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Advanced Nursing Practice Studies


The course builds on a professional qualification and serves to consolidate the skills for in-depth and specialized nursing practice on a scientific basis. The students should acquire theoretical and practical skills at an academic level and thus be put in a position to take on further tasks in everyday working life.

In addition to advanced medical knowledge and treatment management, the Advanced Nursing Practice course therefore mainly revolves around the areas of nursing science, nursing management, nursing development as well as project management and working in interdisciplinary teams.

Possible bachelor modules are, for example:

Advanced Practice Nurses usually also specialize in one or more subject areas during their studies and are considered appropriate after graduation Experts in the respective field. Possible elective areas include, among others

  • dementia
  • oncology
  • Palliative care
  • Heart disease
  • Intensive care
  • Anesthesia and anesthesia care
  • and many more.

Since the respective universities also offer different specializations, it is worthwhile to compare the different curricula before starting your studies - especially if you already know that you want to focus on a very specific focus.


The main focus of the Advanced Practice Nursing master’s program is on two areas: the further qualification in clinical nursing practice and the imparting of scientific-methodical competences. This includes, for example, content such as:

  • Scientific work
  • Research methods and application of research
  • Knowledge and change management
  • Health promotion and prevention
  • Case and Care Management
  • Nursing and Chronic Diseases
  • health Management
  • Ethical decision making
  • Supply concepts
  • Quantitative and qualitative methods

Most of the courses also have numerous modules on the timetable, which expand the skills in the areas of organization and leadership and thus give the participants one managerial position in a nursing facility should prepare. These are among others

  • Human resource management
  • Project and quality management
  • Conducting conversations, conflict and crisis management
  • Finance, accounting and controlling
  • Project and quality management
  • Interdisciplinary teamwork
  • Management skills

However, when studying Advanced Practice Nursing, the following applies: One master’s not the same as another. While some courses tend to concentrate on science and research, others focus on practical skills or nursing content. Therefore, you should definitely look at different curricula in advance and compare them with each other. This is especially true if you are already aiming for a certain career or a specific job description. This is the only way you can be sure to find the course that best suits your plans!

Suitable universities for advanced nursing practice


Formal requirements

The Advanced Practice Nursing course is aimed at professionally experienced nurseswho want to expand their skills. For this reason, a completed vocational training in health and nursing, children's nursing or care for the elderly is a prerequisite. In addition, you have to have a high school diploma and two to three years of professional experience. If you can demonstrate all of these qualifications, nothing stands in the way of studying Advanced Practice Nursing!

And what if you have an apprenticeship but no higher school diploma? This is usually not a problem either: Most universities either offer a special additional examination through which people without a university entrance qualification can qualify, or alternatively recognize a three-year career as an admission requirement. Admission to studies is therefore also possible without a high school diploma, you can find out more about this in our article on nursing studies without a high school diploma.

personal requirements

Advanced Practice Nurses work closely on and with the patient, but are often also active in managerial positions with a lot of responsibility. For this reason, they need two different skill sets in their day-to-day work: When dealing with patients and their relatives on a day-to-day basis, empathy, empathy, sensitivity and a high degree of social competence are what count. In management positions, on the other hand, it is important to present yourself confidently, to be able to organize and coordinate well and to be assertive (in a friendly way).


Formal requirements

Are you interested in a Master in Advanced Practice Nursing? Then you should make sure that you have the appropriate requirements. These primarily include:

  • a first academic degree (e.g. Bachelor, Diploma or an equivalent recognized qualification) from a thematically relevant area
  • a completed vocational training from the field of sickness and health care, child or elderly care or midwifery.

Some universities even require further qualifications: This can be, for example, a completed professional training course, at least two years of professional experience or a letter of motivation.

personal requirements

Advanced Practice Nurses with a Master’s degree can usually be found either in academia or in managerial positions in nursing institutions. While characteristics such as diligence, thirst for knowledge, patience and discipline are of particular importance in research, prospective managers should, however, have talents such as communication skills, prudence, organizational skills and an analytical mind.


To get the bachelor's degree in Advanced Practice Nursing, you shouldabout five to six semesters plan on. Since the course is usually structured on a part-time basis, depending on the model, it can be nine semesters.

The Advanced Practice Nursing course has a modular structure and consists of various basic and advanced modules. In the higher semesters, students can then choose between various compulsory elective modules and thus set individual priorities.

Some universities, on the other hand, use a different system and organize the course according to fields of competence. Here, basic and advanced modules are dealt with in a "block" before moving on to the next subject area.

