Nursing is riddled with various roles, career paths, and backgrounds. There is no one way to become a nurse, and there are so many different kinds of these invaluable healthcare professionals! Typically only the highest level of each credential is included. For example, Dr. Likewise, Dr.
Some of the biggest employers of APRNs include hospitals, Advanced pratical nurse centers, and offices of Advabced and other healthcare practitioners. Certified Nurse Practitioners work in specialty areas. Like all nurses, NPs are dedicated to patient care. To be eligible for Advabced programs, students must hold an active RN license and meet Advanced pratical nurse school's criteria for admission. Graduates from these programs must still pass a national examination, referred to as the NCLEX-PN, before they can be licensed to practice.
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Nurses working in advanced practice roles — the clinical nurse specialist CNS and nurse practitioner NP — meet the complex health needs of Canadians in a wide variety of settings and contribute to the development of a sustainable, efficient and effective health system.
- APPs have also been described as physician extenders , and while the term is often used in the healthcare system, some health care professionals feel that it overly emphasizes the physician role in supervision of APPs.
- Beyond these four APRN roles, there are several population foci that nurses can specialize in.
Whether you are currently in a nursing profession or are hoping to get into it, you may be wondering about opportunities for advancement.
In the last few decades nursing has become a much-sought-after profession, as the pay is very good and jobs for nurses are steadily increasing, especially at the highly skilled level. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for instance, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners all types of advanced practice nurses can expect job availability to grow at a rate of 31 percent between and If you already have a nursing background, you may be able to enroll in a program right away.
This article will go over what an advanced practice nurse is and what they do, what the job industry looks like, and how you can get started in the field. While getting into a program, financing it, earning your degree and becoming certified may seem like a lot of steps, they are all crucial to becoming an advanced practice nurse and well worth it if this is the career of your dreams.
Properly referred to as advanced practice registered nurses APRNs , advanced practice nurses provide and coordinate patient care and they may provide primary and specialty health care, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
They care for patients as well as interacting with the public, often serving as a liaison between the doctor and the families of patients. Their advanced training means they have greater levels of knowledge than their RN counterparts, manifesting in greater decision-making ability and expertise in areas such as diagnosis and assessment, planning and implementation, evaluation of healthcare and record-keeping. Not only that, advanced practice nurses often serve in a consulting capacity for the other nurses on their staffs.
They may offer advice, give second opinions, help examine patients and craft treatment plans. They also often work to improve overall care in the settings at which they work and improve patient health delivery systems. Four main types of advanced practice nurse exist. In order to work in any of these positions, you must complete an applicable training program and pass the board of certification exam for that particular type of nursing.
Certified Nurse Practitioners work in specialty areas. While they perform a range of services to patients and may assist doctors or other medical professionals, they are also often active in teaching and patient advocacy, and may conduct research as well. This type of advanced practice nurse provides anesthesia to a wide range of patients in a variety of care settings. They are certified to provide a full spectrum of anesthesia care, including for surgical procedures, and may work with healthy to very sick individuals of all ages and all levels of acuity, including patients who cannot give consent or are in life-threatening condition.
This includes initial consultations as well as prenatal visits and exams and postpartum care for the mother and care of the newborn. The level of autonomy depends on the state and the clinical setting. A Clinical Nurse Specialist, as indicated by the title, specializes in a certain area of medicine.
These areas include:. Clinical Nurse Specialists like all the advanced practice nursing types do also provide primary patient care to those under their scope. This is a question that many potential advanced practice nurses are interested in, since nursing has historically been a field that lacks autonomy. The answer is a partial yes: As an advanced practice nurse, some states allow you to actually have your own office or clinic, or to work independently in a larger setting.
This is not true for all states at this time, however; according to the American Association of Colleges for Nursing, in fact, only 16 states authorize advanced practice nurses to operate independently without physician collaboration or supervision.
In states where this is not allowed, advanced practice nurses must remain officially under the auspices of a doctor or a medical institution. However, advanced practice nurses are authorized to receive Medicaid reimbursement.
However, in a full 45 states, advanced practice nurses are authorized to dispense medication, meaning that they can very often complete the complete cycle of care on their own, from patient check-in and diagnosis to treatment plan and prescription of treatments and medications as well as follow-up visits.
Keep in mind that some advanced practice nursing jobs require by definition a larger setting, such as anesthetists, who have to work under doctors or surgeons in order to fulfill their roles. Many state laws also restrict the movements of midwives of any kind, including Certified Nurse Midwives, so the rules may be different for that scope of practice than for others.
