Fellow of Neurocritical Care

The Fellow of Neurocritical Care Society (FNCS) is a program offered by NCS that denotes “letters” to recognize exceptional service, academic excellence and leadership in the field of neurocritical care. Individuals who meet the requirements of this Fellowship will add the letters, FNCS, to their respective titles.

Requirements for Fellow of Neurocritical Care

FNCS membership is predicated on a long history of dedicated program development, scholarship, leadership and professionalism within the field of neurocritical care. Applicants should be prepared to demonstrate achievements that are worthy of national or international recognition. If an applicant is not sure they are meeting the criteria, it is suggested that they discuss their qualifications with a current FNCS member. Applicants must have dedicated at least 50% of their clinical time in the previous 2 years to the practice within the field of neurocritical care. Significant contributions to the field of neurocritical care must be solidly achieved in all four areas. Specific examples within these areas can be found below:

Program Development

The applicant must display active participation in the development of a neuro ICU or provide evidence that they have developed some structure of delivery of neurocritical care to the applicant’s individual's institution. For those individuals that work at a pre-existing program, they must show improvements in these programs through the development of or improvement of any aspect of neurocritical care including clinical, educational, research, or administrative programs.

  • Examples Include:
    • Initiating or making substantive improvements in:
      • Neurological intensive care unit and/or neurological critical care program
      • Neurological intensive care unit related research programs
      • Quality improvement initiatives in neurological critical care
      • Neurocritical care fellowship program
      • Pharmacy residency program
      • Advanced Practice Provider (APP) residency program
      • Neurocritical Care Pharmacy Program
      • Local, regional or national neurocritical care educational symposium
      • TeleICU program
      • Disaster programs that incorporate provision of neurocritical care
    • Initiating or substantially expanding roles of RNs, APPs or PharmDs within neurocritical care

Scholarly Activities Related to Neurocritical Care

This would include educational activity, research (either clinical or basic science) related to neurocritical care, and scientific publications. Educational scholarly activities must involve neurocritical care education directed toward physicians, nurses, pharmacists, trainees, students, allied health professionals, or the general public. These activities should be beyond what is routinely expected in an applicants’ job. For example, grand rounds or routine lectures given to residents or faculty would not be included. Research and publications should be directly related to the field of neurocritical care.

  • Examples Include:
    • Regular lectures at a regional or national level
    • Documentation of high quality teaching and education as documented by teaching awards
    • Teaching regional/state/national educational symposium directly related to neurocritical care
    • Grants from local/regional/date/national agencies
    • Original scientific peer reviewed publications
    • Peer- reviewed on non-peer-reviewed educational publications such as book chapters or review articles
    • Active participation in the development of evidence based clinical guidelines.
    • Mentoring research projects

Leadership in the Field of Neurocritical Care

Activity in this area must include participation in leadership and organizations that are devoted to the education, practice, administration, and/or research in neurocritical care. This generally means regional or national elected positions. Some activity in the Neurocritical Care Society is required; however, active involvement in task forces or special contributions to committee work in other societies may be recognized. Activity in other critical care or neurological or neurosurgical societies can similarly be recognized.

  • Examples Include:
    • Section Chair, Director, Councilor, Chancellor, or the equivalent of neurocritical care sections in affiliated critical care, neurological, nursing, pharmacy or allied health societies
    • Committee Chairmanships related to neurocritical care
    • Director of a task force related to neurocritical care
    • Board membership in societies related to neurocritical care
    • Division director or Service Chief
    • Unit Director
    • Department Chair
    • Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • Stroke Center Director

Professionalism and Collaboration

Fellow applicants must provide evidence that they participate in a multidisciplinary team dedicated to the care and management of acutely ill neurological patients in their personal statements. Their participation must include daily rounding with a multidisciplinary team and the assumption of a leadership role (director of the unit, fellowship director, fellowship program director, lead advanced practice provider, etc.). Information to assess in this category can be determined from the applicants’ letters of recommendation and overall packet.

  • Examples Include:
    • Multidisciplinary rounds
    • Lecturing to other provider types
    • Chairing/or member of multidisciplinary committees
    • Working with groups of clinicians or researchers with diverse backgrounds
    • Mentoring different provider types
    • Speaking at interdisciplinary conferences
    • Including different provider types in process improvement programs/guidelines/conferences

If the applicant is deemed by the FNCS Credentialing Committee to have met all requirements, then they would be awarded with the letters FNCS to denote being a Fellow of the Neurocritical Care Society. In order to be awarded this designation, the FNCS Credentialing Committee must either vote unanimously or with only one dissent or one abstention (therefore, either “unanimous” or “unanimous-1”).

Requirements for Application

The following requirements must be met at the time of application. Only applicants that fully meet the outlined requirements will be presented to the FNCS committee. Please review the FNCS Application Guidelines prior to application submission.

