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Requirements of an ANCC Certification: What Must You Learn

Nursing is considered by many to be one of the most rewarding yet challenging careers out there. It is arguably one of the most crucial jobs in the healthcare field. Most people respect this profession, know of it, or aspire to be a part of it. Prospective nurses looking to enter the field have a sea of options, opportunities, and credentials to consider. There are CNA's, RNA's and numerous nursing specialties from which to choose. That is why we have compiled all the information you need to know about receiving an ANCC certification. In this article, we will discuss what an ANCC certification is, the different ANCC certifications available, and what you must study to gain one. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is an ANCC Certification?

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is a subsidiary of the esteemed American Nurses Association (ANA). Their mission is simple: to support and promote excellence in nursing. Since their establishment in 1990, the ANCC has contributed to quality care and excellence in the nursing field.

Their certification is nationally recognized, respected, and is one of the most popular certifications to measure a nurse's competence and ability to provide the best patient care. The certification is a great milestone for any nurse to improve his or her career prospects and show their technical ability and commitment to their profession.

Different ANCC Certifications

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As mentioned before, the ANCC certification is a nationally recognized credential and one of the most respected certifications a nurse can have. So no matter your specialty or your desired practice level, getting an ANCC certification may be the right career move for you.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center offers certifications in numerous areas for the various specialties and nursing practices. This can include
Nurse Practitioner Certifications, Clinical Nurse Specialist Certifications, Specialty Certifications, and Interprofessional Certifications.

Here are some of the many exams the ANCC offers for Nursing Specialties:

  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult Psychiatric/ Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Child/Adolescent Psychiatric and Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Nursing Professional Development
  • Ambulatory Care Nursing
  • Cardiac Vascular Nursing
  • Informatics Nursing
  • Gerontological Nursing
  • Medical-Surgical Nursing
  • Nurse Executive/ Nursing Administration
  • Nursing Case Management
  • Pain Management
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
  • Advance Public Health Nursing
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
  • Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Adult Psychiatric and Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Advanced Practice Adult Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
  • Advanced Nurse Executive

Requirements of an ANCC Certification: What Must You Learn

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Nurses looking to receive an ANCC certification must meet various requirements. To receive the certification, you must first meet the unique eligibility requirement for your specialty and pass the relevant certification exam. These tests are available throughout the entire year and are offered in test centers worldwide. So, what do you need to know beforehand and what standards must you meet to be eligible to take the certification exams for this honored credential?


Nurses seeking an ANCC certification must first have at least a bachelor's degree in nursing or another relevant field. They must also have an active RN license in the United States of America or the recognized equivalent from another country. These two requirements are the most common and the most minimal qualifications one must have to be eligible to take an ANCC certification.

Other eligibility requirements will depend on the unique certification you are seeking. For context, below is an example of the requirements for a pediatric nurse versus the eligibility requirements for a family nurse practitioner certification.

Eligibility for Pediatric Nurse Certification:

  • You must hold an active RN license in the United States or hold the legally accepted equivalent in another country
  • You must have practiced two years full-time as a registered nurse
  • In the last three years, you must have at least 2,000 hours of specialized clinical practice in pediatric nursing
  • In the last three years, you must have finished 30 hours of continuing education in pediatric nursing

Eligibility for a Family Nurse Practitioner Certification:

  • You must hold an active RN license in the United States or hold the legally accepted equivalent in another country
  • You must hold a master's, postgraduate, or doctoral degree from an accredited family nurse practitioner program
  • You must have completed at least 500 supervised clinical hours in your family nurse practitioner program
  • You must be competent and trained in health promotion 
  • You must be competent and trained in differential diagnosis and disease management and interventions
  • You must have completed comprehensive graduate-level courses in advanced physiology/pathophysiology
  • You must have completed comprehensive graduate-level courses in advanced health assessment
  • You must have completed comprehensive graduate-level courses in advanced pharmacology

What You Must Learn

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The ANCC is very detailed in their certification resources, sample questions, sample role studies, and references they provide. Every certification exam has a unique set of test content outlines, questions, and reference lists available for free to prepare you for the certification exam. Prospective nurses should take advantage of the abundant resource made available through the ANCC to ensure success later on.

The ANCC recommends that you begin and commit to a study plan at least six months before you take your exam. Potential test takers should look into the specific curriculum and test composition for their test, but also brush up on general nursing information such as assessing, diagnosing and planning outcomes and family-centered care. Below is information included on a pediatric nurse certification exam to provide more in-depth context.

Pediatric Nursing Certification Exam

  • Assessment, diagnosis, planning, and outcomes (31% of test)
  • Knowledge of pathophysiology, pharmacology, growth milestones, non-pharmacology treatments, and patient history
  • Implementation and evaluation (26.61% of test)
  • Evidence-based intervention, interactions, and principles of creating safe environments
  • Family-centered care (30.33% of test)
  • Expected and unexpected responses, skill in modifying treatment with family, and family dynamics.
  • Professional role (11.89% of test)
  • Knowledge of legal matters, technologies, and delegating work

Test Day

Before you step into the exam room or even apply for your test, there are some important things you need to know to ensure success. First, the maximum possible score on an ANCC exam is 500. So passing your exam will require a score of 350 or higher. Expect about anywhere from 150 to 175 questions that will contribute to your final test score and 25 pilot questions that will not count. You will not know which questions are graded during the exam making it important to be thorough when answering all questions.

The tests are multiple-choice and closed-book, so no outside resources will be available for you. And like other tests, the ANCC certification exams are about full completion. There is no penalty for guessing, so take advantage of the 4 hours you have to complete the exam and again, be thorough.


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Nurses are highly trained and respected professionals in the health care field. They are necessary for many medical settings and ensure daily that patients get the best care. Since 1990 the American Nurses Credentialing Center has offered one of the most distinguished and nationally recognized certifications.  These credentials are used to measure a nurse's technical ability, competence and ability to provide high-grade patient care. Getting this certification a great accomplishment for nurses in any field, can improve a nurse's career prospects significantly, and shows their commitment to the profession.

The ANCC offers numerous certification exams in diverse specialties ranging from a family nurse practitioner and pediatric nursing certification to adult psychiatric health and public health certifications. So no matter the specialty or the area of focus, the ANNC offers certifications to acknowledge a nurse's unique knowledge and skill set.

Because this certification is so esteemed, there are several requirements candidates must meet to be considered for the exam. These requirements will depend on the certification a prospective nurse is seeking, however, one generally must have at least a bachelor's degree in nursing or a bachelor's in another relevant field. They must also have an active RN license.

Just as the eligibility requirements differ, the educational and test compositions also vary. For example, nurse practitioners who must have a higher level of education will have graduate-level information on their exams regarding pharmacology and health assessment, whereas a pediatric nurse certification exam would not have this information.

