Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) play a crucial role in the healthcare system. APRNs are commonly highly trained, allowing them to provide comprehensive care for patients. What is an APRN by definition, and what are their responsibilities?
Whether you plan to join a nursing program or need to upgrade your nursing knowledge, you’ve come to the right page. Everything you need to know about APRNs is explained here, so keep scrolling through!
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Definition
What is an APRN? An APRN is a medical specialist who has completed a master’s degree in nursing. There are four major specializations within this category, including nurse practitioner (NP), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), certified nurse-midwives (CNM), and certified nurse anaesthetist (CNA).
Most APRNs can work across various settings such as hospitals, medical clinics, or even independent practice depending on the regulation in the state where they work. Some states allow APRNs to practise independently, while others require to work in a collaboration with a physician or healthcare specialists.
APRNs’ duties vary depending on their speciality area and place of work. Here are the main roles and responsibilities of APRNs by their specialities:
⦁ Nurse practitioners are responsible for providing primary health care of injuries and illness through assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.
⦁ Certified nurse-midwives provide a patient with health care that includes primary, reproductive, and gynecological care.
⦁ Clinical nurse specialists are assigned to provide diagnosis and treatment for patients, provide support to nurses, and drive practice changes.
⦁ Certified nurse anaesthetists play a pivotal role to provide the patient with anaesthesia during surgery.
Aside from the specific duties above, APRNs also advise the public about health issues, diagnose and treat illness, and manage chronic diseases. To handle such big responsibilities, APRNs must be highly trained and educated in nursing.
All states have regulation on APRNs. Depending on their state licensing legislation, the title may vary. It can include advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP), advanced practice nurse (APN), and licensed nurse practitioner (LNP).
So if people try to compare between ARNP vs APRN, both of them are the same. Some states decided to change from ARNP to APRN to facilitate consistency in licensure and certification.
Difference between Registered Nurse and APRN
With so many titles in the nursing field, distinguishing each title can be overwhelming. Now that you know the answer for what is an APRN, you might want to know the difference between registered nurse and advanced practice registered nurse. Are they similar titles?
Both RNs and APRNs provide health diagnoses, medical procedures and also support patients. APRNs are more trained because they have completed the specialized program. APRNs also have more responsibilities than RNs.
The working environment for both types of nurse can also differ. While some states allow APRNs to practise independently, all RNs must collaborate with a physician or healthcare professionals. When it comes to patient oversight, APRNs generally have broader supervision.
A more specific comparison between registered nurse vs nurse practitioner and educational background also becomes an important aspect of comparing. RN can be obtained after completing an associate degree, while NP needs a master’s degree.
How to Become an APRN
In order to become an APRN, you must take multiple steps including education, certification, and also licensure. Before pursuing a master degree, you must first complete a BSN program, obtain an RN license, and have work experience.
When these prerequisites have been met, take the following steps to be an APRN:
⦁ Complete an MSN Program
You must complete either a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice program depending on aspired specialization area.
⦁ Fulfil Clinical Hours
Clinical practice provides you with experience of applying new knowledge to real life. It also helps students gain professional competencies to fulfil their role as an APRN.
⦁ Pass Certification Exam
You must take and pass the national certification exam. There are several national exams to choose from, allowing you to choose an exam based on your specialization area.
⦁ Apply for Licensure
Before getting into the workforce, apply for licensure that authorizes you to practice nursing. Licensure requirements can vary by state.
What is an APRN, and what does an APRN do? Everything you need to know about advanced practice registered nurse has been explained in detail. Are you interested in being one of them?