dcsimg

Bridging the gap, how APRNs are blurring the line between doctors and nurses

An advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) is a registered nurse (RN) who has completed a graduate-level degree, most commonly a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and passed a national certification exam. Four types of nurses are:

  1. Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  2. Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP)
  3. Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
  4. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Competencies and core coursework for APRN professionals

APRN professionals manage patient care, which can include performing comprehensive physical examinations, ordering diagnostic tests, prescribing medications, counseling health promotion and disease prevention, and providing health education. They also consult with and help educate nursing staff and seek to improve the quality of health care by using research to develop and improve policies, procedures, and standards of health care. Some APRN job responsibilities such as prescribing medications are regulated by state boards of nursing and vary by state. Individual states may also have specific licensing requirements.

Some coursework is common to all advanced practice nursing education programs including theoretical, philosophic, and ethical considerations in advanced practice nursing; advanced practice research methods; health systems and policy; advanced assessment, anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, and physiology; and professional issues and current trends in nursing and in the APRN specialization.

APRN educational program information

Candidates should make sure that any educational program they are considering is accredited by the governing body for the specific APRN specialty. Admissions to APRN programs varies by school and program but can include a bachelor's degree, preferably in nursing; an RN license; minimum GPA and minimum scores on the Graduate Record Exam; and previous clinical nursing experience.

Portions of some APRN educational programs may be available online although on-site clinical experience is generally required. Some programs also require a comprehensive exam and/or a research or capstone project.

What is a clinical nurse specialist (CNS)?

A CNS professional is extensively trained in direct patient care and case management in a specialty area such as cardiac care, genetics, geriatrics, home health, mental health, neonatal care, occupation health, oncology, or pediatrics. A CNS may also consult with and provide education for other nursing staff.

In addition to generalized APRN core courses, CNS coursework is specific to the area of specialization. For example, an acute/critical care concentration could include a predominance of classes focused on assessment and treatment for acute and critical care.

What is a certified nurse practitioner (CNP)?

A CNP is trained to diagnose and manage acute and chronic health conditions by ordering diagnostic lab work and x-rays, preparing treatment plans, and prescribing medications as well as handling administrative responsibilities. CNP professionals often focus on specific populations - children, adults, or the elderly - or in specialty areas such as diabetes management, mental health, occupational health, or sports medicine. Many states allow CNP professionals to practice independently.

Coursework is specific to a field of interest or particular population. For example, courses for a family nurse practitioner include family health care management and advanced family practice; those for a neonatal nurse practitioner would include fetus and newborn physiology, pharmacotherapeutics for newborns/infants, and assessment and diagnostics of newborns/infants.

What is a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)?

CRNA professionals are qualified to administer all types of anesthetics including general, regional, and sedation services and can also provide pain management and trauma stabilization services.

Coursework can include principles of anesthesiology; anesthesia management and research; principles of advanced nurse anesthesiology plus extensive practical experience in administering anesthesia under supervision. A comprehensive examination and research project are generally required. Admissions requirements vary by school but most prefer prior experience of at least two years in a critical care area of nursing.

What is a certified nurse midwife (CNM)?

Although this specialty focuses on pregnancy, childbirth, and gynecological and reproductive health, it also covers primary health care throughout a woman's life from adolescence through menopause and beyond. CNM professionals advocate for informed choice, shared decision-making, and the right to self-determination and empowerment of women as partners in health care and promote family-centered care.

Representative coursework can include women's gynecologic health care, diagnosis, and management; care during pregnancy and birth; care of high risk pregnancy; newborn well child care; and primary health care of children. Students must also fulfill a certain number of hours of clinical experience to complete the program.

The future of advanced practice nursing (APN)

Depending on the APN specialty, nursing professionals can work in private practice, hospitals, clinics, operating rooms, emergency rooms, long-term and critical care facilities, educational institutions, birthing centers, and public health offices.

APN is the career path for nurses interested in more responsibility and a wider range of career possibilities.

 

Kay Easton graduated from the State University of New York with a BA in English Literature. As a freelance and technical writer with more than 20 years experience, she writes articles for the Internet on a variety of topics.

