Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Certification
Credential Awarded: AGCNS-BC
The ANCC Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist board certification examination is a competency based examination that provides a valid and reliable assessment of the entry-level clinical knowledge and skills of clinical nurse specialists. This certification aligns with the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification and Education. Once you complete eligibility requirements to take the certification examination and successfully pass the exam, you are awarded the credential: Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist-Board Certified (AGCNS-BC).
This credential is valid for 5 years. You can continue to use this credential by maintaining your license to practice and meeting renewal requirements in place at the time of your certification renewal.
The AGCNS certification is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC).
See below for instruction and pricing for new and renewal applications.
Apply for Certification
Initial Certification Application
You may apply for this computer-based test year round and test during a 90-day window at a time and location convenient to you. The exam allows 4 hours to answer 200 questions (175 scored plus 25 pretest questions that are not scored). For exam prep resources, scroll down to view Study Aids. If you do not pass a certification exam, learn about retesting.
STEP 1: Confirm Eligibility and Pricing
Hold a current, active RN license in a state or territory of the United States or hold the professional, legally recognized equivalent in another country.
Apply from Outside the U.S.
Learn about additional requirements for candidates outside the U.S.
Master’s, Postgraduate, or Doctoral Degree
Hold a master's, postgraduate, or doctoral degree* from an adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) (formerly NLNAC | National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission). A minimum of 500 faculty–supervised clinical hours must be included in the adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist role and population.
Three Separate, Comprehensive Graduate-Level Courses In:
- Advanced physiology/pathophysiology, including general principles that apply across the life span
- Advanced health assessment, which includes assessment of all human systems, advanced assessment techniques, concepts, and approaches
- Advanced pharmacology, which includes pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacotherapeutics of all broad categories of agents
- Health promotion and/or maintenance
- Differential diagnosis and disease management, including the use and prescription of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions
*Candidates may be authorized to sit for the examination after all coursework and faculty-supervised clinical practice hours for the degree are complete, prior to degree conferral and graduation, provided that all other eligibility requirements are met. Please note, the Validation of Education form and official/unofficial transcripts showing that coursework (and faculty-supervised clinical practice hours) is completed are required before authorization to test will be issued. ANCC will retain the candidate’s exam result and will issue certification on the date the final, degree-conferred and official transcript are received, all other eligibility requirements are met, and a passing result is on file.
(ANCC will accept unofficial transcripts, which ANCC defines as either a photocopy of a transcript, a comprehensive record of your academic progress or a print out of all work completed, to date, including coursework, grades and degree(s) earned or in progress – which will allow ANCC to process and review your application. ANCC reserves the right to reject any unofficial transcript that appears to be altered.)
See Pricing & Discounts
|Pricing & Discounts||INITIAL CERTIFICATION|
|American Nurses Association members*||$295|
|American Association of Nurse Practitioners member||$340|
|Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA) member||$340|
|National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) member||$340|
Maintain & Renew
To maintain certification, complete professional development requirements between the start and end dates of your certification, and provide this information on your renewal application.
CALENDAR Your Renewal Date
Certifications are renewed every 5 years. You may submit a renewal application up to 1 year prior to your expiration. You may be ineligible to practice beyond your expiration date.
CREATE an ANCC Account
Track professional development, mail preferences and purchases in one place. Online applications are also stored in your account. Visit Access My Account
UPDATE Contact Information
If you move, change names or acquire a new phone or email, please update contact details in your account. Or email Customer Care or call 1.800.284.2378.
DISPLAY Your Credentials
Learn common questions and answers about displaying your credentials in the proper order.
Download How to Display Your Credentials.
Online renewal is simpler when you store professional development activities in your ANCC account immediately upon completion. At renewal, you can transfer stored information to the renewal application, saving time. Note: To renew online, you must store professional development activities before starting the online renewal application.
- After each activity, gather proof of professional development.
- Click Track Professional Development to the right.
- Enter and save professional development activities.
- From account summary, top right column, under Professional Development find links to enter continuing education (contact hours), academic credits, presentations, publications/research, preceptorship and professional service.
- Log out.
See Pricing & Discounts
|Pricing & Discounts||RENEWAL|
|American Nurses Association members||$275|
|American Association of Nurse Practitioners member||$295|
|Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA) member||$295|
|National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) member||$295|
- Prices above include $140 non-refundable administrative fee. Additional fees for special services may apply. See application for details.
- Discounts may be claimed for up to 5 business days after ANCC receives your application. Discount claims received after this time will not be honored and refunds will not be issued.
STEP 2: Submit Renewal Application
Required: BEFORE starting a renewal application online, proof of professional development must be entered and stored in your ANCC online account. To record professional development activities go to Maintain Certification: Track Professional Development with ANCC. Then return to renew online.
RENEW BY MAIL
- Read Renewal Requirements [pdf] and read renewal FAQs
- Download Renewal Application [pdf]
- This is a fillable PDF form. Type directly into the application, then save to your computer.
The latest version of Adobe Reader is required. Download Adobe Reader (Free)
- Complete and mail to address on renewal application form.