Nursing Glossary

The nursing field has a lot of acronyms and terms that may be a bit overwhelming for new comers to the field. Listed below are the most commonly used nursing and healthcare acronyms and terms.


AAACNAmerican Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing
AACNAmerican Association of Colleges of Nursing ( American Association of Critical-Care Nurses )
AAFPAmerican Academy of Family Practice
AAMNAmerican Assembly for Men in Nursing
AANAmerican Academy of Nursing
AANPAmerican Association of Nurse Practitioners
AAPAmerican Academy of Pediatrics
AASAssociate of Applied Science degree
ABNSAmerican Board of Nursing Specialties
ABSNCAccreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification
ACAcute Care
ACAPNAssociation of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nurses
ACLSAdvanced Cardiac Life Support
ACNAssociation of Camp Nurses
ACNNAssociation of Child Neurology Nurses
ACNPAmerican College of Nurse Practitioners
ACNP-BCAcute Care Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified
ACNPCAcute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification
ACNS-BCAdult Clinical Nurse Specialist - Board Certified
ACRNAIDS Certified Registered Nurse
ACTAmerican College Testing
ADLSAdvanced Disaster Life Support
ADN Associate Degree in Nursing
AE-CAsthma Educator -Certified
AFPNPAssociation of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
AFPRNAssociation of Family Practice Residency Nurses
ALNC Advanced Legal Nurse Consultant
AMP Applied Measurement Professionals
AMSNAcademy of Medical Surgical Nurses
ANA American Nurses Association
ANCCAmerican Nurses Credentialing Center
ANNAcademy of Neonatal Nursing
ANP-BCAdult Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified
ANSIAmerican National Standards Institute
ANVPAdvanced NeuroVascular Practitioner
AOCNPAdvanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner
AOCNS Advanced Oncology Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist
AONEAmerican Organization of Nurse Executives
APHN-BC Advanced Public Health Nurse-Board Certified
APNAdvanced Practice Nurse
APNAAmerican Psychiatric Nurses Association
APONAssociation of Pediatric Oncology Nurses
APRNAdvanced Practice Registered Nurse
APSNAAmerican Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association
ARNPAdvanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
ASNAssociate of Science in Nursing
ASTNAAir & Surface Transport Nurses Association


BCEN Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing
BDLSBasic Disaster Life Support
BLS Basic Life Support
BMBachelor of Midwifery
BN Bachelor of Nursing
BONBoard of Nursing
BSNBachelor of Science in Nursing


