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.