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Nurse Jobs and CareerAdvanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) – Role and Responsibilities

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) – Role and Responsibilities

Nursing professionals are individuals employed in nursing professions which includes Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN).

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) – Definition

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses are Nurse Practitioner, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Certified Nurse Midwifery and Clinical Nurse Specialist.

APRN’s role is to coordinate patient care and provide primary and specialty healthcare. The scope of practice will be varied according to countries and each country nursing practice varies state to state.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) – Definition, Role and Responsibilities


APRN accepts responsibility and accountability for health promotion and maintenance as well as the assessment, diagnosis and management of patient problems (includes administration and prescription of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions.

APRN are licensed independent practitioners who are expected to practice within standards established or recognized by a licensing body.

APRN is accountable to patients, the nursing profession and licensing body to ensure that advanced nursing care met.


  • Nurse with graduate degree in Nursing
  • Licensed in advanced role of nursing
  • Pass of National Certification Examination
  • Nurse need to have extensive Clinical Experience and have acquired advanced clinical knowledge and skills prepared to provide direct care to patients

Role of Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

ARPN have full, independent practice authority in most of states of United States and in few states, APRN need to practice under the supervision of physician.

APRN are educationally prepared to provide of variety of services in major six population foci – family/individual across the lifespan, adult-gerontology, pediatrics, neonatal, women’s health/gender-related and psych/mental health. Each APRN role will differ in emphasis and implementation.

APRNs can work in different healthcare settings such as hospitals, physician’s offices, and clinics. There is no part time job for APRNs, most APRNs work full time.

Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP)

An advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who usually completed a DNP program or a set of graduate coursework and clinical education beyond that of an RN (MSN). Nurse Practitioner can diagnose medical conditions, order treatment, prescribe drugs and make referrals like physicians. Many states in US, NP don’t need to practice under the supervision of physician.


CNP can work in direct primary and acute care provided in across settings.

CNPs are members of the health delivery system, practicing independently in diverse areas such as family practice, pediatrics, internal medicine, geriatrics and women’s health care.

CNPs are prepared to diagnose and treat patients with undifferentiated symptoms as well as patients with established diagnoses.

CNPs provide initial, ongoing and comprehensive care which includes taking comprehensive histories, providing physical examinations, other health assessment and screening activities, and diagnosing, treating, and managing patients with acute and chronic illnesses and diseases. (Includes ordering, performing, supervising, and interpreting laboratory and imaging studies; prescribe medication and durable medical equipment; and making appropriate referrals for patients and families)

Clinical CNP care includes health promotion, disease prevention, health education and counseling as well as the diagnosis and management of acute and chronic diseases. CNPs are prepared to practice as primary care CNPs and/or acute care CNPs which have separate national consensus-based competencies and separate certification processes.

Different Types of Nurse Practitioners

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Adult Health Nurse Practitioner

Child Health/Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

College Health Nurse Practitioner

Emergency Nursing Nurse Practitioner

Family Nurse Practitioner

Family Planning Nurse Practitioner

Geriatric Nurse Practitioner

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Practitioner (No Specialty)

Obstetrical and/or Gynecological and/or Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric and/or Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (Include all subspecialties)

School Health Nurse Practitioners

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

An advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who has usually completed a DNP or MSN program and is board certified in anesthesia.


A CRNA is prepared to provide the full spectrum of patient’s anesthesia care and anesthesia-related care to individuals across the lifespan, whose health status range from healthy to all recognized level of acuity (includes patient with immediate, severe, or life threatening illnesses or injury)

Care is provided in diverse settings including hospital surgical suites; obstetrical delivery rooms; critical access hospitals; acute care; pain management centers; ambulatory surgical centers; and the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists and plastic surgeons.

Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

An advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who has usually completed a DNP or MSN program and is board certified in midwifery. CNMs specialize in care of the women who are not experienced high risk pregnancies.


A CNM provides a full range of primary health care services to women throughout the lifespan, including gynecologic care, family planning services, preconception care, prenatal and postpartum care, child birth, and care of a newborn.

CNM practice includes treating the male partner of their female clients for sexually transmitted disease and reproductive health. This care is provided in diverse settings, including private offices, and community and public health clinics.

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

An APRN who usually has completed DNP or MSN program in selected field of nursing leading to board certification as a CNS. CNSs provide specialized care and are responsible for diagnosis and treatment of health, as well as the delivery of evidence based nursing interventions.

Types of Clinical Nurse Specialist

Clinical Specialist in Gerontological Nursing

Clinical Specialist in Medical Surgical Nursing

Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Nursing

Clinical Specialist in Adult Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing

Clinical Specialist in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric and MHN

Clinical Specialist in Community/Public Health Nursing

Advanced Diabetic Management – Clinical Specialist


A CNS is a unique APRN role that integrates care across the continuum and through three spheres of influence: patient, nurse and system. The three spheres are overlapping and interrelated, but each sphere possesses distinctive focus.

The main goal of CNS is continuous improvement of patient outcomes and nursing care.

Key elements of CNS practice are caring, evidence-based practices to alleviate patient distress; and facilitate ethical decision making.

 A CNS is responsible and accountable for diagnosis and treatment of health/illness states, disease management, health promotion, and prevention of illness and risk behavior among individuals, families, groups and communities.

What is the Difference between the APRN and Nurse Practitioner??

APRN mean Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and consist of four roles – Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Certified Nurse Midwife and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. Nurse Practitioner is one among of the other roles of APRN.


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