Historically, lack of access to academic programs prevented many emergency nurse practitioners (ENPs) from completing specialized emergency care education during their NP programs. As awareness of the discipline grows, existing programs are expanding and new programs are being developed to academically prepare nurse practitioners for emergency care practices. As such, the current options for academic preparation of the ENP are diverse.

Work experience as a bedside RN in the emergency department does not develop advance practice skills.

Graduate level ENP programs are increasing in number across the United States. Program characteristics such as entry-level options, curriculum requirements and admission criteria are listed, along with a program contact, on the ENP Program page.


  • When comparing ENP programs, what is the difference between entry-level and post-masters preparation?

    • All accredited nurse practitioner programs require baseline preparation to a population focus (FNP or AG-ACNP, whether acute or primary). Entry-level students will be expected to complete coursework both for the population focus as well as the ENP specialty. If you already possess one of these certifications, you can enter an ENP program as a post-master’s student to complete the additional specialty education.

  • Are there fellowships available to ENPs?

  • Is there a national certification examination for ENPs?

    • The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB) launched the first national ENP certification by examination in January 2017. Visit the AANPCB website, FAQs, and Resources tab at for more information.