Despite the variances, there will probably be common nursing information on the test regarding assessing, diagnosing, and planning outcomes or family-centered care. Also, ANCC exams are usually multiple choice with 150 to 175 questions and take around 4 hours to complete.

Nurses seeking the ANCC certification should take advantage of the vast free resources that the ANCC provides including their certification resources, sample questions, sample role studies, and references to prepare for their exam. Practice questions are developed in the same way as the actual exam questions to give test takers realistic impressions of the exam beforehand.

We hope we answered all your questions on what to expect from ANCC certification. And we hope you are confident that by investing your time in this honored credential and preparing in advance, you will succeed.

nurse doing check up

How Long Does it Take to Become a Nurse Practitioner? Here’s What You Should Know

How long does it take to become a nurse? That’s one of the most commonly asked questions in the industry. Will you spend more time in school training to become a nurse than is worth the money you’ll make and the schedule you’ll work? How much do you make? What’s the requirement in terms of education? There are many questions you can ask about this job, and there are many answers. There are different types of nurses, and a nurse practitioner is one of the most important nurses in the industry.

If you’re asking yourself, “How long does it take to become a nurse practitioner,” you are not alone. Whether you’re looking to make a career change, you’re deciding what you want to do in the future, or are choosing between different medical fields, you must understand what the job entails and how it will work. How long it takes, what it involves, and many more things will help you decide how you’ll proceed on your road to becoming a medical professional. Here’s everything you might want to know about becoming a nurse practitioner.

Nurse Practitioner: Job Duties & Responsibilities

How long does it take to become a nurse practitioner is the kind of question that’s often followed by questions pertaining to what a nurse practitioner actually does at work. There is a broad scope of job duties, responsibilities, and requirements associated with becoming a nurse practitioner.

These include: 

  • Diagnosing illnesses
  • Treating patients
  • Providing health education
  • Performing physicals
  • Performing/ordering diagnostic testing
  • Following up on treatment plans
  • Maintaining medical records

Every state has different requirements for nurse practitioners, so the rules and the regulations regarding what a nurse practitioner can do are created by each state.

young female nurse

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Full Practice Nurse Practitioners

Depending on where you live, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners regulates what a nurse has the power to do in his or her line of work. Full practice states give nurses the power to give full treatment to a patient. States such as Oregon and Washington are considered full practice states in which a nurse practitioner has the power to work with a patient without collaboration with a full team of medical professionals.

Reduced Practice Nurse Practitioners

If you live and work in states such as New York or Utah, you work under a reduced practice plan. This means you still get to work up close and personally with your patients, but you must do it with help from another medical professional. Your job requires you to collaborate with another medical professional before you diagnose or treat a patient.

Restricted Practice Nurse Practitioners

If you live or work in states such as Florida or California, you must meet with a full team of medical professionals when working with a patient. This means you must talk to the team, come up with a plan together, and make no decisions on your own. That’s a big responsibility, but many people prefer the teamwork aspect of the job.

Choosing a Specialization

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How long does it take to become a nurse practitioner? It depends on the type of NP you want to become. There are many specializations that affect the job duties and responsibilities you have with your patients.

These include:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioners
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioners
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners
  • Holistic Nurse Practitioners

Each of these categories is one you can choose to handle as an NP, and that might determine how much time you spend in school. What you choose to specialize in also affects what you do at work. Your job duties and responsibilities are largely determined by the type of setting in which you work, but they always include working closely with your patients, taking excellent medical notes and maintaining medical records.

Educational Requirements

How long does it take to become a nurse practitioner? It depends on how long it takes you to complete the educational requirements necessary to become an NP. The coursework is specific, it’s detailed, and it’s required if you want to become an NP in any state.

Associate’s Degree Requirements

Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

Master’s Degree Requirements

How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse Practitioner

How long does it take to become a nurse practitioner? There is no right or wrong answer to this question. This is a program that can take your 10 years to finish if you have a family, you’re going to school part-time, and you’re working at the same time. Generally speaking, it takes approximately six years to become a nurse practitioner. This includes the two years it takes to earn your A.S. degree, the two years it takes to earn a B.S. degree, and the two additional years it takes to earn your Master’s Degree.

If you don’t take a full course load, however, you will need additional time to take your courses and graduate as a nurse practitioner. If you decide to work as a registered nurse for a while before you go back to school, it will take longer. If you aren’t sure what you want to do and take some time off, it can take longer.

The Timing is Personal

What Does A Nurse Practitioner Earn Annually?


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How long does it take to become a nurse practitioner? It’s up to you. If you want to put in the work and make it happen as quickly as possible, you can do it in approximately six years. If you want to work even harder and choose an accelerated program, you can do it in even less than that. It’s up to you what you want to do with your future. How long does it take to become a nurse practitioner might be what you’re asking, but what you’re also asking is whether the time it takes is worth it. The simple answer is yes. It’s a rewarding industry with a respectable annual income that only grows with time.

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How to Become a Registered Nurse: 5 Steps You Must Undertake

Have you ever wanted to become a registered nurse? The healthcare industry is rapidly growing and there is a high demand for registered nurses all across the United States. In this guide, we are going to cover everything you need to know about how to become a registered nurse.

Before jumping right into deep end of this information, it's important to gain the necessary knowledge about what it is to be a registered nurse. We will explore the job duties and responsibilities of a registered nurse as well as the education it is necessary to get prior to practicing nursing. Then we will cover the 5 steps you must undertake to become a registered nurse.

Registered Nurse: Job Duties & Responsibilities

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Being a registered nurse involves taking care of patients who may be suffering from a wide variety of ailments. The registered nurse's field of specialization determines which ailments they will treat.

Registered nurses who specializing in working with patients who have a particular physical condition may work in any type of healthcare environment.

Registered nurses who specializing in working with patients who have a particular physical condition may work in any type of healthcare environment.

These environments include out-patient healthcare facilities, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, and physician's offices.

Registered nurses who specialize in dealing with a specific organ or bodily system, however, are usually given multiple roles in environments such as critical care units and specialty clinics.

A good number of these registered nurses also take part in surgical operations, assisting the surgeon. Some nurses also specialize in caring for children and the elderly.

Ethics In Nursing

Education & Certification

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Registered nurses are required to have a high school diploma or GED and then get a degree in nursing. Depending on their specific career path, aspiring nurses can enroll in a diploma for nursing, a bachelor's degree in nursing, or an associate's degree in nursing.

You can achieve an associate's degree in 2 years and a bachelor's degree requires 4 years of schooling. Some hospitals offer a 3-year nursing diploma program, but this has become less common over the years.

Registered nurses with a bachelor's degree will likely make more money to start than those with only an associate's degree.

Nursing Diploma

Associate's Degree in Nursing

Bachelor's Degree in Nursing

How to Become a Registered Nurse - 5 Steps You Must Undertake

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Understand the Challenge

Do Well in High School

Choose a Nursing Degree Program

Masters and Ph.D. Options

Get a License

Additional Opportunities and Final Thoughts

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While working as a registered nurse, you can pursue further specializations and degrees in nursing. These additional opportunities can advance your position in the nursing field which can lead to better working hours and a higher salary. These additional opportunities are also great for those wanting to become educators of future nurses. There is a scope of further education every 2 years for current registered nurses.

Nursing is one the most rewarding yet challenging careers to pursue. Doing well in high school is an absolute must, and you must have the necessary amount of financial resources to achieve a career in nursing. 

Remember, to become a registered nurse you must have some form of degree or nursing diploma. These programs require countless hours of coursework and training.After getting your degree, the job is not easier.

Working as a registered nurse requires long hours at the hospital while being on your feet for most of the time. The challenge is rewarding, however, because you are working to improve people's lives. If this description of a registered nurse sounds right for you, then get started!

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How Much Does A Nurse Make: The Average Salary In Every State

Have you ever wanted to be a nurse? Well now is the time to get into this field of work. When you learn how much does a nurse make, you will want to rethink your career path.Do you like caring for others? Many of us have someone we have taken care of throughout our lives. You will see after you read how much does a nurse make the steps you need to take to earn a living doing what you love to do.

Registered Nurse Career Overview

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First, we should go over the many responsibilities a registered nurse has throughout the day. Depending upon what type of training, experience, education, and work setting, some tasks for an RN are:

Keeping Track of Medical Reports

Preparing Patients for Exams

Administering Treatments and Medicine

Using Medical Equipment

Creating Treatment Plans

Post-Treatment Care

Communicating with Doctors

Ensuring Patient Comfort

Educational & Certification Requirements

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There two degrees that you will need to become a Registered Nurse. When you learn how much does a nurse make, you will see how earning both of these degrees will significantly increase your earning potential. Here are the degrees explained:

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

Bachelor's Degree in Nursing

Certification Requirements

Online Programs

How Much Does a Nurse Make in a Month: The Average Monthly Salary in Every State

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An RN salary varies from state to state so here is a list with what you can expect to earn for a monthly salary. These are approximate amounts and could be higher depending on your additional education or area of specialty.

  • Alabama $4,824.00
  • Alaska $7,292.00
  • Arizona $6,259.00
  • Arkansas $4,900.00
  • California $8,558.00
  • Colorado $6,047.00
  • Connecticut $6,683.00
  • Delaware $6,098.00
  • District of Columbia $7,509.00
  • Florida $5,407.00
  • Georgia $5,562.00
  • Hawaii $8,082.00
  • Idaho $5,376.00
  • Illinois $6,007.00
  • Indiana $5,204.00
  • Iowa $4,827.00
  • Kansas $4,995.00
  • Louisiana $5,296.00
  • Maine $5,490.00
  • Maryland $6,293.00
  • Massachusetts $7,444.00
  • Michigan $5,760.00
  • Minnesota $6,461.00
  • Mississippi $4,808.00
  • Missouri $5,275.00
  • Montana $5,523.00
  • Nevada $7,081.00
  • Nebraska $5,184.00
  • New Hampshire $5,836.00
  • New Jersey $6,834.00
  • New Mexico $5,820.00
  • New York $6,954.00
  • North Carolina $5,213.00
  • North Dakota $5,261.00
  • Ohio $5,458.00
  • Oklahoma $5,136.00
  • Oregon $7,397.00
  • Pennsylvania $5,818.00
  • Rhode Island $6,387.00
  • South Carolina $5,302.00
  • South Dakota $4,750.00
  • Tennessee $5,004.00
  • Texas $6,005.00
  • Utah $5,254.00
  • Vermont $5,796.00
  • Virginia $5,665.00
  • Washington $6,650.00
  • West Virginia $5,281.00
  • Wisconsin $5,766.00
  • Wyoming 5,408.00

The highest paid Registered Nurses are in California with a monthly salary of $8,558. There are also highly paid Registered Nurses are in Hawaii who are paid well at $8,082 a month. In some states, nurses are paid a great deal lower than these amounts, like South Dakota at $4,740. This wide disparity of earnings from state to state is due to several reasons that should be considered. Some factors are:

Level of Specialization


Level of Experience


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Now you have read the information on how much does a nurse make, you can see this is a field worth exploring. We have been taking care of people all our lives whether it be a friend or family member, so we have nursing skills already.

Learning how much does a nurse make shows us there will only be an increase in demand for these skills, so job security will never be a problem. Become a Registered Nurse and earn a great living doing what you love to do.

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How Much Do Nurses Make In A Year: Best Paying Nursing Jobs

Nurses are considered---by many---to be the backbone of the healthcare field. The career is highly valued and is consistently in high demand as the population ages; nurses are truly respected and trusted. Not only is the profession rewarding, but it's also challenging, exciting and potentially well-paying. So, just how much do nurses make in a year? What are the best nursing jobs, and what else do you need to know about the nursing profession? Keep reading to find out more.

What Are the Best Nursing Jobs?  

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Before we consider just how much do nurses make, let's first explore the profession as a whole. Overall, registered nurses are in high demand, and with good reason. They have various job duties that make them indispensable in the medical field. They provide exceptional patient care, teach patients and their loved ones about health care, work with doctors and so much more.

Common RN Duties include:

  • Giving patients medications or treatments
  • Recording patient medical histories
  • Observing patients 
  • Assisting in patient examinations
  • Recording symptoms
  • Operating medical equipment
  • Teaching patients and their loved ones about health care
  • Overseeing lower-level nursing professionals and CNA's
  • Performing tests

The profession as a whole is incredibly rewarding, but nurses also have the option to specialize in areas of study to gain expertise so they may provide even better levels of care to patients. Specializations in the nursing profession increase pay, employment opportunities and more.

Below Is A List Of Some Of The Best Nursing Jobs:

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Certified Nurse Anesthetist:

Certified Nurse Midwives:

Nurse Practitioners:

Dialysis Registered Nurse:

Orthopedic Registered Nurse:

How Much Do Nurses Make In A Year?

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How much do nurses make? Registered nurses are in high demand. This profession is among the most highly respected, stable and valued jobs out there. In fact, in 2012, US News declared the profession as the "Best Job in the Country." But the benefits don't stop there; registered nurses enjoy one of the highest annual salaries. How much do nurses make? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses are paid around $64,690 each year or $31.00 per hour, a pay rate that is well over the national average salary.

While salary may not be the only reason one seeks a career in nursing, it is important to consider. Also, the program a prospective nurse chooses or the specialization they decide on may greatly impact their future career and salary. So how much do nurses make in a more specialized setting?

Certified Nurse Anesthetist:

Certified Nurse Midwife:

Nurse Practitioner:

Dialysis Registered Nurse:

Orthopedic Nurses

Things To Know About Becoming A Nurse

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After examining these nursing specialties and financial figures, it is clear to see that while work in this medical profession is demanding, it can also be very rewarding. Here are some other things to know about the nursing profession.




Again, nurses are considered, by some, to be the backbone of the healthcare field. They focus on individuals, families and communities so that all people can attain, maintain or gain good health and quality of life. But not only is this profession rewarding, it is also challenging, exciting and potentially well-paying. The average registered nurse makes about  $$$ each year, or $ per hour. This pay rate is well over the national average salary, and the number of jobs for nurses is only expected to grow as the population ages. 

So, what are the best nursing jobs and how much do nurses get paid? The profession as a whole pays well, and best yet, nurses also have the option to specialize in specific areas of study to gain expertise so they may provide even better levels of care to patients. Specializations in the nursing profession increase pay, employment opportunities and more.Some of the most rewarding and challenging nursing specialties include becoming a certified nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, nurse practitioner, dialysis nurse, and orthopedic nursing. Pay also differs depending on the workplace setting:  hospital, doctor's office, etc.

We hope we gave you all of the information you need to know about the best nursing careers. And although salary may not be the only reason one seeks a career in nursing, it is important to consider. So be informed, research the right specialty for you and know how to maximize your potential so that you may benefit in every way in this demanding yet incredibly rewarding career.

surgery surgeon operation medical

What You Should Know about the CRNA Salary

Would you like to earn a living as a nurse? When you see what the CRNA salary level is, you will probably want to reevaluate your own career path and look into this area of nursing.

There are different types of nursing., and the CRNA salary is appropriate for the highest level of nursing skill one can achieve. This article covers the highlights of a CRNA career and why it is a valuable profession. 

CRNA Career Overview

A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) who administers not only anesthesia but also other medications as well. They are the highest-paid nurses in the field, and those in the nursing profession highly respect this position. A CRNA is at the top of the nursing chain and most registered nurses (RNs) aspire to achieve this designation and earn the CRNA salary.

The responsibilities of a CRNA vary depending on where they work. CRNAs work in intensive care units, surgical areas, and operating rooms. Their primary duties are to administer anesthesia and monitor patients recovering from it. In hospitals in less populated areas, they are usually the only nurse on duty and they do whatever is needed because they are fully trained in all areas of nursing.

Specialized CRNA Areas

Neurosurgical Anesthesia

Cardiovascular Anesthesia

Plastic Anesthesia

Critical Care Nursing

Respiratory Care

CRNA Educational Requirements

The educational requirements to become a CRNA are:

  • A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or the equivalent
  • Licensed for one year in one state as an RN
  • One year of acute care experience in an emergency room or intensive care unit

Where Are the Best CRNA Programs?

There are a variety of well-respected universities who offer CRNA programs. Some you may have heard of are:

  • Richmond, VA–Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Houston, TX–Baylor College of Medicine
  • Durham, NC–Duke University
  • Pasadena, CA–Kaiser Permanente School of Anesthesia–California State University -Fullerton
  • Chicago, IL–Rush University

What to Consider before Becoming a CRNA

When looking at becoming a CRNA, there are some challenges and sacrifices that you will need to make. Not everyone is cut out to be a CRNA because it takes a bit of time to do the program. But if you want the CRNA salary, then you will need to look at some areas of your life that will need to be adjusted while doing this program. These are:

Your Finances

Check Your Credit

Family Sacrifices

Social Sacrifices

CRNA Salary Expectations

Depending on the state you live in the CRNA salary ranges from $105,000 - $242,000 with the average being $157,000. The cost of living also plays a role in the amount of salary you earn. The higher the cost of living the higher the salary. Should you want to make the highest CRNA salary here are the states to live in and the annual salary amounts. 

  • Montana $242,140
  • Wyoming $233,400
  • California $215,530
  • Oregon $199,860
  • Nevada $192,330
  • Cities That Pay More for CRNA
  • San Francisco, CA $224,310
  • Spokane, WA $221,720
  • Providence, RI $213,670
  • San Diego, CA $241,670

No Physician Supervision

Although there are jobs all over the US for CRNAs, there are 17 states that allow these nurses to work without having any physician supervision. Having this freedom is great for the CRNA because they can go into these rural areas and provide anesthesia care that wouldn't be there otherwise. You might want to consider this when choosing the area where you would like to work. These are the salary ranges in seventeen states that do not require physician supervision:

  • Iowa $151,359 to $179,659
  • Nebraska $149,792 to $177,799
  • Idaho $152,729 to $181,286
  • Minnesota $158,567 to $188,215
  • New Hampshire $170,533 to $202,419
  • New Mexico $149,503 to $177,456
  • Kansas $156,406 to $185,650
  • North Dakota $149,176 to $177,069
  • Washington $170,883 to $202,834
  • Alaska $182,893 to $217,090
  • Oregon$162,840 to $193,287
  • Montana $146,368 to $173,735
  • South Dakota $141,103 to $167,485
  • Wisconsin $158,660 to $188,326
  • California $180,520 to $214,273
  • Colorado $161,764 to $192,009
  • Kentucky $150,468 to $178,602

The Future for CRNAs

If you are looking for job security, then becoming a CRNA now would be the right move. There are more people seeking medical help than ever before due to changing healthcare legislation. The legislation has brought about more insured patients, increased servicing of the aging population, and more attention being put on preventative care.


Nurse anesthetist's right hand is holding a syringe and injecting it to a person's hand

Image by Liz Masoner from Pixabay

Now that you know what it takes to become a CRNA you can understand why it is the highest salary in the field of nursing. The CRNA salary is the reward for the hard work and time that you have to invest in earning the credentials. Once you become a CRNA, you will be able to not only help people but provide for your family with the salary that you deserve.  

10 Reasons to Become a Nursing Assistant

Have you ever wanted to be part of a team that is dedicated to healing and improving the quality of life for others? Do you want a healthcare career that is personally satisfying? If you answered "yes" to these questions, then a career as a nursing assistant may be the best choice for you. In this guide, we will learn exactly what it means to be a certified nursing assistant, or CNA, by taking an in-depth look into the inner-workings of the job itself. This thorough job description will provide an insight in what it's like to be giving direct, professional medical care to patients. We will also explore the educational requirements and certifications needed to become a nursing assistant. On the final stop of our journey, we will go through the top 10 reasons to become a nursing assistant. But, what exactly does a CNA do? Let's find out.

