When disaster strikes, everyone wants to help. But how do we quickly assess an individual’s competence and proficiency? When time is of the essence, it’s necessary to have a fast, reliable way to identify those with demonstrated knowledge and skills to ensure the best possible outcomes for all involved.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)—the world’s leading nurse credentialing organization—now offers a certification for first responders, health care professionals and emergency staff involved in all phases of the disaster cycle: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
ANCC National Healthcare Disaster Certification is the first interprofessional certification designed to verify the competence of the individual disaster health care professional. The credential assures employers, practitioners, and the public that these specialists have mastered a body of knowledge and skills related to each phase of the disaster cycle, and are up to date and ready to respond to a wide range of scenarios in a team-based environment. The goal is to promote successful results for the public, disaster responders, and health care professionals before, during, and after a disaster.
A Rigorous Development Process
With 25 years of credentialing experience, ANCC is a galvanizing force for quality health care through credentialing excellence. We’re the only global certifying body to offer RN, APRN, and interprofessional health care certification in emerging specialties. As the health care landscape moves increasingly toward interprofessional collaboration and team-based delivery, we recognized the need to develop a customized credential that validates the expertise of all national health care disaster professionals.
The development process was rigorous. We wanted to be sure we delivered a certification program that focuses on core competencies across professional groups. To do so, we convened a 25-member Content Expert Panel comprised of the different professions involved. With stakeholder input, we built consensus.
The panel informed decision-making, helped us target knowledge and skills required for performance and ensured that the final examination was evidence-based. In addition, we followed specific practices to address alignment with accreditation standards for certifying agencies. The result is a psychometrically sound examination that tests candidates on content that is both appropriate and relevant.
Who is Eligible?
Candidates for ANCC National Healthcare Disaster Certification include actively licensed individuals in the following professions:
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs)
- Behavioral health professionals (counseling, marriage & family therapy, psychiatry, psychology, social work)
- Emergency management professionals
- Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs)
- Physician assistants
- Physicians (MD or OD)
- Public health professionals
- Registered nurses
- Respiratory therapists
Candidates must have experience in an actual disaster or disaster exercise, and a certification of completion in all of the following FEMA emergency management courses:
- IS-100.b: Introduction to Incident Command System, ICS 100
- IS-200.b: ICS for Single Resource and Initial Action Incidents
- IS-700.a: National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction
- IS-800.b: National Response Framework, An Introduction
Those who pass the ANCC exam are awarded the credential National Healthcare Disaster Professional – Board Certified (NHDP-BC).
Why Get Certified?
Certification is a mark of excellence that affirms advanced knowledge, skill and practice to meet the challenges of modern health care delivery and our shared goal of a healthy citizenry. It’s the formal process by which a certifying agency validates an individual’s expertise and abilities in a defined role and professional area of practice. Evidence suggests that certification contributes to increased patient safety and satisfaction, as well as better outcomes.
ANCC National Healthcare Disaster Certification immediately communicates competence. It assures employers and the public that health care disaster professionals have mastered an interprofessional body of knowledge and skills related to all phases of the disaster cycle. These phases include:
- Mitigation: minimizing vulnerability to a catastrophic event
- Preparedness: understanding the potential impact and building response and recovery capacity
- Response: addressing immediate threats, including saving lives, meeting humanitarian needs, cleanup, and damage assessment
- Recovery: returning the community to normal
Recertification requirements promote continual competence and lifelong learning. Professionals with ANCC National Healthcare Disaster Certification must stay current with essential specialty knowledge and skill development to ensure they are always up-to-date on a wide variety of scenarios and ready to practice in a team-based environment.
Such active engagement contributes to advances in the health care disaster arena. Health care professionals who are certified provide essential insights and best practice knowledge that inform product development and help shape the future of disaster care in the United States.
ANCC’s Quality Difference
Trusted for its commitment to quality, ANCC’s Certification Program is nationally renowned as a true gauge of an individual’s ability to provide excellent care. Colleagues and employers respect ANCC-certified professionals as competent in their specialties. We’re the first and only nurse credentialing organization in the world to attain full International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification, the global standard for quality management. ISO certification means our credentialing programs meet rigorous quality management principles. In addition, ANCC certification programs are developed to meet exacting accreditation standards from organizations such as the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
Disaster can strike anytime, anywhere. ANCC National Healthcare Disaster Certification will improve our capability to protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from these hazards. If you’re passionate about saving lives, get involved, get engaged, and network with your peers and other professionals for the benefit of better health care outcomes during a disaster. We invite you to challenge yourself! Try our sample examination questions, here.
Get certified! It’s the right thing to do.