Why Pursue APRN certification?
Advanced practice registered nurse certification allows RNs who have earned either a master’s or doctoral degree to practice as a nurse practitioner (NP), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), certified nurse-midwife (CNM) or certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). APRNs have more autonomy — sometimes working independently — with some APRNs having prescriptive authority.
Wider Scope of Practice
Treat and diagnose illnesses and manage chronic diseases.
Exercise full practice authority in some states or under MD supervision.
Stand out with certification when applying for jobs.
Higher Salary Potential
Qualify for salaries from the high $80,000 range to $250,000.
Top APRN Articles
Join the Nurse Anesthetist Workforce
Did you know demand for CRNAs is predicted to grow?
Become a Clinical Nurse Specialist
Use your clinical skills while also improving patient outcomes.
Become a Certified Nurse-Midwife
Serve your community through prevention and wellness education.
Nurse Practitioner Programs
What is the difference between a NP and a FNP?
APRN Specialties and Programs
How to choose the right APRN program that fits.
What You Need to Know
APRN certification will allow you to work more autonomously, expand your scope of practice and develop a longer-term connection with your patients.
Research several schools and their programs. Read the descriptions of the type of work and patient populations the specialty serves to see which fits you best. Compare tuition costs, availability of scholarships and loans, and on-site to online programs.
APRNs' salaries vary depending on the type of certification, but the earning potential can range from $80,000 to upwards of $250,000 per year.
NPs and CNSs can serve many different populations, from infants to geriatric patients, which expands job prospects. CNMs provide specialized, personalized care to low-risk mothers. CRNAs administer anesthesia to patients for a wide variety of surgical and medical procedures and are the sole providers of this service in many rural areas.
Some programs are purely on-site at the college or university, while others are online with an occasional on-campus meeting required for specific training and hands-on skills testing, in addition to clinical rotations. Hybrid programs are designed to offer both online and on-site classes throughout the program, in addition to clinicals.