Advanced Nursing Certifications

Neuroscience RN (CCRN)

Accreditation: American Board of Neuroscience Nursing

Neuroscience nurses provide support to patients with diagnosed brain and central and peripheral nervous system disorders. This type of nursing provides specialized post-operative care for patients after neurosurgery. In addition, neuroscience nurses work with those that have experienced brain injury, neuro trauma, and spinal damage, as well as patients with who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, meningitis, encephalitis and Parkinson’s disease. These nurses perform a wide variety of duties, including monitoring neurological exams, administering medication, maintaining health records, and consulting with physicians about patient performance and needs.


American Association of Neuroscience Nurses

The World Federation of Neuroscience Nurses


Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPN)

Accreditation: The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board

Pediatric nurses provide care for patients ranging from infancy to late adolescence. These types of nurses work in close collaboration with other healthcare professionals, such as family doctors, pediatric physicians and other nurses in order to provide effective preventive services. Pediatric nurses are typically involved in conducting routine tests and development screenings, performing examinations, and administering immunizations. In addition, pediatric nurses communicate directly with patients’ families. They are a valuable source of information and may provide consultation on the role of and importance of health throughout child development.


National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

Society of Pediatric Nurses

Journal of Pediatric Nursing

Pediatric Nursing Journal

Pediatric Nursing Certification Board

American Nurses Credentialing Center: Pediatric Nursing


Nurse Practitioner (NP)

Accreditation: American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

Under the authority of a physician, nurse practitioners are trained to serve as primary and specialty health care providers. This type of advanced nursing field requires an education at the master’s level or higher. Nurse practitioners typically specialize in a particular area, such as geriatrics, family practice, adult practice, pediatrics, mental health, or women’s health, among others. These nurses are given a higher level of autonomy than the average nursing staff member. In most states, nurse practitioners are able to prescribe medication, diagnose and initiate treatment plans, and order lab tests for patients.


American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

American College of Nurse Practitioners

Nurse Practitioner FAQ


Critical Care RN (CCRN)

Accreditation: American Association of Critical Care Nurses Corporation

Critical care nurses work to ensure that critically ill patients receive effective care for a wide variety of illnesses and injuries. These nurses are able to perform assessments, evaluations, and therapy and other intervention methods. Many critical care nurses have specializations in the areas of adult, pediatric, and neonatal care. Most critical care nurses work in intensive care units, cardiac care units, telemetry units, progressive care units, emergency departments, and recovery rooms. Advanced knowledge of technology is required for this nursing field, as critical care must be familiar with cardiac monitoring systems, continuous renal replacement equipment, and mechanical ventilator therapy as well as other complex life support systems.


American Association of Critical Care Nurses

Nurses for a Healthier Tomorrow: Critical Care Nurse

Critical Care Nurse

Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM)

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education

Certified nurse midwives are professionally trained to assist women throughout a woman’s pregnancy and labor. Patients who have low risk pregnancies or otherwise do not require the close supervision of a physician during pregnancy and delivery may, instead, be supported by a certified nurse midwife. In addition to providing routine checkups throughout the pregnancy, these nurses offer postpartum care as well. Postpartum care includes counseling new mothers on what to expect and how to care for the newborn baby as well as taking the time to care for mothers’ own health and well-being.


American College of Nurse Midwives

American Midwifery Certification Board

Midwives Alliance of North America

National Association of Certified Professional Midwives

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA)

Accreditation: Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs

Nurse anesthetists are trained to administer anesthesia care to patients undergoing surgical, therapeutic, diagnostic, and obstetrical procedures. These types of nurses must be prepared for a wide variety of patients, needs, and situations, as patients may be visiting a physician’s office, coming into the hospital for a procedure, or being brought from the emergency room for surgery. In addition to providing anesthesia, these nurses may also provide other types of pain relief and pain management after surgical procedures.


American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PsyNP)

These advanced nurses perform many of the same duties as psychiatrists. Psychiatric nurse practitioners speak with patients in order to evaluate their mental health, diagnose illnesses, provide different types of counseling, and prescribe medicines. The majority of these nurses function as therapists, providing talk therapies for those patients suffering from depression or anxiety. Some take on the role of educators, speaking with a patient’s family regarding the nuances and complexities of a patient’s condition in order for family members to better understand the illness and how best to cope.


Association of Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses

American Psychiatric Nurses Association

International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses

Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Competencies


Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse Practitioner (NNP)

Accreditation: The National Certification Corporation

Under the direct supervision of one or more physicians, neonatal intensive care nurses provide care and support to premature and critically ill newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of a hospital. These types of newborns require immediate medical attention in order to allow them to breathe properly and to be fed intravenously to help them gain and maintain their weight.  Neonatal nurses monitor newborns’ condition, administering necessary medications and record the progress of the newborn’s growth, development, and recovery.


National Association of Neonatal Nurses

The Academy of Neonatal Nursing

Council of International Neonatal Nurses, Inc.