Regardless, most universities require it Do an internship, which is often scheduled in the fourth or fifth semester. The Advanced Practice Nursing course is concluded with the preparation of the bachelor thesis and an accompanying colloquium.


A Master's in Advanced Nursing Practice takes around four to six semesters, depending on the study model.

Since the master’s course serves to deepen existing knowledge and skills and builds on the knowledge acquired in training and the bachelor’s degree, very specialized content is taught here right from the first semester. While some universities teach the scientific and action-oriented modules in parallel, others organize the lessons as so-called study pillars, each of which is devoted to only one topic per semester.

Since master’s students have often already completed an apprenticeship and, as a rule, have already completed various internships, practical modules are largely dispensed with here. In the higher semesters, however, there are some action-oriented seminars on the schedule, in which the participants learn, for example, how to write scientific proposals for a research project or independently create and implement advanced practice nursing concepts.

The master’s program in Advanced Practice Nursing is concluded with the writing of the master’s thesis. Here the students have to prove on 70 - 90 pages that they can scientifically work on a topic of their own choosing. As a rule, in addition to writing the thesis, a colloquium, an accompanying seminar, is attended. Those who have successfully mastered this last hurdle will ultimately have a “Master of Science”.


The Advanced Practice Nursing course is almost always organized on a part-time basis and consists of a combination of face-to-face events and self-study.

So that participation can also be reconciled with full or part-time employment, the lectures and seminars are usually organized on weekends (e.g. Fridays and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) or as continuous block events (for which one may then have to take two or three days of vacation).

Between the attendance phases, the students have to acquire the content of the lesson themselves. Since you can only rely on the support of fellow students and lecturers to a limited extent here and often still have to learn when you come home after a hard day at work, you need a lot of motivation and, above all, discipline.


Once you have decided on a Master's in Advanced Practice Nursing, all you have to do is decide on one type of study. There is a choice of either the full-time or the part-time option.

Do you want to graduate as quickly as possible and do you like to study with fellow students in regulated structures? Then this is Full-time model just right for you. Here you regularly attend lectures and seminars on several consecutive days and during this time you concentrate completely on your studies. In addition to the seminar classes, case and group work or action-oriented exercises are also on the schedule.

Do you have a job and don't want to give it up for your Advanced Practice Nursing Master? Then you should go for that extra-occupational part-time model decide. Here you only visit occasional events, which usually take place on weekends or as a block, and you acquire most of the teaching material in self-study that is flexible in terms of time and space.

Advantage: You will continue to receive your salary and accordingly have fewer problems with financing your studies. You will also prove to your future employer that you can work hard and organize yourself well.

Disadvantage: Since you have hardly any fixed structures and you have to organize your study time yourself, good organizational skills, discipline and a high level of motivation should definitely be part of your characteristics.

Did you know that...

... May 12th is International Nursing Day?

... the risk of needing care for people between 60 and 80 years of age is just under five percent and for those over 80 years of age it is almost 30 percent?

... Florence Nightingale became a British national heroine through her work for wounded soldiers in the Crimean War?

Career after graduation

Advanced Practice Nursing courses are, as the name suggests, aimed at that practical care aligned. For this reason, bachelor (and sometimes even master) graduates still work in bedside care - but of course with an extended range of activities and activities. Their academic degree and their expert knowledge entitle them to make decisions on complex issues, to diagnose, to implement therapeutic and rehabilitative measures, to assess care needs as well as to lead, advise and coach care teams. The course also enables graduates to independently develop and implement prevention and care concepts based on their practical experience.

Due to their expertise and their expanded competence, advanced practice nurses or nursing experts can not only work for hospitals, inpatient and outpatient nursing services or rehabilitation facilities, but also get jobs in scientific research institutions, with social insurance institutions or health-oriented organizations and associations.

After completing the Advanced Practice Nursing Masters, the area of ​​competence expands again. This opens up additional fields of application for the graduates, such as the control of complex nursing processes, the implementation of research studies, the advice and training of other nursing professionals, the evaluation of needs-based or the implementation of individually created quality management concepts. Master's graduates therefore often work in the area of ​​middle or upper nursing management, as ward or department heads, in scientific research or as nursing experts advise teams and organizations.

Since the job description of the advanced practice nurse or the nursing expert still so new in German-speaking countries and is not well established, it is difficult to provide reliable information on salary at the moment. While special professional structures with extended nursing skills have long existed in other countries, these have yet to develop in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

One can assume that the salary of nursing professionals is higher than that of nursing graduates. Of course, it also depends on the facility and the exact range of tasks. You can find out more facts and figures about salaries in the care industry in our detailed article:

→ Salary in nursing

16 universities offering advanced nursing practice studies: