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Recognising advanced level practice in nursing

Credentialing supports you to continue your personal and professional development and enhance your career prospects.

What is credentialing? 

Credentialing offers individual nurses recognition from the RCN for their skill and experience to practise at an advanced level.

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.

Initially credentialing will be open to nurses who 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.

The RCN is currently piloting credentialing, and the service will be widely available from spring 2017.

What is the criteria for credentialing? 

Following extensive engagement with senior and experienced nurses, educators and advanced practitioners we have agreed that to secure an RCN credential nurses will require;

  • a relevant masters qualification*
  • an NMC recordable prescribing qualification
  • active membership of the NMC 
  • a relevant job plan which shows a typical week and reflects the four pillars of advanced practice: clinical practice, leadership, education and research.

*Until December 2020, there will be transitional arrangements in place so that any nurses who don’t currently have a full masters but are undertaking advanced level practice, can apply for the credential on submission of a portfolio.

Nurses interested in being awarded the credential must demonstrate that they meet these requirements.

Those who are successful in credentialing will be included on a publicly available directory of Advanced Level Nurse Practitioners (ALNP) nurses, and will receive a badge and certificate. To establish and maintain this database there will be a cost for each nurse to be renewed every three years. 

How can I take part?

The RCN is currently running a test cohort through the credentialing service.

Credentialing will be available to all nurses working at an advanced level from spring 2017.

To register your interest, please complete the form on this page.

If you have a question about credentialing or wish to provide feedback to inform our pilot, please email  

If you require a transcript from the RCN as part of credentialing, please complete a request form.


Credentialing Team, Royal College of Nursing, 20 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0RN

Nurses working at an advanced level discuss credentialing

Case studies

Hear from nurses who have gained the credential