Admission Requirements
http://www.amc.edu/
http://www.amc.edu/Academic/NurseAnes/Admission_Requirements.cfm

Clinical Nursing Specialist Curriculum
http://www.umb.edu/
http://www.umb.edu/editor_uploads/files/cnhs_files/CNHS_MS_Curriculum_CNS.pdf

CNS Core Competencies
http://www.nacns.org/
http://www.nacns.org/docs/CNSCoreCompetencies.pdf

Core Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice
http://www.midwife.org/
http://www.midwife.org/siteFiles/education/Core_Competencies_6_07.pdf

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Curriculum
http://www.baylor.edu/
http://www.baylor.edu/nursing/nursing_grad/index.php?id=27050

Nurse-Midwifery Specialty
http://www.ucdenver.edu/
http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/nursing/programs-admissions/masters-programs/specialties/Pages/nurse-midwifery.aspx

Registered Nurses
http://www.bls.gov/
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm#tab-6

Role Delineation Study of Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists
http://https://www.ncsbn.org/
http://https://www.ncsbn.org/06_LPN_RoleDelStudy_NCLEX_30_Web.pdf

What are APRNs?
http://www.mnaprnc.org/
http://www.mnaprnc.org/what-are-aprns/

Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
http://nursingonline.uc.edu/
http://nursingonline.uc.edu/womens-health-nurse-practitioner-curriculum/

Schools
Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
            • There's still time to apply to Grand Canyon University and pursue your education. Learn more today!
            • Study on your schedule - GCU offers many programs 100% online to fit your busy lifestyle.
            • GCU offers a variety of opportunities to reduce the cost of furthering your education. Campus students may qualify for scholarships, while online students can take part in limited special offers.
            • A regionally accredited university, GCU also holds specialized accreditations and approvals for some of our core program offerings.
            • Degrees in business, education, nursing, humanities and social sciences, theology and more. Find the degree that fits you.
            • Talk to us today to learn more about financial aid and start dates!
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Master of Science in Nursing
            Good for Working Adults

            Founded in 1887, Benedictine University is dedicated to the education of undergraduate and graduate students. Benedictine is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

            Benedictine University provides a values-centered Liberal Arts education. Today, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students from all 50 states in the US and over 17 countries.

            Why Benedictine University Online?

            • Over 130 year legacy of academic excellence
            • Ranked among America's Top Colleges by "Forbes" Magazine
            • 91% of current students report they are satisfied or very satisfied with their learning experience
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            MSN Clinical Nurse Educator
            • Presents stimulating, thoughtful programs for students in every academic field
            • SACS accredited w/many accreditations per program & 14:1 teacher-student ratio
            • 7 colleges with dozens of majors & programs to choose from for undergrads & grads
            • Beautiful 248 acre campus with ¾ mile waterfront located in Jacksonville, FL
            • Named an “America’s Best College” in the south for 10+ years, US News & World Report
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Vocational Nursing

            Why Brightwood?

            Real-World Training

            We keep education relevant by employing instructors with real-world experience in the field, who bring their career backgrounds to the classroom. Our programs are continually assessed by faculty, staff and members of the business and education communities to help ensure your studies align with your career goals. Programs offered by Brightwood College focus on local employment needs, in areas such as allied health, nursing and technical and professional programs.

            MSN - Nursing Leadership
            • Loyola gives you an edge for an exciting career & an education for a fulfilling life
            • Accredited by the SACSCOC with a 10:1 student-faculty ratio & 5 distinct colleges
            • #10 Best Regional Universities of the South U.S. News and World Report
            • Top 20 Fulbright Producer in 2015-2016 w/ a 20% application acceptance rate in 2017
            • Programs in musical theatre, digital filmmaking, chemistry, business, & more!
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            B.S. in Nursing: RN to BSN
            Good for Working Adults
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
            • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
            • Online courses help make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 24 months and a master’s degree in 12-18 months.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Vocational Nursing
            • Features the Success Education Program, with numerous scholarship opportunities to students who qualify.
            • Offers a paralegal program and several healthcare programs including pharmacy technology, medical assisting, massage therapy, and diagnostic medical sonography.
            • Provides an active Placement Assistance Program for all qualified gradutes.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • 7 southern California campuses available in West Covina, Pomona, Pasadena, Glendale, Riverside, Santa Ana, and Long Beach.
            • Part of the Success Education Colleges (SEC) group.
            Show more [+]
            Nurse Educator Certificate

            Saint Xavier University education that is grounded in the tradition of liberal arts. SXU offers graduate and post-graduate programs that are recognized and respected by employers and delivered by professional faculty who are experts in their fields. 

            • Online Courses
            BS - Nursing (RN - BSN)

            Mount Mercy University is a nationally recognized Catholic University that promises students of all diverse backgrounds – regardless of ages and faiths a challenging, practical education that inspires them to discover knowledge, build community and lead courageous lives.

            • Online Courses
            Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Leadership Track (MSN to DNP)
            • Ranked #4 among the 2015 Best Regional Universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Designated as 2015 Military Friendly School by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Student to faculty ratio of 12:1, with an average class size of 21.
            • 85% of faculty holds a doctorate or terminal degree in their field.
            • Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses