Must-Know Acronyms for Each Medical Specialty

If you watch medical dramas and shows, you know that acronyms are part of everyday speech. While scripts in Hollywood might not be perfectly accurate, any healthcare professional can tell you that they are not too far off. Knowing your day-to-day medical acronyms comes with time and familiarity, but what about your career acronyms?

Due to our role as recruiters, we spend our days learning about the acronyms that matter to the careers of our medical professionals. From ruling bodies to important certifications, we keep tabs on the ever-rotating ranks of importance to make sure we are always giving our candidates the best guidance possible. Take a look below at some of the career acronyms that have stayed at the top of each specialty’s hierarchy over the years:

Advanced Practice/Nursing

Advanced Practice/Nurse are overreaching terms for Nurse Practitioners, Critical Care Nurses, Physician Assistants, Nurse Anesthetists, and more! The world of of Advanced Practice can be difficult to navigate, even if you have a game plan, especially because so many bodies cover the same type of certification.

If you are looking at a specific job, call and check to see if they require a particular certification or schooling. If you are looking at general options, check out these licensing bodies.

School Accreditation:

  • CCNE (AACN) – Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (part of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing)
  • ACEN – Accredited Commission for Education in Nursing

Licensing Bodies:

  • NCLEX – National Council Licensure Examination
  • ANCC – American Nurses Credentialing Center

Healthcare Management

Healthcare Management professionals help preserve the efficiency and standards of healthcare from administrative and leadership roles. While these roles often ask for extended education and experience in the field, they rarely have their own HCM licensure.

More often than not, the licensure will pertain to the work at hand, such as a nursing certification, pharmaceutical licensure, or even an accounting license.

School Accreditation:

  • CAHME – Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education


Laboratory professionals include Phlebotomists, Pathologists, Clinical Laboratory Technicians, Medical Technologists, and more! Many of the licenses from this specialty depend on starting with education from an accredited school, so be sure to check out a school’s accreditation before attending.

School Accreditation:

  • NAACLS – Nation Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
  • ABHES – Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools

Licensing Bodies:

  • ABPath – American Board of Pathology
  • ASCP – American Society for Clinical Pathology

Mental Health

Mental Health has grown as a movement steadily over recent years. This has led to an expansion of the mental health profession, meaning that Mental Health, as a category, now encompasses Psychologists, Therapists, Clinical Social Workers, Psychiatrists, and more.

School Accreditation:

  • APA (CoA) – American Psychological Association (Commission on Accreditation)
  • CSWE – Council on Social Work Education
  • ACCME – Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education

Licensing Bodies:

  • ASWB – Association of Social Work Boards
  • ABPN (ABMS) – American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (American Board of Medical Specialties)


Pharmacy as a category is a bit more direct than some of the previous examples. In this case, the bodies here would be those that accredit and license Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians, and Pharmacy Assistants.

School Accreditation:

  • ACPE – Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
  • ASHP – American Society of Health System Pharmacists

Licensing Bodies:

  • PTCB – Pharmacy Technician Certification Board
  • NABP – National Association of Boards of Pharmacy


A Physician is a medical doctor who has completed graduate training to provide healthcare, so while all Physicians are doctors, not all doctors are Physicians. There are both broad and restrictive licenses for Physicians, so be sure that you take a look at your state’s laws to know what is necessary.

School Accreditation:

  • LCME – Liaison Committee on Medical Education

Licensing Bodies:

  • ABMS – American Board of Medical Specialties
  • ABIM – American Board of Internal Medicine
  • ABFM – American Board of Family Medicine


Radiology and Imaging is a massive field, to say the least. It includes radiologists that specialize by age, PET/CT Radiologic Technologists, Radiologic Technicians, Nuclear Medical Technicians, Medical Physicists, and more.

This is another field that is constantly growing, especially as of late, so be sure to keep an eye out for any changes in your preferred subspecialties.

School Accreditation:

  • JRCERT – Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
  • JRCNMT – Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology

Licensing Bodies:

  • ARRT – American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
  • ARDMS – American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • NMTCB – Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board


Therapy professionals intersect with many other forms of medicine. From mental health work to physical therapy to respiratory care, Therapists do it all. Take a look below to see what type of schooling and exams are necessary for a successful Therapy career.

School Accreditation:

  • AARC – American Association for Respiratory Care
  • CAPTE – Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education

Licensing Bodies:

  • APTA – American Physical Therapy Association
  • NBRC – National Board for Respiratory Care

This is merely a short list of acronyms that recruiters at Radius Staffing have known to be pervasive in their importance. That being said, there is nothing to say that this is true for every job. If you want to know how to set yourself up for a successful job hunt, from resume creation to start date, then connect with us today! Apply directly to one of our opportunities on our job board or connect with one of our recruiters here!

Tags: accrediting, advanced practice, certifications, healthcare, healthcare management, imaging, mental health, nursing, pharmacy, physician, radiology, Registered nurse, school, school accreditation, therapy

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