About CACC

Founded in 2000, the Council for the Advancement of Comprehensive Care (CACC) is the leading academic organization for the promulgation of doctoral level clinical nursing. The Council is a consortium of distinguished academic and health policy leaders who are committed to assuring high standards of doctoral nursing practice.

CACC and its programs are supported by grants from foundations and health care organizations. CACC actively promotes policy for national standards, reimbursement, access and increased authority of these individuals.

The DNP degree is an academic program of study that provides formal education for nurses who aspire to a complex advanced practice, with broader scope and responsibility than master’s degree education provides. Nurses with the clinical doctorate are distinguished by their ability to provide sophisticated comprehensive care that is central to improving an individual’s health care.

In order to distinguish DNP graduates who have achieved a high level of competence in comprehensive care, CACC and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) have agreed to offer a certification examination that will validate the advanced clinical competency of these graduates.

Certification is an earned credential that demonstrates an individual’s specialized knowledge, skills and decision making. Reliable quality and clear, identifiable standards of competence are necessary for the legitimate expansion of practice and for broad acceptance by the public and by commercial insurers. After meeting defined eligibility criteria, a certification candidate achieves a nationally recognized credential through successful completion of a recognized examination.


CACC established the American Board of Comprehensive Care (ABCC) as the certifying body. Advanced practice nurses with national certification in an advanced practice nursing specialty, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, will be eligible to sit for certification. The exam is derived from the test pool of the USMLE Step 3 exam for MD licensure candidates. Successful DNP candidates will be designated as Diplomates in Comprehensive Care by the American Board of Comprehensive Care. To learn more about ABCC DNP Certification, please see the ABCC website.