Advance Practice Nursing

The Board of Nurse Examiners for the State of Texas defines an APN as: "A registered professional nurse, currently licensed in the State of Texas, who is prepared for advanced nursing practice by virtue of knowledge and skills obtained in an advanced educational program of study acceptable to the board. The advanced practice nurse is prepared to practice in an expanded role to provide health care to individuals, families, and/or groups in a variety of settings including but not limited to homes, hospitals, institutions, offices, industry, schools, community agencies, public and private clinics, and private practice. The advanced practice nurse acts independently and/or in collaboration with other health care professionals in the delivery of health care services." What this means is that the APN has completed advanced education and clinical practice beyond the 2-4 years of basic nursing education (ADN or BSN). Each state sets its own rules regarding recognition and scope of advanced practice nursing roles, and each state varies its requirements for advanced practice standing. The American Nurses Association has a very comprehensive article about advanced practice roles.

Advanced Practice Degree Programs

Master of Science in Nursing

  • Adult – Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Alternate Entry Master of Science in Nursing

  • Adult – Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Advanced Practice Post Master of Science in Nursing Certificate

  • Adult - Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Certificate
  • Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate
  • Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Certificate
  • Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate
  • Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

APN Resources

Nurse Practitioner

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Difference between a CNS and an NP

APN Coursework

APN program of study must include the following courses for recognition in Texas:

  • Advanced Health Assessment
  • Advanced Pharmacology & Therapeutics
  • Advanced Pathophysiology

A course or course content in Diagnosis and Management is required for prescriptive authority and is included in all UT Austin APN programs.

APN license requirements can be found on and Texas Board of Nursing. For APN nursing requirements outside of Texas, review the Board of Nursing website from the state of interest.