Nursing Assistant: Job Description

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A certified nursing assistant is one of the most important, yet sometimes underrated, professions in the healthcare industry. In many ways, healthcare would not even happen without CNAs. They work as a vital lifeline of the hospital or healthcare system they work in by having direct responsibility for its patients, clients or residents. CNAs assist patients in routine daily activities such as dressing, eating, and bathing. CNAs also play a major role in keeping their patients comfortable and safe.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

The CNA works as a part of a team that reports directly to the nurse. Nurses are dependant upon information gathered by the nursing assistant. CNAs check vital signs, run tests and make observations about their patient's condition. CNAs are also responsible for coordinating schedules with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational and physical therapists.

Job Environment of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Working as a CNA is a physically demanding career that includes a lot of standing, lifting, positioning and transporting patients of all sizes. Nursing Assistants spend most of their shift on their feet, and there is hardly any downtime. This is a career where there is always something to do. You must be someone who enjoys staying busy while providing the best care possible to your patients.

Education and Certification

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In order to become a certified nursing assistant, you must have a high school diploma or GED. A college degree is not required to become a CNA. In most states, you have to be at least 18 years of age to become a CNA. In a few states, however, 16- and 17-year-olds are allowed to enter a CNA program.


Typically, certified nursing assistant programs last from four4 to 12 weeks. Curriculum for a CNA program includes 75 hours of classroom training, plus hands-on training that will give you the clinical skills needed to care for patients. After completing this curriculum, you are eligible to take your state's CNA examination.

Cost of Education

The cost of becoming a CNA is quite reasonable compared to other healthcare professions. The average cost of a CNA program is around $1200. After completing the program, you will be spending around $175 to become certified. The certification fee includes the state examination which costs an average of $125. After passing the exam, proof of certification will cost you around $50.

10 Reasons to Become a Nursing Assistant

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Now that we have a better understanding of how to become a CNA and what the job of a nursing assistant entails, we can explore the many advantages this healthcare profession has. Working as a CNA has tangible and intangible benefits. Let's check out the top 10 reasons to become a nursing assistant.

An Emotionally Rewarding Career

The main component of being a nursing assistant is compassion. A CNA must be a caring individual who enjoys helping those in need. As a nursing assistant, you will at some point encounter patients who are going through the toughest times in their lives. It takes a special kind of individual to ensure safety and provide comfort to those encountering their darkest hours. You will be the one holding their hand or listening to their stories.

Because CNA's spend so much time in direct contact with patients, they are often the first to detect a change in their condition. CNAs often play the most critical role for the whole team. Nursing assistants often form close relationships with their patients. This is especially true for patients who will require long-term care.

Exposure to Other Healthcare Careers

Nursing assistants are often in close contact with registered nurses and other health professionals in the work environment. If you plan on advancing your healthcare career, this experience with other staff can be very beneficial. The leadership on your team can also play a mentorship role helping you decide if and what kind of advancement is right for you. In essence, working as a CNA is a major stepping stone for your healthcare career advancement in roles such as a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse.

Good Salary, Attractive Benefits, and Flexible Schedule

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Besides the emotional benefits of being a nursing assistant, there are financial benefits as well. The average annual salary for a CNA is $26,000. This figure can be larger. It all depends on where you live and work. If you choose to work as a full-time nursing assistant, you can make up to 25% more money because of the benefits that come with a full-time position. These benefits may include paid vacations, paid leave, retirement contributions and medical insurance.

Patients require care at any time of the day and night. If you decide to work as a part-time CNA, you can usually pick which schedule suits you best. Part-time nursing assistants, however, are more likely to work holidays and weekends.

Increasing Demand for Nursing Assistants

The healthcare industry is one of the most rapidly growing in the world and the CNA is one of the most rapid growing jobs within this industry. The average job growth rate is 7%. By 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the job growth for nursing assistants will be at a staggering 18%. To meet this growing demand, there will be over 300,000 new CNAs required in this timeframe. When it comes to stability, the healthcare industry is solid as a rock. In addition to this increased demand, the intense emotional and physical nature of the position leads to a higher turnover rate. This means there are always positions open.

No Two Days Are Similar

On every shift you work as a nursing assistant, not one will be exactly the same. If you detest mundane, repetitive work and embrace variety, then this is the right career for you. Your time working in a healthcare facility will pass quickly. Patients and their conditions are ever-changing and highly variable. Working in the healthcare industry guarantees that no two days will ever likely be the same as the last.

Varied Working Environments

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Depending on your personal preference, CNAs have a variety of working environments to choose from. Most choose to work in hospitals, but others choose hospices or home-care. It all depends on your personality.

Affordable Education and Short Training

As we learned earlier, becoming a CNA is very affordable and requires a very short period of time compared to other healthcare professions. Remember, certain states may require more hours than others, but the average curriculum is only 75 hours long.

Get a Head Start on Nursing School

Working as a CNA can also be a prerequisite for nursing school. Some nursing schools prefer CNAs because they have experience in the rigorous environment of the healthcare industry. This may reduce the number of classes you have to take and help you complete nursing school faster.

Changing Jobs Is Easy

You may want to start off your CNA career working in a hospital, but later want to switch to hospice care. Because of the high demand for nursing assistants in every aspect of the healthcare spectrum, switching working environments is hardly challenging.

Lifetime of Knowledge

As a CNA, you will see patients with a variety of ailments. Not only will this experience provide you with helpful knowledge on how to treat these ailments, but it will also make you have a greater appreciation for your own health. Your family and friends will come to you for advice and expertise for health-related issues.

Final Thoughts

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Working in the healthcare industry takes a special kind of person. The job is rigorous on both the body and the mind. A CNA will work long hours and endure some of the toughest emotions imaginable. On the other hand, however, the job can be more rewarding than most other careers. You can bring patients out of the dark and back into the light of healing and care. A nursing assistant career can provide financial stability with an ample starting salary and great benefits. If you think that this is is the right move for you, begin researching online for the right CNA program and start studying!

Important Steps To Take In How To Become A Medical Assistant

Do you dream of a career in the medical field? Are you interested in entering the healthcare industry without spending many years and large sums of money to do so?

If so, a career as a medical assistant might be the perfect choice for you. This role gives you the opportunity to work alongside skilled physicians in the field and offers plenty of chances for career mobility. To learn about this exciting career, the education and certification options you have, and how to become a medical assistant, keep reading further down.