  1. Completed application form
  2. Current curriculum vitae. 
    1. Please list relevant information related to: Education, Employment, Academic Appointments, Committee Activities, Certification, Licensure, Professional Society Memberships/Activities, Service/Community Work, Editorial and Review Activities, Presentations, Publications, Research Grants. Please delete categories that are not applicable.
    2. Recommendation: Highlight your accomplishments in reverse chronological order. 
  3. A personal statement outlining the applicant's exceptional service, academic excellence, neurocritical care leadership and commitment to multidisciplinary, multi-professional practice. Please use the provided template and limit your personal statement to 4 pages.
  4. A copy of the applicant's primary certification which must be completed and up to date, i.e., Board certification in a medical specialty, nursing, pharmacy, respiratory therapy, etc.
  5. Three written letters of recommendation from active NCS members outlining why the applicant should be accepted as a fellow.
    1. Please note: one letter must be from a colleague in a different profession, and one letter must come from a member previously awarded FNCS designation (however, members of the FNCS Credentialing Committee are ineligible to provide letters of recommendation).
  6. Applicant must be an active member of the Neurocritical Care Society for a minimum of 5 continuous years (60 months) at the time of application. Time as a student, resident, or fellow member does not count towards the time requirement for eligibility.
  7. Applicant must have participated in at least 5 national or international medical society-based conferences with a neurocritical care focus, with a minimum of 2 of these being the Neurocritical Care Society Annual Meeting. Meetings attended must be detailed on the application.
  8. Applicant must have a minimum of five (5) years (60 months) of post-training professional practice/experience at the time of application.

The applications for the fellowship will be reviewed by the NCS FNCS Credentialing Committee, which comprises the following individuals, all of whom are FNCS certified. FNCS Committee members are not eligible to write letters of recommendation.

Committee Leadership

  • Committee Chair: Dea Mahanes, DNP, RN, CCNS, FNCS
  • Committee Chair-Elect: Jason Makii, PharmD, MBA, FNCS
  • Immediate Past Chair: Michael Rodricks, MD, FNCS
  • NCS Board of Directors Representative: Salia Farrokh, PharmD, BCCCP, FNCS

Committee Members

  • Mary Amatangelo, DNP, RN, ACNP-BC, CCNS, CNRN, SCRN, FAHA, FNCS
  • Ivan Da Silva, MD, PhD, FNCS
  • Ryan Hakimi, DO, MS, NVS, RPNI, CPB, FCCM, FNCS
  • Masao Nagayama, MD, FNCS
  • David Seder, MD, FNCS
  • Christa Swisher, MD, FNCS
  • Chitra Venkatasubramanian, MBBS, MD, MSc, FNCS

Completed applications and all requirements should be sent to the NCS Executive Office at info@neurocriticalcare.org.

Other Information

Special Exemption Process

For those individuals who cannot meet all requirements (e.g., bench researcher, retired clinician, etc.), a petition to the review committee may be made to be evaluated under special exemption. These individuals must show exceptional achievements in one or several of these areas.

Appeal Process

If the applicant is deemed by the FNCS Credentialing Committee not to have met all requirements for fellowship, a denial of acceptance letter will be sent by the Chair and Chair-elect of the Committee to the denied applicant. The letter will outline which criteria for admission were met and why specifically a candidate did not meet all criteria.

An applicant may appeal the initial decision if they feel they can provide additional information that may change the decision by the credentials committee. The applicant would have to send this appeal within 30 days of receiving their initial rejection letter. The FNCS Credentialing Committee could then reevaluate any additional credentials that were submitted. In the appeal process, the entire committee will be asked to review the original packet and all new information. One committee member will be assigned as the applicant’s “advocate” to present the appeal and lead the discussion. Every committee member will have to vote “Yes” or “No” on the appeal – an abstention will not be allowed.

If the Fellow applicant does not meet the requirements for FNCS after appeal, the applicant may request that the appeal be forwarded to the Board of Directors for review. The Board members will be asked to review the applicant’s application and appeal letters, and a summary of the FNCS Credentialing Committee’s findings prepared by the Chair or Chair-elect. In order to overturn the FNCS Credentialing Committee’s decision, a two-thirds majority of the Board must vote to support the applicant’s appeal. If the Board of Directors denies the appeal, the applicant will have to reapply after a period of one year.

FNCS Designee Responsibilities

FNCS designees should strive to maintain continuing service to NCS, including committee service and educational efforts. Designees should further seek opportunities to mentor NCS members as they see fit and are able. For example, FNCS designees should offer advice to potential applicants regarding the strengths and weaknesses of their application, and, if asked, should write a thorough, descriptive and honest assessment of the applicant’s suitability for FNCS credentials. Designees should continue to represent NCS in a positive, ethical manner.

Rescinding and Non-Renewal of FNCS Credentials

FNCS designees will forfeit their FNCS credentials if they: 1) forfeit NCS membership; 2) fail to pay FNCS dues after sufficient notice and payment opportunities are provided; or 3) are found in violation of the NCS Ethics policy.


A one-time application fee of $100 for FNCS is required. Upon acceptance of the FNCS application, one will be required to pay $50 annually in addition to the annual NCS membership dues in order to maintain the FNCS status.

Purchase FNCS Application Fee

2024 Dates

Monday, January 22: Applications Open
Friday, April 19: Application Deadline
Week of June 20: Applicants Notified of Decision
Monday, July 22: Appeal Deadline
Week of August 22: Appeal Decision Notifications
October 14 -17: NCS Annual Meeting - Induction during Awards Ceremony