What is Credentialing?
Credentialing sets a standardised benchmark for the recognition of specialised practice in nursing. It is a mechanism that is used by nurses to promote the provision of quality health care within a given nursing specialty/area of practice. Credentialing validates specialised knowledge, enhances professional credibility, and indicates a level of clinical competence.
Credentialing demonstrates to employers, professional colleagues, patients/consumers and their family/carers that an individual nurse has achieved the professional standard for practice in specialty nursing.
Credentialing also increases awareness of the contribution nurses make to the health of the community.
Credentialing is a core component of clinical/ professional governance or self-regulation, where members of a profession set standards for practice and establish a minimum requirement for entry, continuing professional development, endorsement and recognition.
Registered nurses working in specialised fields and practitioners from other disciplines have developed Credentialing as a means to ensure standards of practice and competence within their specialist domain are maintained beyond entry to practice.
With health reforms demanding greater accountability of health professionals, Credentialing of specialist nurses in Australia has become increasingly recognised as a means to meet the evolving health environment.
How do I become Credentialed?
If you are a registered nurse practicing within the following specialties in Australia, you may apply to be credentialed in your specialty:
mental health, or
children and young people
If your application is approved, you will be awarded a credential that is valid for 3 years. The award means you are formally recognised by your specialist nursing organisation as a Credentialed Nurse.
To gain a Credential, you must demonstrate that you meet a certain number of criteria.
The application process
In general, 1-2 months may be needed to prepare an application. Once received by your specialist nursing organisation, an application is checked to ensure it is complete. When it is complete, the application is sent for peer review. This process may take 6-8 weeks but will depend on how complete the application is when submitted.
To find out more about the application process visit the Applying for Credentialing page.
It is not a requirement to be a member of your specialist nursing organisation to become Credentialed.
(Page updated 1 March 2018)