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ANCC Responds to Joint Statement from AAEM and AAEM/RSA on Proprietary Use of Terms

Shannon McClendon 

Zachary Levine 

SILVER SPRING, MD—The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the largest credentialing body for registered nurses (RN) and advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) in the U.S., is troubled by the American Academy of Emergency Medicine Resident and Student Association's ( AAEM/RSA) attempt to assert control over use of the terms “residency,” “fellow,” and “fellowship”. Doing so is out of step with interprofessional collaboration and seeks to promote archaic thinking that nursing practice is subservient to medical practice. The truth is that interprofessional education and practice improves patient safety and drives positive health outcomes. This attempt to dictate the use of terms only serves to create confusion for patients and administrators, and barriers and restrictions for nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other health care professionals. Rather than engage in a debate over commonly used terms and assertion of control, ANCC encourages a renewed focus on interprofessional collaboration in service of delivering high quality patient care.  

ANCC has established rigorous and evidence-based standards for RN and APRN residency and fellowship programs.  ANCC is the largest accreditor of RN Residency, RN Fellowship, and APRN Fellowships in the world. ANCC’s programs improve the retention rates of new nursing graduates, provide critical support to RNs and APRNs in transition into or between practice settings, and help nurses manage the increasingly complex needs of hospitalized patients as well as patients residing in the community setting. Alongside the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), ANCC has worked to demonstrate the value of interprofessional collaboration and education for all members of the health care team and the patients and families we collectively serve. The standards for education and scope of practice for RNs and APRNs should be guided by the nursing profession.

ANCC stands with our colleagues at other organizations who support improved patient safety and health outcomes through interprofessional education and practice. 


About the American Nurses Credentialing Center
American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), part of the ANA Enterprise leads the profession to shape the future of nursing and health care. ANCC's internationally renowned credentialing programs certify and recognize individual nurses in specialty practice areas. ANCC recognizes healthcare organizations that promote nursing excellence and quality patient outcomes while providing safe, positive work environments. In addition, ANCC accredits healthcare organizations that provide and approve continuing nursing education and accredits transition-to-practice programs that prepare nurses for new practice roles. For more information about ANCC, visit us at and follow us on Twitter. ANCC is the only nurse credentialing organization to successfully achieve ISO 9001: 2015 certification. The ANA Enterprise is the family of organizations that is composed of the American Nurses Association (ANA), the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), and the American Nurses Foundation.


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