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Nurse Practitioner Zone

Washington Nurse Practitioner Certification

Nurse practitioners in Washington are referred to as ARPNs. They are a type of APN. Other APNs include CNS, nurse–midwives, and CRNAs. The Washington State Nursing Commission regulates NPs in the state of Washington.

Washington NPs may diagnose and treat patients; establish and execute management plans for acute or chronic diseases or illnesses; and educate patients on how to prevent disease and illness and promote good health. They may specialize in areas of adult care, family care, acute care, family psychiatric and mental health, gerontological care, pediatric care, adult psychiatric and mental health, as well as advanced diabetes management. If they meet specific requirements, Washington NPs may be granted prescriptive authority in their area of specialty.

In order to become a nurse practitioner in Washington, you must hold a valid RN license that allows you to practice in Washington. In addition, you must earn a master’s degree in nursing or equivalent advanced practice preparation in an area of specialty, which must be a minimum of 1 academic year. If you do not have a graduate degree, you must send proof of advanced practice license or ARNP certification from another state or U.S. territory. You must complete 30 hours of pharmacology, if you wish to have prescriptive authority.


Some schools in the state of Washington that offer approved master’s degree programs for NPs include University of Washington and Pacific Lutheran University. If you wish to earn your degree from an online program, you must choose a program that is approved by national certification bodies recognized by the Washington State Nursing Commission. Some of the online schools are: University of Cincinnati, Philadelphia University, Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing, Liberty University, South University, or Graceland University. The faculty of online schools establish clinical sites near students, so that they may fulfill the required clinical component of the program. Check with the Washington State Nursing Commission in order to find out whether a specific online program is approved for Washington NPs.

In addition to earning your master’s degree, you must successfully pass an exam offered by a national certifying body recognized by the Washington State Nursing Commission. National certifying agencies approved by the Washington State Nursing Commission include: AANA, ACNM, ANCC, PNCB, NCC for the Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing Specialties, and AANP.

In the state of Washington, NPs can earn high salaries, depending on their education, area of specialty, location, experience, and other factors. The average NP in Washington earns $80,000 per year.

University of Washington - Descriptions of Areas of StudyŚ DNP Degree Program Specialties Only

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Last Updated: 05/19/2014