North Carolina Board of Nursing


Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

APRN Requirements

Notice: NC Board of Nursing through collaboration with NCDHHS is providing a streamlined registration process to the NC Controlled Substances Reporting System (CSRS). Please click HERE for more information.

"Advanced Practice Registered Nurse" (APRN) is an umbrella title for RNs who are Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, Certified Nurse Midwives, Clinical Nurse Specialists or Nurse Practitioners. Completion of an advanced formal education program is required for recognition to practice in any of the following categories.

Before practicing as an APRN in NC, you must (1) hold a NC RN license or another compact state RN license which is valid for practice in NC and (2) submit application and obtain NC approval/recognition to practice as a CRNA, CNM, CNS and/or NP.

Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

Education: Completion of a Master's in Nursing or related field and graduate level midwifery program.

Who Regulates: Midwifery Joint Committee

Certification Requirements: Certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. Mandatory national certification examination, continuing education and re-certification.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Education: Completion of Masters of Science in Nursing or another appropriate Master's degree program and graduate level anesthesia program.

Who Regulates: Board of Nursing

Certification Requirements: Certified by the National Board of Certification and Re-certification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Education: Completion of Master's or higher degree in nursing or Post-Master's certificate in nursing, with clinical specialization and preparation for advanced role functioning in areas such as mental health, neonatology, gerontology, cardiology, oncology or community. Recognition as a CNS by the NC Board of Nursing (NCBON) is required in the State.

Who Regulates: Board of Nursing

Certification Requirements: National Certification as clinical nurse specialist by a national credentialing body approved by the Board.

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

Education: Completion of Master's or higher degree in Nursing or related field with a primary focus on Nursing and nationally accredited graduate level Nurse Practitioner education program.

Who Regulates: Joint Subcommittee of the Medical Board and the Board of Nursing

Certification Requirements: "Certification by one of the following national credentialing bodies approved by the Board. Board approved re-certification must be maintained.

  1. American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). 
  2. American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). 
  3. American Association of Critical Care Nurses Certification Corporation (AACN). 
  4. National Certification Corporation of the Obstetric Gynecological and Neonatal Nursing Specialties (NCC). 
  5. Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB).

Additional Information on Advanced Practice Registered Nurse