Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between ABNS and ABSNC?

ABNS (American Board of Nursing Specialties, Inc.) is a not-for-profit, membership organization consisting of specialty nursing certification organizations. It is governed by elected representatives of the member organizations. ABNS is focused on improving patient outcomes and consumer protection by promoting specialty nursing certification. The ABNS mission statement is "to promote the value of specialty nursing certification to all stakeholders."

ABSNC (Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification, Inc.) is the only accrediting body specifically for nursing certification. More than 61% of nursing certification programs are accredited by ABSNC accreditation through a rigorous peer-review process that allows them to demonstrate compliance with the highest quality national standards in the industry.

Is membership in ABNS a requirement to submit an accreditation application to ABSNC?

Nursing certifying organizations interested in applying for accreditation are not required to be ABNS members to apply. However, ABNS members receive a discount on the accreditation application fee. Because ABNS represents approximately 500,000 certified nurses across the United States and Canada, certification organizations will find membership beneficial.

 Is accreditation required for ANCC Magnet recognition?

Beginning January 1, 2024, ANCC Magnet status will be limited to only board certifications that are accredited. Accreditation by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC) is one of two recognized credentialing bodies necessary to achieve Magnet status.

Can the ABSNC verify a certification credential?

Organizations interested in verifying individual certification credentials should contact the appropriate certification board. The ABSNC does not certify practitioners. It accredits certification boards that demonstrate adherence to ABSNC's rigorous standards. 

When should an organization consider submitting a letter of intent?

An organization seeking initial accreditation from ABSNC should submit an electronic Letter of Intent to the ABSNC office at at least 90 calendar days before application submission.

If an organization receives feedback with additional information requested for an application how much time does the organization have to reply?

An organization must respond within 45 days for an initial information request.  The response must be received within 30 days for a second additional information request.

What is content validity?

Validity refers to the degree to which a test measures what it was designed to measure. Incorporating SMEs throughout the test development process and making sure test items are aligned with the content outlined in the test specifications are ways in which content validity can be addressed.