Medical Assistant Career Overview

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Job Description

If you want to learn how to become a medical assistant, you need to understand exactly what this role entails to decide if it is the right fit for you. Medical assistants work closely with doctors, primarily in ambulatory care and outpatient settings like a medical clinic or office.

Medical assistants are in high demand, with the field growing at a much greater rate on average when compared to other industries. This is partly due to an increase in doctor's offices and outpatient facilities, the rise of new technology in the healthcare field, and the heightening number of elderly individuals requiring expert medical care.

To learn how to become a medical assistant, you need to meet both the clinical and administrative aspects of the role in full. While the job description for how to become a medical assistant varies based on your employer, the size of the practice, the type of practice, and your location, there are some key duties associated with the role.

You must have strong technical and phone skills, be able to use various computer applications, and answer the phones as needed. You must welcome patients, fill out and update medical records for patients, and complete insurance forms.

Medical assistants are also required to set appointments and organize laboratory procedures and hospital admissions. You need to be a strong communicator, adept at composing written correspondence and interacting face-to-face with doctors and patients alike. You should also have bookkeeping and billing knowledge to meet the demands of the role.

As far as the clinical aspects of how to become a medical assistant go, you will do everything from compiling medical chronologies to going over treatment procedures with patients, to preparing patients for the actual procedure. A medical assistant must help the doctor performing the exam, gather and make ready laboratory samples, and run laboratory tests on patients.

You will discuss medical and dietary instructions with patients, make ready and administer prescriptions to patients, and oversee refills of prescriptions at the doctor's behest. Medical assistants also take blood samples, perform electrocardiograms, take out sutures, and replace old dressings with new.

Important Skills

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Besides the clinical and administrative duties associated with the role, there are some important skills you need for how to become a medical assistant. You should have strong listening, communication, reading comprehension, and customer service skills to fulfill the duties of this job.

You must have strong powers of perception to assess a patient's state of mind and sensitivity to deal with delicate situations. You should have excellent writing skills to prepare reports, records, and medical histories. You must be extremely detail oriented, as there is little margin for error in this field.

You must be knowledgeable regarding medical treatment methods and terminology. You should have well-developed administrative abilities to perform the clerical and medical functions of the role. You need to have good computer skills too to work with the various applications a medical assistant needs.

Career Paths

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There are multiple career options and areas of specialty open to you if you become a medical assistant. You can gain additional education to work in these specialities or wait until you have more experience as a medical assistant.

Some medical assistants become phlebotomists, taking blood samples for purposes like testing at a lab or blood donations. Phlebotomists get medical equipment ready to draw blood, keep the area clean, compile patient records, and do billing and other clerical duties. To become a phlebotomist, you must earn your degree or certificate in the field. These programs are about a year long.

Other medical assistants become an ophthalmic assistant, liaising with patients and the records department alongside ophthalmologists. Ophthalmic assistants run tests on a patient's vision, dole out eye medications, compile medical chronologies, and maneuver specialized medical equipment. You can go the ophthalmic assistant route by undergoing clinical training, earning your certification in the field, or completing hands-on training in a medical environment.

Some medical assistants become licensed practical or vocational nurses. They work alongside registered nurses and physicians, giving medical aid to patients, administering medications and care, checking and recording a patient's vital signs, and recording medical histories. To become a licensed practical or vocational nurse, you must earn your certification, diploma, or degree from an accredited 1 to 2 year program.

Education & Certification

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Associate's Degree Program

Your first educational path for how to become a medical assistant is to complete an associate's degree program. The primary differences between an associate's degree and a certification are the time to complete the programs, the courses covered, the credits for each, and beyond.

When learning how to become a medical assistant with an associate's degree, you will need to commit 2 years as a full-time student to complete the 90-credit program. If you choose the sped up course of study, you might complete the program in as little as 18 months.

You will have plenty of job choices available to you upon completion of your associate's program for how to become a medical assistant. However, your coursework will contain major focused and general education classes, setting the stage for you to complete your bachelor's degree down the road if you so desire.

You can complete your associate's degree for how to become a medical assistant at a community college, in person, online, or a combination program. You will finish your clinical experience at the school or a local medical facility.

Certification Program

If you go through a certification program for how to become a medical assistant, you can earn that designation in a year or less. The certification route is meant to give you a faster path to entering the medical assistant field, with classes covering office practices, billing procedures, clinical aspects, laboratory functions, and medical terminology.

Most certificates require 35 credits of coursework. You can learn how to become a medical assistant by earning your certificate at a technical school, vocational school, online, in a regular classroom setting, a combination of online and in-person classroom components. Clinicals are usually done at a local medical facility for the hands-on portion of the program.

How To Become A Medical Assistant

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Select Your Program

Work Out The Funding 

Study Hard

Become Certified 


Learning how to become a medical assistant takes hard work and dedication. Start by deciding whether an associate's degree or certification program is the best option for you, then pick an accredited course of study. Consider acquiring an additional certification to expand your career options and room for advancement.

Study hard and take advantage of every opportunity to increase your knowledge in the field, whether it be through study groups, extra coursework, clinical programs, or externships. If you do this, the path to success will open to you as you pursue your career as a medical assistant.

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CNA Classes To Take To Be Certified

Are you interested in becoming a certified nursing assistant? Have you looked into the CNA classes involved but are not yet sure if this is the job path for you? Before you decide, it is important to understand the ins and outs of the role itself, the CNA classes required for certification and how to become a CNA. For all this and more, keep reading.

What Is a Certified Nursing Assistant? 

Job Description

A certified nursing assistant offers help and care to individuals with mental and physical disabilities who cannot get by on their own. CNAs deal with patients of any age in a variety of settings, including clinics, mental health facilities and hospitals. Some CNAs may work in the patient's home rendering help and are employed by the individual's family to offer care and companionship. CNAs are frequently employed by assisted living facilities and nursing homes where they work alongside and care for the elderly.

CNAs do valuable and important work in caring for mentally and physically disabled individuals. They help maintain a quality of care that is necessary to ensure the patient's comfort and well-being.


CNAs work alongside the patient and their family on a daily basis to deal with the individual's needs pertaining to their physical and/or mental disability. CNAs provide invaluable care and medical aid to patients who might otherwise have a severely reduced quality of life. A CNA may also work with elderly individuals helping them to become more comfortable with being dependent in their late years. A CNA does everything from helping individuals to bathe and get dressed to administering prescriptions and checking vital signs.

If employed by a nursing facility, the CNA helps bedridden individuals adjust to different positions, offers hygienic assistance, doles out medication dosages and administers feedings. If employed by making in-home visits, a CNA might function as a companion for elderly individuals along with assisting them with mobility, hygienic, feeding and other medical needs.

