While being an RN can be very fulfilling in and of itself, some find themselves driven to gain expertise in more specialized areas and are ready to take on added responsibility in providing more independent health care to patients. These individuals may consider pursuing a career as one of the four following types of advanced practice nurses:
- nurse anesthetists
- nurse midwives
- clinical nurse specialists
- nurse practitioners
Education requirements to become an advanced practice nurse
To become an advanced practice nurse, a master's degree is a must. If you already have your bachelor of science in nursing, a master's degree will likely require an additional two years of eduction. If you are an RN, but do not yet have your BSN, you should consider an accelerated master's degree program which would allow you to earn both your BSN degree and and your MSN degree in a three- to four-year time frame.
State requirements for advanced practice nursing
While earning your MSN is the most important prerequisite to a career as an advanced practice nurse, you should also familiarize yourself with your state's local requirements and regulations vis-a-vis advanced practice nursing. Your state's board of nursing can provide you with these details.