C-EFM Certified in Electronic Fetal Monitoring
C-NPT Certified in Neonatal Pediatric Transport
C-SPI Certified Specialist in Poison Information
CACNSCalifornia Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
CANPCertified Adult Nurse Practitioner
CAPACertified Ambulatory Perianesthesia nurse
CARN Certified Addictions Registered Nurse
CATN-ICourse in Advanced Trauma Nursing-Instructor
CATN-PCourse in Advanced Trauma Nursing-Provider
CBNCertified Bariatric Nurse
CBTComputer Based Test
CCCNCertified Continence Care Nurse
CCM Certified Case Manager
CCNACouncil on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists
CCNECommission on Collegiate Nursing Education
CCNS Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist (Other meanings: Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist)
CCRNCertified Critical Care Nurse ( Critical Care Registered Nurse ) (Certification for Adult, Pediatric and Neonatal Critical Care Nurses )
CCTCCertified Clinical Transplant Coordinator
CCTN Certified Clinical Transplant Nurse
CDCCenters for Disease Control and Prevention
CDDNCertified Developmental Disabilities Nurse
CDECertified Diabetes Educator
CDMSCertified Disability Management Specialist
CDNCertified Dialysis Nurse
CDONA\LTCCertified Director of Nursing Administration \ Long Term Care
CEContinuing Education
CENCertified Emergency Nurse
CETNCertified Enterostomal Therapy Nurse
CEUContinuing Education Units
CFCNCertified Foot Care Nurse
CFNCertified Forensic Nurse
CFNPCertified Family Nurse Practitioner
CFRNCertified Flight Registered Nurse
CGNCertified Gastroenterology Nurse
CGRNCertified Gastroenterology Registered Nurse
CHESCertified Health Education Specialist
CHNCertified Hemodyalisis Nurse
CHPN Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse
CHRNCertified Hyperbaric Registered Nurse
CICCertified in Infection Control
CLC Certified Lactation Counselor
CLNCCertified Legal Nurse Consultant
CMCertified Midwife
CMACertified Medical Assistant
CMCCardiac Medicine Certification
CMCNCertified Managed Care Nurse
CMDSC Certified MDS Coordinator
CMEContinuing Medical Education
CMSRNCertified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse
CNA Certified Nurse Aide
CNECertified Nurse Educator
CNLClinical Nurse Leader
CNLCPCertified Nurse Life Care Planner
CNMCertified Nurse Midwife
CNMLCertified Nurse Manager and Leader
CNNCertified in Nephrology Nursing
CNNPCertified Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
CNO Chief Nursing Officer
CNORCertified Nurse Operating Room
CNP Certified Nurse Practitioner
CNRNCertified Neuroscience Registered Nurse
CNSClinical Nurse Specialist
CNSNCertified Nutrition Support Nurse
COCN Certified Ostomy Care Nurse
COHNCertified Occupational Health Nurse
COHN-SCertified Occupational Health Nurse-Specialist
COHN-S/CM Certified Occupational Health Nurse-Specialist/Case Manager
COHN/CMCertified Occupational Health Nurse/Case Manager
CORLNCertified Otorhinolaryngology Nurse
CPAN Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse
CPDNCertified Peritoneal Dialysis Nurse
CPENCertified Pediatric Emergency Nurse
CPHON Certified Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurse
CPHQCertified Professional in Healthcare Quality
CPNCertified Pediatric Nurse
CPNACertified Pediatric Nurse Associate
CPNL Certified Practical Nurse,Long-term care
CPNPCertified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
CPONCertified Pediatric Oncology Nurse
CPSN Certified Plastic Surgical Nurse
CRNCertified Radiologic Nurse
CRNACertified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
CRNFACertified Registered Nurse First Assistant
CRNICertified Registered Nurse Intravenous
CRNLCertified Registered Nurse,Long-term care
CRNOCertified Registered Nurse in Ophthalmology
CRNPCertified Registered Nurse Practitioner
CRRNCertified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse
CRRN-ACertified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse-Advanced
CSClinical Specialist
CSCCardiac Surgery Certification
CSNCertified School Nurse (Alternative meaning: Clinical Support Nurse)
CTCertified in Thanatology
CTNCertified Transcultural Nurse
CTRNCertified Transport Registered Nurse ( Certified Critical Care Transportation Nurse )
CTRSCertified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist
CUACertified Urologic Associate
CUCNSCertified Urologic Clinical Nurse Specialist
CUNPCertified Urologic Nurse Practitioner
CURNCertified Urologic Registered Nurse
CVNCertified Vascular Nurse
CWCNCertified Wound Care Nurse
CWOCNCertified Wound, Ostomy, Continence Nurse
CWSCertified Wound Specialist


DNDoctor of Nursing
DNPDoctor of Nursing Practice
DNSDoctor of Nursing Science


EN Enrolled Nurse
ENAEmergency Nurses Association
ENPCEmergency Nursing Pediatric Course
ETEnterostomal Therapist


FAANFellow of the American Academy of Nursing
FAANPFellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
FACHEFellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives
FCCMFellow of the American College of Critical Care Medicine
FNC Family Nurse Clinician
FNEForensic Nurse Examiner
FNP-BCFamily Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified
FPNPFamily Planning Nurse Practitioner


GNP Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
GPAGrade Point Average
GPNGeneral Pediatric Nurse ( Graduate Practical Nurse )
GREGraduate Record Examinations


HESI A2Health Education Systems Inc. Admissions Assessment Exam
HNCHolistic Nurse Certified
HOBET Health Occupations Basic Entrance Test


IAFN International Association of Forensic Nurses
IBCLC International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant
IBQH International Board for Quality in Healthcare
ICC Intensive Care Certification
ICEInstitute for Credentialing Excellence
INCIntensive Neonatal Care certification
IOMInstitute of Medicine
IPNInstitute of Pediatric Nursing


