5
PHN Certification Survey Results

Motivators to becoming Certified

  • 58% Enhanced Professional Credibility

  • 55% Evidence of Professional Commitment

  • 51% Personal Satisfaction

  • 50% Feeling of Personal Accomplishment

  • 49% Validates Specialized Knowledge

  • 44% Professional Challenge

  • 42% Indicates Higher Level of Clinical Competence

  • 32% Increased Marketability

  • 26% Recognition from Peers

  • 25% Recognition from other Healthcare Professionals

  • 14% Required by Employer

  • 12% Increased Consumer Confidence

  • 10% Increased Salary

Phn certification survey results6
PHN Certification Survey Results

Certification Preparation

  • 62% 4 - One hour webinars with content review

  • 58% One hour webinar certification options

  • 57% One hour webinar How to Prepare/Study Resources

  • 32% 4 Hour Content Review Webinar

  • 7% Other

    • Regional review (face to face)

    • One on One trainings

    • Self-paced, self study modules online

    • Study guide (paper)

Certification advantages disadvantages

American nurses credentialing center ancc

  • Different categories have been provided for PHNs

    • Public Health Nurse, Advanced (APHN-BC-Advanced Public Health Nurse-Board Certified). Currently available.

    • Clinical Nurse Specialist in Public/Community Health (PHCNS-BC) – Exam has been retired/can be renewed if professional development and practice hours requirements are met. No testing option for renewal.

    • Community Health Nursing - Exam also retired, but can be renewed if professional development and practice hour requirements have been met. No testing option for renewal.

  • Initial certification is renewed every 5 years.

Recertification issues ancc
Recertification Issues - ANCC

  • Can track continuing education credits in the ANCC system between certification periods, which is very helpful.

  • TRAIN and other Learning Management Systems may also be used to track hours of continuing education.

  • Applications for renewal are due 8 weeks before certification lapses.

  • For 2 exams(Clinical Nurse Specialist in Public/ Community Health or PHCNS-BC and Community Health Nursing), there is no testing option available for renewal.

Options for renewal
Options for Renewal

Option A: Professional Development plus Practice Hours

  • Current, active RN license;

  • Hold a current ANCC certification (not lapsed);

  • Complete within the 5 years preceding renewal application:

    • Professional development requirements for your certification specialty; and

    • 1,000 practice hours in your certification role and population/specialty.

      Option B: Professional Development plus Testing

      This option applies only to those certifications in which an exam is available.

  • Current, active RN license;

  • Hold a current ANCC certification;

  • Within the 5 years preceding your renewal application:

    • Complete the professional development requirements for your specific certification; and

    • Pass the exam. (If you do not pass the exam, your certification is no longer valid.)

Practice hours required for renewal
Practice Hours Required for renewal

  • You must complete a minimum of 1,000 practice hours in your certification specialty within the 5 years preceding the postmark on your renewal application.

  • You can count hours of employment or as a volunteer.

  • Faculty can use hours of direct clinical supervision of students for clinical practice. The direct clinical supervision must be in the certification specialty.

  • Advanced practice (CNS and NP) faculty must have direct supervision of advanced practice nursing students.

Professional development hours required for renewal
Professional Development Hours required for Renewal

  • Must be completed within the 5 years preceding renewal in two of the six professional development categories.

  • Categories 1–5 may be doubled; 6 may not. (See next slide for categories.)

  • Beginning January 1, 2014, all candidates must complete Category 1 (75 continuing education hours), plus one additional category.

  • Candidates are allowed to fulfill the entire Professional Development requirement by submitting twice under Category 1, for a total of 150 continuing education hours.

Materials and resources available from ancc
Materials and resourcesAvailable from ANCC

  • Sample test questions

  • Posters, brochures to promote certification

    • PDFs of publications are available from ANCC

    • ANCC will mail multiple copies to facilities - complete an online form

  • ANCC Certification Applications

  • School Codes Directory

  • “Building A Better Future”

    • Film showing value of certification to nurses, administrators, patients

    • Faculty can share the link with students or request a free DVD [email protected]

  • Recommended Reading List

  • Review Seminar - Available to schools/agencies

    • School/agency provides space and audio-visual needs

    • A minimum of 25 attendees are required, but with advanced notice, ANCC will market to fill the room.

    • Nurses from your agency can get a substantial discount to attend.

National board of public health examiners nbphe
National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE)

  • CPH exam – “Certified in Public Health”

  • Generalist; not specific to PH Nursing

  • An alternative certification for those who have earned a graduate level degree (Masters or Doctoral) from a school or program of public health accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)


  • May compete with ANCC for credentialing of PHNs with MPH

  • Maintenance requirements currently being determined – 50 hours every 2 years

Exam preparation
Exam Preparation

  • Both organizations have study guides available.

  • Additional information is available on their websites.

  • Develop a study plan early.

Cph exam resources
CPH Exam Resources

  • Online resources available:

  • ASPH Study Guide:

  • Jones and Bartlett Study Guide:

  • Webinars on NBPHE website:

  • Practice Exam Questions can be found at

Preparing for certifying exams study tips
Preparing for Certifying exams – study tips

What can you do on your own?

  • Read all materials on the website very carefully.

  • Look carefully at the topical areas covered and assess where you need to spend more of your time preparing.

  • Use current texts to study.

  • Review class notes and materials.

  • Look up online resources

  • Download and take the sample test.

More study tips
More Study Tips…

  • Prepare for the process of test-taking:

    • Review the test procedures described on the website.

    • Find out where your nearest testing center is. Many centers allow you to arrange a tour before the test date.

    • Leave time to prepare on test day. Remember your admission paperwork.

  • Can you make it a group project?

    • “Study Buddies” are very helpful, even if they are “virtual.”

    • If you think you can muster 25 people, consider asking ANCC to give a review course at your facility.

Study guide
Study Guide

  • Refer to the Study Guide.

  • Formatted by Topical Area.

  • See Reference List.

Upcoming workshops
Upcoming Workshops



Saturday, June 9th

10:15 -11:15 AM

Portland, Oregon

Overview of certification process and study tips

  • Wednesday, May 9th

  • 12:30 to 4 PM

  • Austin, TX

  • Review of study guide and study tips

Questions answers

  • The link to the archive and the slides will be posted on the ASTDN website at

  • An email will be sent via the ASTDN, ACHNE, and APHA-PHN section list serves when the archive is ready

  • Dr. Lisa Campbell can be contacted via email with further certification questions: [email protected]

Thank you
Thank you!

  • Thank you for attending today’s presentation.

  • For additional information:

    • Study Guide

    • Resource Handout

      Please consider taking the certification exam!