CRNP - Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner

  • Renewal varies

COURSE FORMAT

About

A Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP) is a master’s-level (or higher) credential for Registered Nurses (RNs) who want to practice patient care autonomously and collaboratively with other healthcare providers. CRNPs are in demand. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the demand for nurse practitioners to grow by 31% by 2026.

CRNPs are advanced RNs with specialized training that expands practice scope to include medical diagnosis and medication prescription. Typically nurse practitioner programs require two years of college-level coursework. Nurses may choose a general certification, or a specialty nurse practitioner certification, such as:

  • emergency medicine

  • cardiology

  • pediatrics

  • obstetrics

CRNPs can earn different credentials depending on which certification exam they take. Additionally, some states call certified nurse practitioners Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs).

Certification

Steps to becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP):

  1. Complete an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

  2. Pass the NCLEX-RN to become an RN license in your state.

  3. Start working to gain experience and choose a nursing specialty.

  4. Enroll in a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctors of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program in the preferred specialty.

  5. Graduate with the MSN or DNP degree.

  6. Choose the certification that best fits your specialty, and apply for the exam.

  7. Study and pass your specialty exam.

  8. Maintain your nurse practitioner certification.

Four credentialing boards award certifications to nurse practitioners. Each organization has different requirements and fees.

  1. American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)

  2. Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB)

  3. National Certification Corporation (NCC)

  4. American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP)

Renewal

Each certifying body maintains different renewal requirements. Typically, they require a fee and continuing education credits. Candidates must complete the renewal process every 2-3 years, depending on the state.

Other Resources

Related Certifications

CRNPs who work in adult-gerontology can earn one of the following certifications:

  • ANCC Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Certification (AGPCNP-BC)

  • ANPCB Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (A-GNP)

  • ANCC Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification (AGACNP-BC)

  • AACN Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNPC-AG)

  • AACN Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNPC-Adult)

CRNPs who work with neonates can the NCC Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP-BC).

CRNPs who work in women's health can earn NCC Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHNP-BC).

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Frequently asked questions

What organizations offer the Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP)?

Four credentialing boards award certifications to nurse practitioners. Each organization has different requirements and fees.

  1. American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)

  2. Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB)

  3. National Certification Corporation (NCC)

  4. American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP)

What certifications are available for Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNP) who work in adult-gerontology?

Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNP) who work in adult-gerontology can earn one of the following certifications:

  • ANCC Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Certification (AGPCNP-BC)

  • ANPCB Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (A-GNP)

  • ANCC Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification (AGACNP-BC)

  • AACN Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNPC-AG)

  • AACN Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNPC-Adult)

What certifications are available for Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNP) who treat patients from infancy all the way through to geriatrics?

Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNP) who treat patients from infancy all the way through geriatrics can earn one of the following certifications:

  • ANCC Family Nurse Practitioner Certification (FNP-BC)

  • AANPCB Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-C)

  • PNCB Primary Care Certified Nurse Practitioner (CPNP-PC)

What certifications are available for Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNP) who work in psychiatric-mental health?

Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNP) who work in psychiatric-mental health can earn the ANCC Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC).

What certifications are available for Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNP) that work in the emergency department?

Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNP) who work in the emergency department can earn the AANPCB Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP-C).

What certifications are available for Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNP) that work in pediatrics?

Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNP) who work in pediatrics can earn the PNCB Acute Care Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP-AC).

What certifications are available for Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNP) who work with neonates?

Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNP) who work with neonates can the NCC Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP-BC).

What certifications are available for Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNP) who work with in women's health?

Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNP) who work in women's health can earn NCC Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHNP-BC).