JCAHOJoint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations


LCCE Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator ( Life Centered Career Education )
LNCLegal Nurse Consultant
LNCCLegal Nurse Consultant Certified
LNP Licensed Nurse Practitioner
LPNLicensed Practical Nurse
LSN Licensed School Nurse
LTC Long Term Care
LVNLicensed Vocational Nurse


MAMaster of Art
MANMaster of Arts in Nursing
MEMenopause Educator
MEdMasters in Education
MHN Mental Health Nurse
MICNMobile Intensive Care Nurse
MNMaster of Nursing
MPH Master of Public Health
MSMaster of Science
MSNMaster of Science in Nursing


NACHRINational Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions
NACNSNational Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
NAPNAPNational Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
NASNNational Association of School Nurses
NASNDNational Association of School Nurses for the Deaf
NASSNCNational Association of State School Nurse Consultants
NBCSNNational Board for Certification of School Nurses
NCBPNP/NNational Certification Board of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and Nurses
NCCA National Council for Certifying Agencies
NCLEX-PNNational Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses
NCLEX-RNNational Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses
NCQANational Commission for Quality Assurance
NCRCNational Credentialing Research Coalition
NCSBNNational Council of State Boards of Nursing
NCSNNational Certified School Nurse
NE-BCNurse Executive-Board Certified
NEA-BCNurse Executive Advanced-Board Certified
NLNNational League for Nursing
NLN PAX-PN National League for Nursing Pre-Admission Examination for Practical/Vocational Nursing
NLN PAX-RN National League for Nursing Pre-Admission Examination for Registred Nursing
NLNACNational League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc.
NNP-BCNeonatal Nurse Practitioner - Board Certified
NONPFNational Organization for Nurse Practitioner Faculties
NPNurse Practitioner
NPCNurse Practitioner, Certified
NPPNurse Practitioner in Psychiatry
NVRN NeuroVascular Registered Nurse


OCN Oncology Certified Nurse
ONCOrthopaedic Nurse Certified


PAPhysician's Assistant
PALSPediatric Advanced Life Support
PBTPaper Based Test
PC Primary Care
PCCN Progressive Care Certified Nurse
PCNSPediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
PCNS-BCClinical Nurse Specialist in Pediatrics-Board Certified
PENSPediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society
PharmDDoctor of Pharmacy
PhDDoctor of Philosophy
PHNPublic Health Nurse
PHRN Pre-Hospital Registered Nurse
PMHCNS-BCPsychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist - Board Certified
PMHNP-BCPsychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner - Board Certified
PMHSPediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialist
PNPractical Nurse
PNP-ACPediatric Nurse Practitioner-Acute Care
PNP-BCClinical Nurse Specialist in Pediatrics-Board Certified
PSBPsychological Services Bureau


RIPRNRural and Isolated Practice Registered Nurses
RNRegistered Nurse
RN-BCRegistered Nurse-Board Certified
RNCRegistered Nurse,Certified
RNC-LRNRegistered Nurse Certified in Low Risk Neonatal Nursing
RNC-MNNRegistered Nurse Certified in Maternal Newborn Nursing
RNC-NIC Registered Nurse Certified in Neonatal Intensive Care
RNC-OBRegistered Nurse Certified in Inpatient Obstetrics
RNCSRegistered Nurse Clinical Specialist (Registered Nurse Certified Specialist)
RNFARegistered Nurse First Assistant


SANE-ASexual Assault Nurse Examiner-Adult/Adolescent
SANE-PSexual Assault Nurse Examiner-Pediatric
SATScholastic Assessment Test
SHNSexual and reproductive Health Nurse
SNStudent Nurse (RN preparation)
SNP-BCSchool Nurse Practitioner - Board Certified
SPNSociety of Pediatric Nurses
SRNAStudent Registered Nurse Anesthetist(CRNA preparation)
SVNStudent Nurse (LVN preparation)


TEASTest of Essential Academic Skills
TNCC-ITrauma Nursing Core Course Instructor
TNCC-P Trauma Nursing Core Course Provider
TNP Telephone Nursing Practitioner
TNSTrauma Nurse Specialist


WCC Wound Care Certified
WHNP-BCWomen's Health Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified