Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Certification (RN-BC)
Credential Awarded: RN-BC
The ANCC Psychiatric–Mental Health Nursing board certification examination is a competency based examination that provides a valid and reliable assessment of the entry-level clinical knowledge and skills of registered nurses in the psychiatric–mental health specialty after initial RN licensure. Once you complete eligibility requirements to take the certification examination and successfully pass the exam, you are awarded the credential: Registered Nurse-Board Certified (RN-BC). This credential is valid for 5 years.
The National Commission for Certifying Agencies and the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification accredits this ANCC certification.
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 3.5 hours to answer 175 questions (150 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.
The current exam allows 3.5 hours to answer 175 questions (150 scored plus 25 pretest questions that are not scored).
Effective October 24, 2019: the exam will allow 3 hours to answer 150 questions (125 scored plus 25 pretest questions that are not scored). The test content outline for the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing certification exam will be updated. Please access the appropriate Test Content Outlines below. There will be a 3-day test suspension period to allow for the exams to be updated. You may test before October 21, 2019 or after October 23, 2019.
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.
- Have practiced the equivalent of 2 years full-time as a registered nurse.
- Have a minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical practice in psychiatric–mental health nursing within the last 3 years.
- Have completed 30 hours of continuing education in psychiatric–mental health nursing within the last 3 years.
Apply from Outside the U.S.
Learn about additional requirements for candidates outside the U.S.
See Pricing & Discounts
|Pricing & Discounts||INITIAL CERTIFICATION|
|American Nurses Association members*||$270|
|American Psychiatric Nurses Association member||$282|
|International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses 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* pay as low as||$250|
|American Psychiatric Nurses Association member||$250|
|International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses member||$295|
*Separate membership discounts apply.
- 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.