Work Environment 

After taking your CNA classes and becoming certified, you can work in an array of employment settings. CNAs are frequently employed by hospitals, hospice facilities, urgent care clinics, nursing homes and assisted living communities. As a CNA, you could also work doing in-home care, at a correctional facility or inpatient mental health facility.

Necessary Skills

There are necessary skills that are required in order to be a successful, effective CNA. You must be extremely organized and detail-oriented to do everything from administering dosages to feeding patients to recording an individual's dietary intake. As you will deal with individuals in delicate and difficult situations, you must be kind, compassionate and understanding. You also need to be strong physically and mentally in this job, with a keen ethical sense to work on behalf of patients and serve their best interests.

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As a CNA, you have access to addictive substances. You must dose them out per the physician's instructions and make sure individuals are fully cared for according to standards in patient best practices.

Career Outlook and Salary

If you are interested in enrolling in CNA classes, you should know professionals in the field are in high demand. In fact, it has been projected that CNA jobs will increase by 11% by the year 2026. The median salary for a CNA comes is around $28,000 annually.

The amount you make depends on the state you live in, the employer you work for and your relevant education and experience. If you take further coursework and earn other credentials, your opportunities for career advancement and a better salary will increase. Government-employed CNAs earn a higher income than others in the field, with a median yearly average of around $33,000 or more.

What CNA Classes Do I Need for Certification?

Educational Overview

You can take your CNA classes at short-term, approved institutions to earn your certificate. The CNA classes may be finished in weeks and can be completed at technical schools, community colleges or via hybrid programs of online and in-person coursework.

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CNA classes are comprised of lectures and laboratory work. Key subjects covered include vital signs, patient rights, long-term care, incident reporting and activities of daily living. You will be required to complete the clinical aspects of the program under the supervision of medical professionals.

Fundamentals of Nursing

Most CNA classes involve a Fundamentals of Nursing Course to acquaint students with a host of medical topics. This class is designed to introduce trainees to the function of a nursing assistant along with the ethical and legal components of the job.

Body Systems

You will probably also take Body Systems courses to learn about the human body, how it works and how it reacts to medications. These kinds of classes offer a foundation for anyone looking to become a licensed nurse or advance into another area of the medical field down the line. They cover subjects like physiology and anatomy.

Patient Care

CNA classes in patient care deal with the spiritual, psycho-social and physical aspects of the job. These CNA classes teach you how to help patients do things like eat, dress and bathe. Patient care coursework also involves learning how to keep patients from becoming injured during long-term care, take vital signs and gather specimens.

Students learn how to help patients with cognitive, behavioral and emotional issues. Patient care CNA classes also teach you how to understand the spiritual component of individuals requiring long-term care, helping them cope with their disabilities.

How to Become a CNA

Enroll in an Approved Training Program

The first step to become a CNA is to enroll in an approved training program. Whichever program you select, the state must approve it if you wish to take the CNA examination and earn your certification. Programs and institutions approved by the state follow federal and state regulations pertaining to curriculum and training.

Once you finish your CNA classes and pass the exam, you can apply for work right away. If you are interested in becoming a licensed nurse eventually, certain institutions will let you transfer credits from your CNA classes.

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Check your state and CNA training program's requirements to make sure you have all of the documents required to be admitted and enroll. You must show you are at least 18 years of age or for states that admit 16- and 17-year-olds, proof of parental consent. You must also undergo a physical exam and background check, offer proof of immunization, TB results, your high school diploma or GED, your CPR and First Aid certificate and your driver's license.

Out of the 50 U.S. states, 19 allot 75 hours for CNA classes. The remaining 31 have CNA classes ranging from 80 to 180 hours. All states require clinical components be completed within these hours, which can be anywhere from 16 to 100 hours.

Training Topics 

During your CNA classes, you will learn a variety of subjects and concepts, all of which will be on the certification exam. Common subjects include the aging process, activities of daily living, anatomy and physiology, ethics and legal issues and body mechanics.

You will also study cultural and spiritual needs, client rights, communication, data collection, mental health, personal care and range of motion. On the clinical side, subjects like infection control, nutrition, medical terminology, safety, vital signs and testing will be covered.

Meet Your State's Requirements for Certification 

Once you have finished your CNA classes, you can sit for the certification exam. Each state has different requirements and fees for the exam with varying questions and time limits. Be sure to check and see what is required for your state so you know what to expect ahead of time.

Take the Certification Exam 

The day you take the certification exam, bring your exam date confirmation and ID. A number of states require you bring your Social Security card too. You should arrive at the testing center at least half an hour in advance so you can check in and provide the required documentation. You should wear scrubs for the clinical section of the exam.

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The written portion of the test is usually private and externally monitored. A licensed nurse will supervise the clinical part, which should last about 30 minutes. You will be required to perform anywhere from three to six skills on a mannequin or another student.

There is no way to know which exact skills they will ask you to show, but common ones include taking vital signs, performing catheter care, a partial bed bath, making a bed with the patient in it, dental care and moving patients. As a side note, if they ask you to demonstrate hand washing and you do not do it for a complete 20 seconds, you will fail the test immediately.


Once you pass the written and clinical portions of the CNA certification exam, you will enter the field right away and start work. This job is very demanding, both physically and mentally. However, it offers an excellent opportunity to play a valuable part in patient care and paves the path to other jobs within the healthcare field, such as a licensed nurse.

Your Guide in How to Become a Nursing Practitioner in Florida

Your Guide In How To Become A Nursing Practitioner In Florida

Nursing is an excellent career choice for those who want to enter the workforce quickly but still have the ability to further their education as they work. With licensure as a registered nurse requiring only an associate's degree, you can get started in an entry-level position, making a nice salary, while keeping your options open for better opportunities down the road. Today's nurses enjoy a challenging job that offers more paths to career advancement than ever before.

One of the most rewarding careers in nursing is that of nurse practitioner (NP), a type of Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (ARNP). A nurse practitioner has a master's or doctoral level degree and provides "primary, acute, chronic, and specialty care to patients of all ages and all walks of life". Much like a doctor, they are trained to diagnose and treat the illnesses and conditions of their patients. In this article, we'll discuss how to become a nurse practitioner.

What Does a Nurse Practitioner Do?

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Before learning how to become a nurse practitioner, let's talk about what they do. They are licensed clinicians who manage patients' health conditions and work to prevent disease. Nurse practitioners are often involved in the treatment of pediatric, adult, and geriatric patients and in women's health issues. They assess patient needs, order tests, diagnose and formulate treatment plans including prescribing medications, and provide health education to their patients.

Areas of Specialization

Here we'll list the types of medicine nurse practitioners choose to specialize in, in order of their popularity.

