An Advanced Practice Registered Nurse is a general term used to describe any nursing careers that require specialized education beyond that which is required to become a Registered Nurse. An Advanced Practice RN can be a Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Anesthetist, or Nurse Midwife.
Over one-half of all Advanced Practice Nurses are Nurse Practitioners and most of these carry an education of a Master’s Degree. Nurse Practitioners must take a certification exam to be licensed and board certified. They are well-trained at examining patients, ordering and interpreting diagnostic studies, diagnosing and treating disease, as well as working in research and case management roles.
The Clinical Nurse Specialist makes up about one-quarter of all Advanced Practice Registered Nurses and most of these also have a Master’s Degree. The Clinical Nurse Specialist may perform the same duties as a Nurse Practitioner, but their role may also expand into areas of administration, education, research, and consultation services.
The Nurse Anesthetist is a certified and registered role (the CRNA). Specialized education programs are established across the country to provide the extra training necessary to be a Nurse Anesthetist. The Nurse Anesthetist is responsible for thorough preoperative and postoperative assessment of the patient is receiving some form of anesthesia. They work in close conjunction with an Anesthesiologist to provide safe anesthesia monitoring during a surgical procedure.
The Nurse Midwife is specially trained to practice in women’s health. This includes all phases of pregnancy, labor, and delivery, as well as treating the non-pregnant woman in matters related to female health. Nurse Midwifes have traditionally practiced independently and often perform home births, though there are some midwives who practice with OB/GYN group practices or at birthing centers.
by Enoch Morrison | Last Updated: January 8, 2019