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AANP and AANPCB: Your Membership Association or Your Certification Board?

AANP Headquarters in Austin, Texas

Discover the history of, and the differences between, these two organizations: the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB).

In 1985, a small group of visionaries came together to address the growing need for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties to have a unified voice. There, they established the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners to serve as The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner® and empower NPs to deliver high-quality, patient-centered health care nationwide.

In 1993, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners formed the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program. The Certification Program became separately incorporated in 1999 as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners National Certification Board and its first credential was registered and trademarked. This means that, since 1999, AANPCB has been a separate, independent, autonomous organization from AANP.

On January 1, 2013, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners merged with the American College of Nurse Practitioners to form what is now known as the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, with a stronger, more united voice.

In 2017, the Certification Board officially changed its name to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board. AANPCB certifications are now recognized by all U.S. state nursing boards, nurse regulators in Canada and Puerto Rico, Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Administration and private insurance companies.


What can AANP help you with?

AANP is a professional membership organization dedicated to supporting you in all areas of practice and throughout your career. While AANP is not responsible for NP certifications, you should contact AANP if you are interested in or need assistance with membership, research opportunities for NPs, health policy and regulations, continuing education (CE) or professional opportunities.

AANP members receive exclusive benefits, ranging from unyielding advocacy and free CE activities to valuable discounts and exclusive networking opportunities. This includes:

  • Free access to the AANP CE Center, which offers more than a hundred activities on a multitude of clinical and professional topics — many of which include pharmacology credit.
  • Opportunities to take action on the issues that impact you through the AANP Advocacy Center and state legislation analysis in the State Policy Tracking Center.
  • Support for reimbursement and pay parity issues via AANP’s Multistate Reimbursement Alliance (MSRA).
  • Free subscriptions to the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (JAANP), The Journal for Nurse Practitioners (JNP), AANP SmartBrief, AANP E-Bulletin and AANP Government Affairs Update.
  • Discounts on AANP conference registration, digital clinical reference tools and Prescriber’s Letter, plus much more through the Member Advantages Program.
  • An invitation to join the AANP Network for Research (AANPNR), a practice-based research network.
  • A $75 discount on AANPCB applications! Please note that, when using the AANP member discount on certification or recertification, your name on record with each organization (AANP and AANPCB) must match exactly.

See all AANP Member Benefits

What can AANPCB help you with?

With a mission of providing excellence in testing and certification for NPs, AANPCB currently offers three national certification examinations: the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (A-GNP) and the Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP).

To be eligible for the FNP or A-GNP examinations, you must first apply with AANPCB, meet specific educational requirements, provide proof of licensure and receive approval to sit for the exam. You will not be eligible to sit for an exam until you’ve completed all of the didactic and clinical coursework required in the NP portion of your accredited program. In addition, the ENP specialty certification examination is offered to certified FNPs who meet additional specific requirements.

AANPCB and AANP are independent organizations, and the number of AANP members and the number of AANPCB certificants are different. Plus, if you are both an AANP member and an AANPCB certificant, your log in information may be different for each website.

If you are interested in achieving certification or becoming recertified as an FNP, A-GNP or ENP through AANPCB, please find more information from AANPCB.


In addition, there are several other certifying bodies that offer NP certifications. Learn more to find a certification program that fits your interests and specialty.

Find an NP Certification Board

How to Contact AANP and AANPCB

Contact AANP

AANP is governed by a board of directors comprised of volunteer NP members — four officers and 11 regional directors elected by AANP members. Elections are held each year, and qualified AANP members are eligible to vote for positions on the board of directors. AANP’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) also serves as a non-voting member of the board.

Contact AANP

Contact AANPCB

AANPCB is an independent, nonprofit organization governed by a board of commissioners. The board of commissioners governs all major decisions that affect AANPCB’s certification programs, processes and organizational decisions. Elections for the Commissioners are held annually in October. If you hold a certification through AANPCB, you are eligible to vote. At least one public, non-health care professional, member is also appointed to the board.

Contact AANPCB

Why Should You Join AANP?

Join AANP and join the movement. Add your voice to the growing chorus of NPs — more than 121,000 strong — who believe in AANP’s mission: that every NP should be empowered to advance quality health care through practice, education, advocacy, research and leadership.

You’re just moments away from becoming part of a growing, nationwide community of NPs dedicated to the health of our country and the advancement of the NP role. Join AANP today!

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