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Types of Nursing Certifications Essay

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Updated: Jul 9th, 2021


Over the years the nursing profession has undergone significant changes. For instance, in the recent time the demand for qualified certificated professionals that can apply evidence-based practices increased. This demand requires additional education to obtain one of the credentials that enable an individual to deliver proper care. This paper aims to overview different types of certification for nurses and discuss advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) in detail.

Types of Certifications

Firstly, the kind of certification an individual can have depends on the level of education and a particular program. Currently, to practice, a person has to have a diploma from a program, baccalaureate degree, or an associated degree. One option is to pass a National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses exam after participating in a hospital-based education (Black, 2017). According to the author, the primary certifications include nurse practitioners (NP), (CNMs), certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), nurse educators, and other professions, all of which are within the category of ARPN. Participation in the advanced practice educational program will help one obtain one of the mentioned authorizations for work.

From the variety of certifications discussed above it can be concluded that nurses have a wide choice of options that enable them to choose a specific career path and obtain a corresponding certificate. Apart from those credentials, there are nursing assistants (CAN) whose work focuses on helping individuals carry out daily activities, for instance, put on clothes or bathe. Licensed practical nurses (LPN) can monitor the health state of their patients and provide primary care, for example, they can measure blood pressure or change bandages. Registered nurses (RN) have many responsibilities because they fill out individual’s history, diagnosing in collaboration with physicians, and providing treatment.


APRN is an interesting type of certification because it allows nurses to practice medicine in a more coherent manner. APRN have to finish a master’s program to obtain the certificate. Therefore, these medical workers are qualified to interpret the results of the test and refer patients to physicians or other professionals (Winland-Brown, & Dunphy, 2017).

Moreover, they are eligible to work independently, communicate with patients, and provide advice regarding health-related issues. Such a specialist can obtain credentials for a particular field, for instance, one must pass an ACCNS-P exam to become a pediatric nurse. The ability to focus on one specific population provides an understanding of the importance that ARRNs have for the healthcare system. The scope of knowledge allows APRN professionals to make decisions regarding diagnosis and treatment options.

Considering the scope of skills and requirements for becoming an APRN, it can be argued that they perform tasks similar to those of a physician. According to Winland-Brown and Dunphy (2017), the certification process for becoming an APRN aims to validate entry-level knowledge in the chosen area of interest. Additionally, the procedure tests skills and understanding of hospital practices. An individual must present evidence of the required educational level and clinical practice to be eligible.


Overall, the variety of credentials and education options provide an understanding that the field of nursing requires well-trained professionals who can apply evidence-based practices in their work. Among others, an individual can pass an exam and receive an NP, CNMs, CRNAs, CAN, RN, LPN, APRN, or ACCNS-P certificates. Professionals who have APRN can practice by providing diagnosis and treatments to patients, either together with other medical workers or independently.


Black. B. P. (2017). Professional nursing: Concepts & challenges (8th ed.). Maryland Heights, Mo: Elsevier.

Winland-Brown, J. E., & Dunphy, L. M. (2017). Family practice and adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner certification examination (5th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis Company.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Types of Nursing Certifications." July 9, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/types-of-nursing-certifications/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Types of Nursing Certifications'. 9 July.

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