The specific requirements per nursing certification vary. Some nursing certifications, like ER nurses or most critical care nurses, require verified practice hours but not additional formal education. Advanced practice certifications, like nurse practitioners or nurse anesthetists, require additional education, typically a master’s or doctorate in nursing.
For example, to become a family nurse practitioner (FNP) must have a registered nursing (RN) license and complete an accredited postgraduate program and a minimum of 500 clinical, supervised patient care hours before being eligible to sit for the ANCC FNP-BC certification exam. It is typically recommended that candidates work for one or two years before applying for any nurse practitioner programs.