Understanding the Different Types of Advanced Practice Nurses

Advanced practice nurses Chicago IL turns to can be found working in hospitals, medical centers, doctors offices, private clinics, nursing home facilities, and private residences. They are not the same as a traditional registered nurse, but rather have higher knowledge and a greater skillset.

Qualifying as an Advanced Practice Nurse

In order to qualify as an advanced practice nurse, the individual must have:

  • A bachelor’s degree, ideally a Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Passed the National Council Licensure Exam for RNs
  • A Master of Science in Nursing and/or a Doctorates
  • Passed the state certification requirements for APNs

Some people have also worked as an RN for several years before pursuing a Masters or Doctorate degree. This can be advantageous as they have extensive training and on the job experience. Bare in mind that every state has its own requirements to become a licensed and certified APN. Once these are gotten, an APN may find work in a variety of environments.

Four Main Types of Advanced Practice Nurses

There are four main types of advanced practice nurses. In addition to the higher levels of training and education, the APN must complete a special training program and exam for the particular type/position of nursing.

Certified Nurse Practitioner

A certified nurse practitioner may work a broad range of specialty areas including women’s health, surgical services, oncology, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, and so forth. A CPN may perform various tasks including giving care to patients and assisting doctors. They may also teach at University level or work in a research laboratory. A certified nurse practitioner may work in a hospital, doctor’s office, private clinic, home residence, and more.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

A CRNA is a type of advanced practice nurse who gives anesthesia to patients. They are able to provide all types of these drugs, including anesthesia for surgical procedures. A CRNA may work with people of all ages, health conditions, and those who are dealing with a life threatening injury or illness.

Certified Nurse Midwife

This type of APN offers many of the same services that a midwife and gynecologist offers. For instance a CPN may help women with gynecologic care, contraceptive control, family planning, pregnancy and so forth. She may also guide pregnant woman through the entire cycle of pregnancy and conduct prenatal visits, exams, and tests. A CNM may assist woman in the birth of a child either in a private home, hospital, or his/her own private practice.

Clinical Nurse Specialist

A clinical nurse specialist works in specific fields or areas of medicine. These could include:

  • The Setting: A CNS might earn the specialty based on the setting in which he or she works in (i.e. emergence room, burn unit, nursing home, etc)
  • The People: The nature of the specialization might be based on the people the CNS treats (i.e. children, men, women, elderly, etc).
  • The Illness or Health Condition: The focus could be on a certain illness or disease (i.e. diabetes, cancer, etc.).It might also be focused on certain injuries or issues like broken bones, wounds, gunshots, etc.
  • The Type of Care: An advanced practice nurse who is a CPN might specialize in types of care such as ER, psychiatriatric, elder care, or rehabilitation.

Many advanced practice nurses have their own clinic where they offer primary medical care services to patients. This service is available in certain states only.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from WholeHealth Chicago for their insight into Advanced Practice Nursing.