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Physician Assistant • Nurse Practitioner • Perfusionist
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists
Registered Nurse First Assist
Certified Nurse-Midwife / Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
Clinical Nurse Special
Advanced Practice Registered Nurses
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) - A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) who has completed advanced coursework and clinical education beyond that required of the generalist registered nurse (RN) role. According to the International Council of Nurses, a NP/advanced practice registered nurse is "a registered nurse who has acquired the knowledge base, decision-making skills, and clinical competencies for expanded practice beyond that of an RN, the characteristics of which would be determined by the context in which he or she is credentialed to practice– Nurse Practitioners practice in private offices, clinics, nursing homes and hospitals are eligible to serve with a wide range of primary and preventive healthcare assistance, prescribe medication, and diagnose and treat prevalent minor illness and injuries.
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) -A Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) is a nurse practitioner that specializes in continuing and comprehensive healthcare for women across the lifespan with emphasis on conditions unique to women from menarche through the remainder of their life cycle.
Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) – A Nurse Midwife is an APRN who has specialized education and training in midwifery. Midwife means "with woman" and thus the mantra for the ACNM is "With women for a lifetime." Nurse midwives practice in hospitals and private practice medical clinics and may also deliver babies in birthing centers and attend at-home births.
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) – A Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), with graduate preparation (earned master’s or doctorate) from a program that prepares CNSs. According to the APRN Consensus Model for Regulation (2008), "The CNS has a unique APRN role to integrate care across the continuum and through three spheres of influence: patient, nurse, system. The three spheres are overlapping and interrelated but each sphere possesses a distinctive focus. In each of the spheres of influence, the primary goal of the CNS is continuous improvement of patient outcomes and nursing care. Key elements of CNS practice are to create environments through mentoring and system changes that empower nurses to develop caring, evidence-based practices to alleviate patient distress, facilitate ethical decision-making, and respond to diversity. The CNS is responsible and accountable for diagnosis and treatment of health/illness states, disease management, health promotion, and prevention of illness and risk behaviors among individuals, families, groups, and communities." CNS’s are clinical experts in a specialized area of nursing practice and in the delivery of evidence based nursing interventions.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) – A Nurse Anesthetist is a nurse who specializes in the administration of anesthesia. In the United States, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) is an APRN who has acquired graduate level education and board certification in anesthesia. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) is the national association that represents more than 90% of the 45,000 nurse anesthetists in the United States. Certification is governed by the National Boards of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). Education is governed by the Council on Accreditation (COA) of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.
By 2015, the qualification standard of nursing will be changed from APRN to that of Doctorate in Nursing (DNP). But, the care to the patient population will be the same. This shift is to raise the standard to advance roles i.e. Doctorate in Physical Therapy and Doctorate in Pharmacy.
There are other nursing roles that are usually filled by masters’ prepared registered nurses as well, including nursing administration, nursing education, patient and staff education. Yet another master’s level role currently being introduced into educational programs is the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) role. This role expects to act as a system facilitator for nursing care delivery.
Definitely, a lot more opportunities await those who are prepared as registered nurses to excel in their education and in their careers.