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ALNP Credentialing

Recognising advanced level practice in nursing

Important notice:

June 2024: We are currently reviewing our credentialing programme in light of the NMC Advanced Practice Regulatory Review. We expect this to conclude late summer and we will announce the outcome and next steps.

This means you currently may apply for the RCN credential. We are also keeping Model D of the credentialing programme temporarily available at the present time, whilst we consider the long-term plans for recognising experienced advanced level nurses. You can start your application by clicking on ‘Apply Online’.

Regarding the NHSE Digital Badge: We have worked to influence an update to the NHSE/ Centre of Advancing Practice FAQ to provide clarity regarding when a digital badge is mandated, and this is only related to the workforce directly funded by the ARRS (additional roles reimbursement scheme): ARRS FAQs - Advanced Practice (

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

RCN ALNP Directory

Search our Credentialed nurses directory

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 temporarily in place 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

Contact us

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.

If you have a question about credentialing, or would like to request a call back, please contact the supporting administrator via email to  or Vitina Marsala, Project Manager by email to


Request an application pack

By submitting this form, you are giving the RCN permission to contact you about credentialing.

You can control the information you receive from the RCN by updating your preferences at MyRCN.

The information you provide in this form will be stored by the RCN.

Protecting your privacy is very important to us. Please view our privacy policy to find out more about the information we collect and how it is used.

Credentialing handbook

Download a copy of the handbook

Credentialing Model Decision Aid

Case studies

Understand more about RCN credentialing from nurses who have already gained the credential.

Latest news

RCN celebrates the first speciality cohort of RCN credentialed nurses

Four Crohn’s & Colitis UK Nurse Specialists are the first Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Nurses in the UK to have completed Advanced Practice Credentialing with the RCN on an IBD specific pathway.

Read our blog posts

Forum Blogs

Want to become a credentialing assessor? 

For more information including a person specification, job description and remuneration, please email

Applying for accreditation