How to Become an Advanced Practice Nurse

If you choose to go into nursing, you have the option of taking your practice to the highest level. You can become an advanced practice nurse and take on many roles that used to be reserved for doctors. It will require quite a bit of education, but it doesn’t have to be done all at once. The following resource is designed to help you move through the steps as efficiently as possible.

Become an Advanced Practice Nurse

  1. Get a strong academic foundation in high school. Programs for registered nurses are competitive. They typically consider both your overall GPA and your science GPA. Although you usually don’t apply to nursing school until you have a few college courses under your belt, high school chemistry and biology are part of the foundation. Also put effort into composition – this will help you write personal statements and scholarship essays.

  2. Get some health care experience early, if you can. Many nursing schools and hospitals hold nursing camps. Some camps are pricey, but many of them – particularly short day camp programs – are absolutely free. You may want to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. Schools also look upon this experience quite favorably.

  3. Apply to college/nursing school. Make sure your program has been accredited by the NLNAC or the accrediting arm of the AACN. Learn about becoming a Registered Nurse and finding a nursing school.

  4. You will do clinical rotations in several areas: adult care, pediatrics, perinatal care, and mental health. Your rotations may help you decide what type of advanced practice study you want to pursue later. They can also assist you in landing that first job!

  5. Find a clinical nursing job in your area of interest.

  6. Complete application requirements and enroll in a graduate level nursing program.

  7. It’s time for a job in advanced practice. If you go where the need is greatest – and you’re a very strong candidate – you may be eligible for loan repayment. Explore options well in advance.

Personality Traits: Like all nurses, APNs should have empathy and emotional maturity. They should also have scientific and academic aptitude; this includes the ability to do research.