Understanding the Role of an Advanced Practice Nurse
Advanced practice nurses (APNs), also referred to as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), coordinate and provide patients with the treatment they need. Advanced practice nurses may work in primary medical fields or specialty healthcare. The exact scope of advanced practice nurses will depend on the state and county of where you live.
In general APNs will work in all types of healthcare settings ranging from hospitals, emergency rooms, private doctor’s offices, nursing homes, education centers, clinics, and more. Sometimes advanced practice nurses are privately hired to help people who are ill, disabled, or elderly.
Liasoning Between the Physician and Family
Traditionally nurses are associated with working underneath a doctor or healthcare system. Advanced practice nurses can become more autonomous in their career and even rely upon their own skills to make decisions regarding the wellbeing of a patient.
An advanced practice nurse may provide care to patients and serve as a liaison between the physician and family members. They are highly trained and have more knowledge than registered nurses. This results in the ability to make more advanced decisions regarding assessment, diagnosis, planning, treatment, and evaluation.
Tasks of an Advanced Practice Nurse
APNs serve many different tasks or functions including:
- Conducting physical exams
- Performing psychological and psychosocial exams
- Carrying out functional or developmental tests
- Ordering lab tests
- Interpreting the results of lab work
- Diagnosing a patient
- Maintaining patient records
- Ensuring hospital compliance and patient confidentiality
- Assessing the progress of the patient
- Modifying treatment whenever necessary
- Provide family members with updates
- Counsel family members on medical options
- Make referrals to other facilities
- Dispense medications
- Partake in clinical studies
A registered nurse may provide many of the same service; however, they will be limited in their ability to make decisions. Advanced practice nurses have a much more significant amount of freedom to make decisions and develop a course of treatment for the patient. Advanced practice nurses may also offer consultancy, including advice and opinions, to other registered nurses and staff members.
Advanced practice nurses:
- Are a registered nurse with a masters or doctoral degree
- Have passed national certifications and exams
- Must adhere to individual state regulations
- Will choose between four different specializations and a number of sub specialties
- Can administer certain amounts of controlled substances
Four Different Types of APNs
- Certified nurse midwife
- Certified registered nurse anesthetist
- Clinical nurse specialist
- Nurse practitioner
Some states allow an advanced practice nurse to operate their own clinic or office. Currently, there are 16 states that allow this and do not require the APN to be supervised by a physician. If this is not legally allowed, the APN will need to remain under the auspices of either a medical facility or doctor. Advanced practice nurses can qualify for reimbursement for Medicaid. This means if you are disabled or an elder, you may be able to hire an advanced practice nurse Chicago IL respects with Medicaid.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from WholeHealth Chicago for their insight into Advanced Practice Nursing.
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