  • Family NP (more than half of all NPs choose this specialization)
  • Adult/Gerontology NP
  • Acute care NP (emergency care)
  • Pediatric NP
  • Women's Health NP
  • Psychiatric mental health NP
  • Neonatal NP

Common Subspecialties

The above specialties are broken down further into specific areas of medicine that NPs are commonly involved in (in alphabetical order).

  • Cardiac NP
  • Dermatology NP
  • Emergency room NP
  • Hospice NP
  • Surgical NP
  • Pulmonology and respiratory NP
  • Sports medicine NP
  • Urology NP

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Florida

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A nurse practitioner is licensed by the state(s) they practice in. Regulations governing the practice and educational requirements vary from state to state. The following information is specific to the State of Florida.

ARNP Educational Requirements in Florida

You must have a current Florida RN license before considering how to become a nurse practitioner in Florida. When seeking your graduate degree, it must be accredited by one of the following two accrediting agencies:

  • The National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC)
  • The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

You must complete an advanced pharmacology/pharmacotherapeutics course as part of your graduate degree and your major must be in nursing or within your chosen general area of specialty (Nurse Practitioner). The ability to write and dispense prescription medications is automatically given to NPs who have met this course requirements (Nurse Practitioners in Florida do not have the authority to prescribe controlled substances).

Your Coursework

Your graduate studies will include time in the classroom as well as clinical training. Subjects will include anatomy, physiology and pharmacology, as well as classes specific to your chosen specialty, pediatrics or primary care for example. Pursuing a master's degree usually takes a year and a half to two years of full-time study, while doctorate programs typically take two or three years of commitment.

Obtain National Certification

You must be nationally certified before you can be licensed as a nurse practitioner in Florida. Contact the appropriate national certifying body for details. National organizations that certify NPs include the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Certification usually requires a minimum of:

  • An RN license
  • A graduate level degree from an accredited school
  • A number of supervised clinical hours requirement

Apply for Your Nurse Practitioner's License

In the State of Florida, if your RN license is up for renewal within 120 days of applying for ARNP certification, you must renew the RN license before your nurse practitioner license can be issued. The application process is as follows:

  • Pay an application fee to the Florida Board of Nursing
  • Submit an official copy of your transcript verifying completion of a graduate nursing program
  • Submit verification of your national certification
  • Submit the Financial Responsibility form stating you will maintain professional liability insurance
  • Submit two sets of fingerprints
  • If you plan on selling prescription medications to patients in your office, submit the Dispensing Practitioner Registration with an additional $100 fee
  • If you answer “yes” to any question in the Criminal, Discipline or Health history sections, attach an explanation with supporting documents

Send the completed application and any supporting documents to:
Department of Health
Medical Quality Assurance
Florida Board of Nursing
P.O. Box 6330
Tallahassee, FL 32314

Nurse Practitioner Protocol

In the State of Florida, a nurse practitioner is only licensed to diagnose, treat, and operate under a protocol between the NP and a medical doctor, dentist, or osteopathic physician. A written protocol outlining the degree of supervision and how it will be handled functions as a collaborative practice agreement. The collaborative practice agreement is to be submitted to the Board of Nursing before you can practice as a nurse practitioner.

Criminal History Background Check

The State of Florida requires you to undergo a criminal history background check before obtaining your nurse practitioner's license. Two fingerprint cards are to be submitted if you are upgrading your RN license to NP or applying for a dual license. A local law enforcement agency can handle the fingerprinting for you. You must complete the online profile and mail the two completed fingerprint cards to the Board with your application.

Working as a Nurse Practitioner

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Now that you know how to become a nurse practitioner, let's take a closer look at some traits you'll need to be successful as an NP and some other aspects of your new career.

Necessary Skills

Nurse practitioners need active learning and active listening skills to communicate effectively with doctors and other medical professionals. They must also develop a good report with patients and use their decision-making skills to make good decisions about their care. Nurse practitioners need a good command of the English language and need to be perceptive to the needs of others to perform their job successfully. Other job skills include computer skills and experience working with assorted kinds of medical equipment and technologies.

Specialized Credentials

A graduate degree and state licensure are the requirements for becoming licensed as a nurse practitioner, but specialized credentialling is also available for those interested. They include:

  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNPC), from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist; Wellness through Acute Care (Adult-Gerontology, Pediatric & Neonatal) (ACCNS), from AACN
  • Executive Nursing Practice Credential, from American Organization of Nurse Executives Credentialing Center

Equipment and Technology

Nurse practitioners use today's most up-to-date medical devices, equipment, and technologies in hospitals, medical facilities, and doctors' offices. This includes:

  • pacemaker analysis
  • electrocardiography
  • EKGs
  • other medical appliances

NPs commonly use computers and the latest medical software programs, such as GE Healthcare Centricity EMR, eClinicalWorks software, and PCC Pediatric Partner. Most medical practices and hospitals need NPs who are familiar with Microsoft Office Suite programs and Microsoft Outlook for electronic communications.

Common Workplaces for Nurse Practitioners

You want to learn how to become a nurse practitioner because of the work you'll be doing. NPs work in a variety of settings:

  • Hospitals, performing critical care in the ER or ICU.
  • Primary Care Facilities, most work in this area treating chronic and minor illnesses and injuries, and providing health education to patients.
  • Urgent Care Facilities, treating patients with minor injuries and acute illnesses also ordering X-rays, tests, and prescribing medications.
  • Schools, treating minor ailments and promoting health education and activities for students and staff.

Salaries for Nurse Practitioners

Another reason to be interested in how to become a nurse practitioner is that of the potential salary. With an advanced degree and position, the average salary of an NP is higher than that of an RN. Some examples include:

  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with a median salary of around $95,000 per year.
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner with a median salary of around $105,000 per year.
  • Oncology Nurse Practitioner with a salary in the range of $75,000-$90,000 per year.
  • Nephrology Nurse Practitioner with a salary in the range of $90,000-$100,000 per year.
  • Nurse Anesthetist with a median salary in excess of $150,000 per year.


Nursing is not only a career choice, but it's also often a calling. The desire to help people in their time of need, to heal the sick, is why most people choose the nursing profession. It's a noble endeavor. It also offers many practical advantages when considering your career options. There aren't many professional jobs that one can begin with a 2-year degree. And there aren't many that have the wide range of specialties that nursing does.

Learning how to become a nurse practitioner is just one possible avenue to choose in nursing. But it's one that comes with so many benefits. From a more in-depth involvement in patient care and outcome to a heightened professional standing to a higher salary, being a nurse practitioner is a career goal anyone should be proud to strive for. Whether you're a student thinking of about the future or a registered nurse considering career advancement, we hope the information provided here has you thinking about your future in nursing.