North Carolina Nurse Practitioner Certification
In the state of North Carolina, CNPs are known as APRNs. CRNAs, certified nurse–midwives, and CNS are also APRNs. The North Carolina Board of Nursing regulates North Carolina NPs and determines their certification status.
North Carolina NPs manage a wide range of health issues, but the main focus is primary care and the promotion of health. Nurse practitioners conduct physical examinations and diagnostic evaluations of illness and injuries; prescribe therapeutics, including medications and devices; offer preventive services, counsel individuals and families regarding health procedures and preventative care; and monitor health status over time.
NPs may practice in a variety of settings, including hospitals, physician’s offices, specialty offices, clinics, managed care, long-term care, and public health. Some NPs obtain nurse educator post-master’s certificates, which allow them to teach as faculty in local colleges and universities that offer associate’s and bachelor’s degree nursing programs. Historically, NPs focused on primary care in rural areas where there were few physicians, but now they practice in urban areas as well.
In order to become a nurse practitioner in North Carolina, you must first hold a valid, unencumbered license to practice as an RN in North Carolina. Next, you must complete an advanced formal education program. Your program must be at the post-graduate level and result in a master’s degree. If you already have a master’s degree, you must complete a post-master’s NP program.
Some schools that offer approved NP programs include Winston–Salem State University, Western Carolina University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, East Carolina University, and Duke University School of Nursing.
Optionally, some NP students choose to pursue their master’s degrees through online programs. Distance-learning programs allow RNs the flexibility of time and location to pursue their degree while continuing to work and manage other obligations. Nationally accredited online schools offer similar course content to traditional campus-based schools. Faculty members of online schools arrange clinical sites in geographical areas that are convenient for students, so they can easily fulfill the clinical component of the program. Some of the accredited online programs offered are: Graceland University, Liberty University, Philadelphia University, Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing, and South University.
After you have earned your advanced degree, you must take an exam with a national credentialing body in your NP specialty area. These bodies include: the ANCC, AANP, NCC of the Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing Specialties, and PNCB.
Once you have successfully completed your examination, you can be licensed to practice in North Carolina. You will need to have a collaborative relationship with a physician to practice and prescribe medications. You will also need to complete continuing education throughout your career in order to renew your license.
Nurse practitioners in the state of North Carolina earn an average of $88,000 per year. Some factors, such as location, education, experience, type of practice, and area of specialization, can affect what you might earn.
Last Updated: 05/19/2014