As mentioned above, advanced practice nurses can expect a rapidly growing set of job opportunities across the country as well as a very decent salary. Because of the growing number of jobs, advanced practice nurses can expect:. Earning an advanced practice nursing degree and certification comes with other, less tangible benefits as well. As discussed, advanced practice nurses enjoy a significantly increase in autonomy compared to their RN counterparts.
Nurses are also able to choose better schedules as well, working daytime shifts and avoiding weekend work. Nurses at this level serve as a source of knowledge and inspiration for other nurses, and may have teaching roles both within the settings in which they work and in the wider industry.
They have increased abilities to participate in research and development and contribute to the advancement of their fields as well as growing their own careers and specialties. Many people find these benefits well worth the increased workload, money and school time required to earn the certification. Depending on the exact nature of the work you wish to do, you may even choose to earn a doctoral degree, which those who wish to become Clinical Nurse Specialists often do.
You will need to check the specific program to find out. Again, requirements vary by school and nursing type, but typically programs range between a year and a half to three years, and require a wide range of science, anatomy and health courses. Remember that completing your program and earning your degree is not the same as being certified, which you will need to do at the completion of your program. The certifications vary depending on which type of advanced practice nurse you wish to become, and they are listed here.
Certification requires applying and passing an exam, after which you will be able to practice as an APRN. No matter what type of advanced practice nurse you decide to become, keep in mind that you do not need to go right into advanced practice nursing. You can start as an registered nurse RN , or even a certified nursing assistant CAN or licensed practical nurse LPN and go from there, working for a few years before earning higher degree and certification levels.
Keep in mind that you will need to not only pay for tuition, but make sure you can pay for rent, food and any other responsibilities you may have while in school. Here is a good list of places to start when putting together your financial aid. Apply to scholarships and grants, which are free; then move to federal loans, which have flexible repayment terms; then private loans, which are usually the worst deal. Because the industry is growing so quickly, you have plenty of time to start at a lower level in nursing and decide if the career fits your personality and goals.
No matter how you approach the prospect of advanced practice nursing, good luck! Latest Professional Networking in Nursing.
The specific titles, credentials and post-nominal initials used by advanced practice nurses will vary greatly by country, state and educational level. Sign up for our Health Tip of the Day newsletter, and receive daily tips that will help you live your healthiest life. Provide basic medical and nursing care such as checking blood pressure and inserting catheters, ensure the comfort of patients by helping them bathe or dress, discuss health care with patients, and report status of patients to registered nurses and doctors. Typical APRN duties vary widely depending on the nurse's specialization. The continuing education requirements for APRNs depends on the specialization of the individual nurse.
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Advanced Practice Nursing
Beyond these four APRN roles, there are several population foci that nurses can specialize in. This means that APRNs will complete education in one of the four roles, and can also gain specialized knowledge in one of the six population foci, which include:.
For example, a popular APRN role is a pediatric nurse practitioner , where the NP practices within the pediatric population.
While licensure as an APRN is granted at the role and population foci levels, students also have the option of entering an APRN specialty, which are areas of healthcare that exist outside the role and population foci.
Research various nursing terms and abbreviations. The following four roles encompass the APRN title, and a myriad of educational opportunities and programs exist for them:. This type of RN specializes in childbirth and performs a host of women's health medical services.
This RN provides leadership and high-level clinical expertise in a specialty area of medicine for example, community health or geriatrics. This type of RN provides advanced, comprehensive care to patients. Many NPs enter a population focus, such as family nurse practitioner or psychiatric nurse practitioner.
To enter any of the APRN roles, students must complete a graduate-level program. To be eligible for these programs, students must hold an active RN license and meet the school's criteria for admission. APRN program courses usually consist of a mix of advanced general nursing classes, along with specialized courses that relate to the role or focus that the student has chosen. Beyond this, a minimum number of supervised clinical hours are also required.
Both classroom and online APRN programs are available across the country. Current, MSN-educated APRNs who wish to change foci or specialties can opt to complete a post-grad certificate program in the specialty they wish to enter or obtain specialized nursing certifications. With the aging population, demand for highly skilled advanced practice RNs will keep job security stable.
Medically underserved areas also value APRNs, as they can often serve in primary care roles, and can perform some of the diagnostics and procedures that doctors normally provide. Some of the biggest employers of APRNs include hospitals, outpatient centers, and offices of physicians and other healthcare practitioners. For further information about APRN roles, foci, and specialties, the following resources can offer assistance:.
The following four roles encompass the APRN title, and a myriad of educational opportunities and programs exist for them: Certified Nurse Midwife CNM This type of RN specializes in childbirth and performs a host of women's health medical services.