Bring your dreams of specialized nursing to a higher level by becoming an Adult Nurse Practitioner. Have you ever wondered what an Adult nurse does? Find out below the many opportunities for adult nursing has to offer.

How to Become an Adult Nurse Guide
How to Become an Adult Nurse Guide

Table of Contents

Quick Summary

Adult Nurse Practitioners serve as nurse leaders and hold postgraduate degrees in nursing. They manage patients across the continuum of acute, chronic, and critical care. They use adult nursing skills to improve patient outcomes for critically and acutely ill adult patients.

Adult Nurses utilize their expert advanced nursing knowledge and judgment skills to diagnose, treat and manage patient conditions. The majority work in collaboration with doctors too, develop patient care plans, review the patient’s current state of condition, and provide the best medical treatment options.

Recommended Degree Level: Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) will be needed to practice.

License required: Unrestricted Registered Nursing License (RN).

Certification Available: American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers to credential for adult nurse practitioners needing certification.

How much does an Adult Nurse earn? The Median annual salary is $117,670 annually.


Become Adult Nurse

What does an Adult Nurse Do?

These Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) study the complex needs that affect the adult patient population throughout his or her stages of life. In addition to providing medical treatment to combat patient illness and promote wellness, they treat the whole person, not just the disease.

These nurse practitioners are commonly known to take extra time to spend with patients to ensure the highest quality of care for residents is provided, and health care standards are met.

Typical duties of an adult nurse include

  1. Provide treatments for chronic conditions such as arthritis, cancer, or diabetes.
  2. Order and interpret lab results and perform diagnostic testing.
  3. Manage patients who have long-term diseases as well as patients with acute illness.
  4. Administer all aspects of patient care with individualized patient plans tailored to their specific needs.

Advanced practice nurses (APN) find roles within a broad spectrum of specialties and can specialize in specific patient conditions. They further provide in-depth patient assessments for both pre-op and post-op care adult patients age 16 on up.

They work in acute and outpatient care hospitals such as critical care, post-operative care, and in public, private hospitals; specialty clinics, or even long-term care facilities. As leaders they have high levels of autonomy and work in collaboration with a physician depending on the state, they live in.


Education Nursing Programs for Adult Nursing

To begin your nursing journey to become an adult nurse you will need to be a Registered Nurse (RN). You will need to hold either a 2-year or a 4-year degree to become eligible to sit for the national nursing examination.

Adult nurses are master-prepared nurses. To become an adult nurse practitioner you will need to enroll in a nursing program to earn a Master’s Degree in adult nursing. 2-year graduate programs curriculum consists of statistics, research, advanced nursing theory with hands-on clinical rotations.

Once your degree program has been completed, you will need your Advanced Practice Nursing Certification. American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers credentialing for adult nurse practitioners needing certification.

To become eligible for this certification you will need the following:

  1. Active RN license
  2. Master’s Degree from a nursing program for adult nurse practitioners. Ensure the one you select is accredited.
  3. Faculty supervised clinical hours equaling no less than 500 hours.
  4. Graduate course completion such as advanced physiology, advanced pharmacology.

Once you have passed adult nurse practitioner certification, your license will be good for a total of 5 years. As long as you maintain your state board standards, credential, and licensing requirements.


Career Outlook

Due to the Affordable Healthcare Act being signed into Congress the number of uninsured individuals obtaining medical care coverage has had a significant increase since 2010.

Making it difficult for physicians to keep up with the patient demand. These highly trained nurse practitioners will be needed to help bridge this gap.

Overall, the career outlook for adult nurses is bright with a steady incline of new employment positions only expected to increase.


Check out our other Nursing School Guides.



Summary (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)