There are four different categories of APNs and that includes nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists.
The role of each advanced practice nurse is different. For instance, the role of the mental health nurse practitioner is required to give primary care to a group of patients like a doctor does, but has limited scope of practice. Then the nurse anesthetist gives anesthesia to patients that are undergoing surgical procedures.
Besides becoming a registered nurse, you will have to become a certified nurse by taking the American Nurses Credential Corp written exam. There are different specialty areas that you can pursue. The exam for family nurse practitioners is called FNP-BC.
It is expected that this field will continue to grow substantially through 2019. The salaries for VA APNs vary depending on the region they live in. As of November 2009, those that specialized in mental health were making between $68,717 and $107,835 annually in Danville, Illinois. Then in Prescott, Arizona, adult nurse practitioners were reported making between $53,378 and $96,748 annually.