The NHDP-BC exam, a certification for disaster professionals

By Bonnie McIntosh, BSN, RN, CEN, NHDP-BC

The ANCC just made available a new certification for disaster professionals. It is called National Healthcare Disaster Professional by Certification or NHDP-BC. The cost when I took it was $290.  I noticed that the price stayed the same even though the ANCC website said the cost would go up by $100 starting in 2018.

To qualify to take the test you have to be one of ten healthcare professions with 3 years of disaster experience in the last 10 years. The other requirements include certificates from completing FEMA web-based classes (IS 100.b, 200.b, 700.a, 800.b), and participated in a MCI exercise.

Just like any other certification exam, it is at a testing center.  The test has 175 questions – 150 are scored and you need 70% to pass. The ANCC does not give you a score but I called and the test is worth ‘500’ and passing is ‘350’. It is a long test time – you have up to 3.5 hours to complete it. I was able to complete the test in 2 hours and not rush.

To prepare for the test I used a web-based company called Exam Edge which was the only one I could find with practice questions. Comparing the actual test with Exam Edge, I found the ANCC test was a lot less wordy and had more questions related to HAZMAT levels, PPE levels, triage of victim scenarios, etc. For anyone liking alphabet soup, a whole lot of acronyms are used.

When you pass the exam, you will receive a certificate to frame for your office, a card to carry in your wallet, and a cool coin. I would recommend the certifications to anyone in disaster management.


  • This certification is no longer available. I wonder what organization will be the new gatekeepers for a certification of this type.

  • Hi – I received my NHDP-BC awhile back. What other disaster nursing credentials are useful? Martin

  • What exactly is considered disaster experience?

  • Would you recommend Exam Edge to prepare for this exam? What other study material would you recommend? Thank you for any further suggestions!

    • Hi Yasmin. I took the exam today and passed. If you haven’t taken it yet, I recommend doing the ANCC online course they have for preparation. It gives 19 CEUs and does not take very long to do. That being said there was a lot on the test that wasn’t in there but was stuff I had learned going to the CDP and other trainings.
      I have heard a lot of complaints about the exam edge practice test. They are all true. I even emailed them before buying it and mentioned the reviews and asked if they had corrected their typos or had improved the practice tests – they insisted they had- but you wouldn’t know it looking at it. It is wordy to the point of being pointless and has typos. The content is all over the place. Don’t waste your money.

      Use the ANCC course. Review your FEMA NIMS course and others, and if you have more time use the reference list they give for the exam. Also definitely know what each level of PPE (A,B, C, D) means and what your COOP is for, etc.

      Good luck. 🙂


  • Thanks, Just received mune. Working on two more. Would you also recommend the CHEP certification

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.