North Carolina Credentialed Public Health Nurse Program

The NC Credentialed Public Health Nurse Program (NCCPHN), the first of its kind in the nation, ensures that all NC public health nurses working in state or local governmental public health agencies have access to current evidence-based information on the public health nursing specialty scope and standards of practice. 


Detailed Program Overview

Nurses entering public health want a solid foundation for starting their new practice. Experienced public health nurses wish to enhance their practice as they grow as leaders.

Public Health work is fluid, and the public health nursing professional landscape is ever-changing. Public health nurses are emboldened to grow in their field. Public health nursing is not just a job but a nursing specialty with its own specialty professional standards. As health care and society evolve, the public health nurse's standard of practice and performance also evolve to address emerging practice gaps. 

The NC Credentialed Public Health Nurse (NCCPHN) Program is designed to provide NC public health nurses with ongoing access to up-to-date specialty practice information.

The initial NCCPHN course provides both new and experienced NC public health nurses the opportunity to gain current and critical foundational information for their practice, including the American Nurses Association's newly revised Public Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, 3rd ed.

The self-paced initial NCCPHN E-Learn course provides new knowledge regarding the scope and standards of practice, including an overview of how the NC Public Health system operates. Connections with real-life examples will increase comprehension and be directly applicable to their practice. Applicability is key! And the real experiences built into this course will help concepts "come to life" and provide opportunities for deeper conversations with their PH nursing peers. This course awards approximately 15 nursing continuing professional development contact hours and provides transparent time allotments so public health nurses can self-schedule their learning.

Upon completing the NC Credentialed public Health Nurse course, the participant will receive the title of Credentialed Public Health Nurse and earn the right to add the CPHN credential to their professional signature. The NCDHHS DPH Office of the Chief Public Health Nurse will provide NC Credentialed Public Health Nurses with annual webinars so CPHNs can continually improve their competency and maintain their hard-earned professional credential. 

Nurses want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. NC public health nurses want to exceed expectations. The NCCPHN Program is more than a requirement; it is an exclusive invitation to be a leader and set the gold standard for public health nursing credentialing and professional practice nationwide. 

-Dr. Susan Haynes Little, DNP, RN, CPHN, PHNA-BC, CPH, FAAN; Chief Public Health Nurse, NCDHHS

NCCPHN Video Overview


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2023 Public Health Nurse Creative Achievement Award Recipient

The NCCPHN Program has won the 2023 Public Health Nurse Creative Achievement Award. The award, from the American Public Health Association, recognizes creative contributions to public health nursing administration, education, practice and research.

NCCPHN is the first program of its kind in the country. This accolade underscores the program's dedication to excellence and innovation in the field.