The decision to follow your dreams and become a registered nurse, advanced practice nurse or clinical nurse specialist should include thorough research.
- Explore several accredited nursing education programs, financial aid options, approved certification programs and nursing certification fees.
- Look into RN license requirements by state and consider a compact nursing license vs. single-state license.
- Be sure to think about your desired career trajectory and where your interests lie: do you enjoy bedside practice, operating theaters, research or management?
The National Commission for Certifying Agencies — Approved Nursing Programs
Nursing program accreditation by NCCA (National Commission for Certifying Agencies), an arm of the national Institute for Credentialing Excellence, affirms that the essential standards for a high-quality program meet the health, welfare and safety of the public.
Nursing Education Financial Aid
Many solutions are available to help pay for a nursing program, including scholarships, grants, loans, and loan repayment programs. You just have to know where to find them. Aid exists for national, state, minority, graduate and undergraduate programs.
Nursing Licensure Compact
A nursing license from states a part of the Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC) allows a nurse to work in any other NLC state. In cases of a natural disaster, national epidemic or residential move, a compact nursing license saves money, time and hassle.
Nurse Certification Fees
More than 75 advanced practice nursing specialty certifications exist for nurse practitioners and clinical specialists. Each has its own credential, certifying body, renewal timeframe, and fee structure. Membership status may also factor into the fee.
American Board for Specialty Nursing Certification – Approved Programs
Credentials for nursing specialty certifications are approved by only one board: Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC), a peer-review mechanism that accredits nursing certification organizations by affirming they comply with the highest quality standards. Which program is right for you?
Nursing employment is growing much faster than other occupations; with a median wage of $71,173, RN jobs will grow 12 percent through 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). With a median wage of $113,930, nurse practitioners and specialist roles are projected to grow 26 percent.
Additional Nursing Resources
For more information on nursing careers, salaries, certifications and licensure requirements and more to help guide you to your future as a nurse.