Pennsylvania Nurse Practitioner Certification
In Pennsylvania, NPs are referred to as CRNPs. CRNPs are RNs who have completed advanced education programs and are certified in clinical specialty areas. The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing regulates NPs in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania NPs do not act completely independently and must practice under the supervision of a licensed physician. The requirement means that the physician must be reachable at all times, whether by phone, email, directly, or otherwise. Physicians provide advice, make referrals, establish drug protocols, and more. Pennsylvania NPs perform many tasks. They may examine, assess, diagnose, and treat patients with acute or chronic health issues; order and interpret diagnostic tests and lab studies; educate patients in the best way to promote good health and avoid diseases or illnesses; provide orders for care to RNs; and prescribe and administer medications and devices in their area of specialty, as long as they have met additional requirements.
In order to apply to become an NP in Pennsylvania, you must hold a current license as an RN by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. You must also complete a course of study of at least 1 year in a nursing program at an institution of higher education approved by the Board. If your program was completed in another state, it must be equivalent to programs approved by the Board. Some schools in Pennsylvania that provide approved programs include: Drexel University College of Nursing and Professions, University of Pennsylvania, Clarion University, Bloomsburg University, La Salle University, Penn State University, Temple University, and University of Scranton. Many of these schools also offer the option to take courses online. Online nursing schools offer the flexibility and convenience many RNs need to continue working and fulfilling other obligations while earning their degrees.
After you have completed your APN program, you are eligible to be certified as a nurse practitioner in your area of specialty. You must be certified by a national professional certifying organization recognized by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing, such as the AANP. In order to prescribe medications, you must have successfully completed at least 45 hours of course work specific to advanced pharmacology and have a collaborative agreement with a physician.
Pennsylvania NPs earn an average of $85,000 per year. Salaries may vary based upon factors such as your location, place of employment, experience, and specialization.
Last Updated: 05/19/2014