Recognising advanced level practice in nursing
What is credentialing?
Credentialing is the process of assessing the background and legitimacy of nurses to practice at an advanced level through assessing their qualifications, experience and competence.
Credentialing allows nurses to gain formal recognition of their level of expertise and skill in their clinical practice, their leadership, their education and their research in a way that is recognisable to colleagues, employers, patients and the public.
Credentialing is open to nurses who can demonstrate that they are working at an advanced level, practise in the NHS or independent sector and are either members or non-members of the RCN. Further information can be found in our Credentialing handbook.
Nurses working at an advanced level discuss credentialing
Am I eligible?
Nurses will require a relevant master's qualification, non-medical prescribing rights and an active membership of the NMC to credential.
Nurses who successfully achieve the full master’s qualification, including non-medical prescribing, from an RCN accredited university will have the credential awarded, at no cost, for the first three years. You can view a full list of RCN accredited programmes here.
Transitional arrangements are in place until 31st December 2022 for nurses who do not have a full master's but are currently working at an advanced level (Model D - level 6 and/or 7 credits route). Once a nurse has gained the credential through these arrangements RCN does not expect them to complete a full master's in the future to retain the award. Apply here
Please review the credentialing models in order to gain a clear understanding of which one you fit under before applying for Credentialing.
For models C & D there is a necessity to have undertaken a Health Assessment module at level 6 or 7. Health Assessment will include:
- History taking
- Holistic assessment that includes head to toe physical examination
- Making a diagnosis
- OSCE style assessment
If you are unsure of what model for Credentialing you fit under, then please see the Credentialing Models Decision Aid for further assistance.
How does it work?
Those who are successful in being awarded the credential will be included on a publicly available directory of credentialed nurses, and will receive a badge and certificate. Opportunities to become ambassadors for advanced practice for RCN also exist alongside a dedicated annual CPD event.
There will be a cost for being included on the directory and this will be renewed every three years. The initial fee is £275 inc VAT. After three years the renewal fee is £125 inc VAT.
Please see the step-by-step guide to credentialing for a complete breakdown of the process, which is expected to take up to 2 weeks from submission of your application to assessment outcome.
Please see the Credentialing Terms and Conditions for the refund, cancellation and appeals policy.
If you require a transcript from the RCN as part of credentialing, please contact email@example.com
The credentialing service is now available to all nurses working at an advanced level. To register your interest, or to receive an application pack, please complete the form on this page.