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Specialized Nursing Certifications to Advance Your Career

May 23, 2022

Nursing is a dynamic career with many different opportunities. You can pursue pediatric, cardiac, research, and many other paths throughout your career. However, some nursing opportunities require more than a regular nursing license.  

Specialized nursing often requires more training. As a result, multiple organizations oversee certification processes for dozens of certifications. Some help enhance your knowledge for bedside nursing, while others help you prepare for specialized nursing opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise have. If you’re interested in advancing your nursing career, consider these advanced practice nursing certifications.  

Nursing certification infographic comparing different specializations in salary.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Wonder what the highest paid nursing specialty is? The answer might surprise you. Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA) consistently out-earn other nurses, with annual salaries averaging nearly $200,000. Earning potential alone makes it an appealing career choice, but it’s not for everyone.  

Becoming a CRNA is no walk in the park. CRNA programs are highly competitive and challenging. Registered nurses can apply for Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice programs to gain the knowledge and experience needed for CRNA positions. Depending on where you choose to work, you can practice autonomously upon graduating.  

For several years, Virginia Commonwealth University has ranked as the top program for CRNAs across the nation. Check out their website to learn more about how to take your career to the next level as a CRNA.  

Nurse Practitioner

Most nurses work under the supervision of a physician, but that’s not the case for nurse practitioners. Similarly to physicians, nurse practitioners provide care to their patients independently. They diagnose and treat a variety of illnesses, and they prescribe medications which sets them apart from other nurses.  

Nurse practitioners choose a specialty and provide care to patients within their scope of practice. Many nurse practitioners specialize in family practice, but other specialties include neonatal, psychiatric, emergency, and women's health.  

Doctor of Nursing Practice programs give aspiring nurse practitioners the knowledge and experience needed to pursue their dreams. They usually last two years, after which graduates take an exam for their chosen specialty through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board.  

Oncology Certified Nurse

Chances are you know someone who has fought a cancer battle. Whether they win or lose, they probably spoke highly of the nurses who helped them navigate their treatment and gave them hope when they thought all was lost. It takes a special person to pursue a nursing career in oncology, so it only makes sense that they also have the credentials to provide the best care for this vulnerable population.  

Oncology certified nurses are a unique blend of skill, compassion, and encouragement that help cancer patients triumph against the odds. The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC) coordinates testing and certification for these highly skilled nurses.  

To earn this certification, nurses need extensive experience and continuing education credits in oncology prior to sitting for the exam. ONCC outlines all of the prerequisites on their website where you can also apply for the next exam period.  

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner

Healthcare embodies more than illnesses, accidents, and recovery. There’s also a forensic component to nursing, as victims of violent crimes need specialized care to help catch the perpetrator as well as recover from their injuries. Sexual assault nurse examiners help facilitate both of these processes.  

In addition to providing care to their patients, sexual assault nurse examiners also have the responsibility of collecting evidence and testifying in court. They can explain the injuries the patient experienced as well as the evidence they collected from the crime. Due to the sensitive nature and additional responsibilities of this specialty, the Commission for Forensic Nursing Certification (CFNC) oversees the credentialing process.  

If you’re interested in becoming a sexual assault nurse examiner, there are two different certifications to choose from: one for adults and another for pediatric patients. You can sit for both exams if you choose. To learn more, check out the certification portal.  

Advance your nursing career with Advantis Medical Staffing

If you have an advanced practice nursing certification and you’re looking for your next career move, Advantis Medical can help! AdvantisConnect has many different opportunities for travel nurses in just about every specialty. Simply create a profile and you can browse through our opportunities to take your talents on the road.

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