After becoming a Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN) or a Registered Nurse (RN), there are several ways to continue your education. The main way to advance your career and earn a higher-paying salary is by earning a certification in one of the nursing specialties. There are many different nursing certifications available that cover a wide range of topics.
Becoming Eligible for Nursing Certifications
Before you can become eligible for any of the nursing certifications, you must first become a licensed nurse. Most specialized nurses earn either an ADN degree or BSN degree from either online or traditional nursing schools. In some cases, nurses go on to earn a master’s degree. In fact, many of the nursing certifications require a master’s degree in order to become eligible.
Types of Nursing Certifications
There are many different types of nursing certifications. You may decide to earn one or several depending on your interests and long-term career goals. Just a few of the nursing certifications include the following:
- Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) – A CNM cares for and attends to pregnant women throughout the labor and birthing process. Anyone who is a Registered Nurse with a master’s degree is eligible for this certification, and it is administered by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). The certification exam is a computer-based written test that costs $500 to apply for.
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) – This certification will allow you to work as a nurse who administers anesthesia to patients. The certification process is governed by the National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). The exam is a multiple choice test that you can apply for on the NBCRNA website. This test covers everything you will need to know in order to safely and accurately practice as an anesthetist.
- Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) – There are several nursing certifications for nurses who want to become a teacher. Chief among these is the CNE certification. This certification is administered by the National League for Nursing (NLN). To become eligible, you will first have to earn a master’s degree in nursing education. The certification exam costs $375 for NLN members and $475 for non-members. The exam is a written tests and you can find practice guides and additional information on the NLN website.
These are just a small sample of the many nursing certifications available. In order to determine which one of the certifications is right for you, you must determine your main area of interest in the nurse job description. Some of the other nursing certifications include the following:
- Certified Nurse Practitioner
- Certified Occupational Health Nurse
- Certified Addictions Registered Nurse
- Certified Critical Care Nurse
- Certified Emergency Nurse
- Certified Hospice Nurse
- Certified Foot Care Nurse
- Certified Pediatric Nurse
After Earning a Nursing Certification
Once you have your certification, you will most likely want to seek a specialized nursing position. Although you may not find a job in your specialized field immediately, additional training and experience working as a typical nurse will only enhance your resume. With one of the nursing certifications, you should be able to secure an advanced position in your area of study in no time. In addition, no matter which one of the nursing certifications you have, you may be eligible for administrative, research, and teaching jobs that were previously unavailable to you.