The Association of Registered Nurses of BC

Career Advancement: Clinical Practice

Becoming an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN)

"Advanced nursing practice is an umbrella term comprising such roles as the clinical nurse specialist (CNS) and nurse practitioner (NPs)" (CNA, 2008).

The International Council of Nurses (2009) defines an advanced practice nurse, as "a registered nurse who has acquired the expert knowledge base, complex decision-making skills and clinical competencies for expanded practice, the characteristics of which are shaped by the context and or country in which he/she is credentialed to practice. A master's degree is recommended for entry level."

Nurse Practitioner

A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with advanced education and training who is able to diagnose and treat diseases and illnesses.
In order to become a nurse practitioner in B.C., you must graduate from a CRNBC recognized NP program or equivalent, and pass a written and practical examination. The following schools in B.C. offer an NP program: Options are also available online. Learn more about the NP role:

Clinical Nurse Specialist

A clinical nurse specialist is a registered nurse, with advanced education (a graduate degree), who has a high level of expertise in a clinical specialty. Broadly speaking, the CNS role involves core competencies in clinical care, systems leadership, advancement of nursing practice and evaluation and research.

To become a clinical nurse specialist, you must hold a Master's degree in nursing, meet competencies, and have relevant experience in your speciality area. Schools of Nursing who offer graduate degrees in B.C. include: Options are also available online. Specifically, two schools of nursing in B.C. offer a stream with a focus on becoming a clinical nurse specialist. These include: Learn more about the CNS role: