1. Wilbeck, Jennifer DNP, ACNP, FNP, ENP, FAANP (Director)

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Thank you for the letter highlighting an essential component of the definition of emergency care. As you correctly point out, urgent care settings and providers working there must be prepared to encounter patients presenting with conditions that are at times unstable and likely better evaluated and managed within the ED setting. We know that patients may not self-triage appropriately; therefore, the clinicians in urgent care settings require the same knowledge base as their colleagues in ED settings do to safely evaluate and provide care. For this reason, the American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners' (AAENPs) definition of emergency care states specifically that "Emergency care is not defined by a practice setting[horizontal ellipsis]" (AAENP, 2018, p.1).


In fact, the AAENP definition of emergency care describes the process as "the evaluation, management, and treatment of patients across the lifespan with unforeseen illness or injury of varying complexity" (AAENP, 2018, p.1). Congruent with this definition, certification as an ENP-C by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB) is available to NPs who practice in urgent care settings. As noted on the AANPCB website: "Family Nurse Practitioners who work in other emergency care settings, such as urgent care, are able to take the ENP examination provided that they meet the listed eligibility requirements" (AANPCB, 2018, Question 14 of 15).


As referenced in our manuscript, educational preparation for the ENP, regardless of setting, includes not only the nuances of didactic knowledge, but also the procedural skills that emergency care providers should possess in order to address and triage these patients appropriately. The proposed standardized educational content for emergency nurse practitioners is applicable to all nurse practitioners in settings considered to render emergency care. It is our hope that, with targeted curricular development in ENP educational programs, the number of nurse practitioners available to safely and effectively meet emergency care needs in a variety of settings across the country will be supported.




American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners. (2018). Emergency Care. Retrieved from [Context Link]


American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board. (2018c). FAQs-Emergency NP Certification. Retrieved from