Nancy Wilding

Date on Paper


Document Type

Doctoral Paper

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Robertson, Sara

Committee Member

Clark, Paul

Author's Keywords

Emergency Nurse Practitioners; ENP; ENP post-graduate certificate programs; ENP certification


Nurse Practitioners have been utilized to meet the growing needs of emergency departments during the shortage of Emergency Medicine-trained physicians. Stakeholders have recognized the benefits that Nurse Practitioners (NP) bring to Emergency Departments (ED) in providing quality, evidence-based, cost-effective quality care. However, there is a confusion of the emergency nurse practitioner (ENP) role and scope of practice by facilities, physicians, state boards of nursing, credentialing bodies, and patients that limit the ENP from practicing at their full scope of practice. To establish the role and expand the NPs' knowledge and skills to meet the needs of the ED setting, a postgraduate ENP certificate was established. These programs have proven to be effective in increasing the ENP knowledge, procedural skills, and communication skills that are unique for the ED setting. Currently, there are three trajectories that an advanced practice nurse can take to apply for theENP certification board (1) the most used method is the portfolio based route; (2) completing an ENP program from a university; (3) a currently certified and licensed Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) can complete an ENP focused fellowship program. Kentucky has over 90 EDs, all that employ a minimum of one NP with the majority holding an FNP certification. However, that are no formal emergency-specific certification programs or continuing education programs. Kentucky emergency medical directors understand the gap in NP education for emergency-specific training and certification, but an advanced nursing practice expert needs to move this specialty nursing certification forward.

Included in

Nursing Commons