APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse)

APRN is the common title gives to an individual licensed to practice advanced practice registered nursing in one of the following roles: Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) and Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS).


Nurse Practitioners are Registered Nurses who have met additional nursing education, experience and exam requirement set by the College. The person who registered with college can call themselves as “Nurse Practitioner” or “NP”


CRNP – Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner

CANP – Certified Advanced Nurse Practitioner

ANP-C – Advanced Nurse Practitioner-Certified

CPNP- Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

CANP – Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner

APRN – Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

Scope of Nurse Practitioners or NP

NPs are authorized to diagnose, order and interpret diagnostic tests , and prescribe medications and other treatment of clients.

NP practice includes health promotion with the aim of optimizing the health of people, families, communities and populations. When NP work with diverse client populations, they can work in different practice settings such as acute care, primary care, rehabilitative care, curative care and supportive care, and palliative/end-of-life care.

The College registers NPs with one or more of the following specialty certificates:

Nurse Practitioners – Primary Health Care (NP-PHC)

Nurse Practitioners –Pediatrics (NP-Pediatrics)

Nurse Practitioners-Adult (NP-Adult)

Each specialty certificate refers to a specific client population and not a clinical area or a practice sector. The college does not the clinical areas or practice sector in which NPs work.

List of Activities of Nurse Practitioners in Clinical Settings

Health Assessments

NPs integrate an evidence-informed knowledge

base with advanced assessment skills to obtain the

information necessary for identifying client diagnoses,

strengths and needs.


NPs are engaged in the diagnostic process and develop

differential diagnoses through identification, analysis,

and interpretation of findings from a variety of sources.

Therapeutic Management

NPs, on the basis of assessment and diagnosis, formulate

the most appropriate plan of care for the client and

implement evidence-informed therapeutic interventions

in partnership with the client to optimize health.

Collaboration, Consultation and Referral

NPs identify when collaboration, consultation

and referral are necessary for safe, competent and

comprehensive client care.

Conflict of Interest

NPs recognize and ethically manage actual, potential

and perceived conflicts of interest.


APRN can serve as primary or acute care provider and functions in a population focus. Population focus includes

1. Family/Individual across the lifespan

2. Adult –gerontology

3. Neonatal

4. Pediatrics

5. Women’s Health/gender-related

6. Psychiatric/Mental Health

Certified Nurse Practitioner Requirements and scope


In addition to the RN scope of practice and APRN role and population focus, APRN scope of practice includes

1. Conducting an advanced assessment

2. Ordering and interpreting diagnostic procedures

3. Establishing primary and differential diagnoses

4. Prescribing, ordering, administering, dispensing and furnishing therapeutic measures

5. Delegating and assigning therapeutic measures to assistive personnel

6. Consulting with other disciplines and providing referrals to health care agencies, health care providers and community resources.

7. Wearing identification which clearly identifies the nurse as an APRN when providing direct patient care.

8. Nurse practitioners require education and training consistent with professional standards and commensurate with the APRN’s education, certification, demonstrated competencies and experience.

APRNs are licensed independent practitioners within standards established or recognized by the Board of Nursing (BON). Each APRN is accountable to patients, the nursing profession and the Board of Nursing for

a. Complying with the requirements of this Act and the quality of advanced nursing care rendered.
Recognizing limits of knowledge and experience.

b. Planning for the management of situations beyond the APRNs expertise and
Consulting with or referring patients to other health care providers as appropriate.


The Board of Nursing shall by administrative rules, set standard for the establishment and outcomes of APRN education programs, including clinical learning experiences, and approve such programs that meet the requirements of the ACT and BON rules.

Common Requirements for NPs

Master Degree in Nursing or Doctorate

RN License certified by National Certifying Agency


Continuing  Education

All NPs are RNs with education beyond the basic requirement for RN licensure. Many NPs (Nurse Practitioners) has master’s degree and some has Doctorates. To be NPs, nurse practitioners should have masters in 24 states of United States.

Requirements to become NPs will differ according to state level qualifications. In Alaska, NPs must have completed a one year academic course, have an RN license, be certified by a national certifying agency and 30 hours of continuing education every 2 years.

In Pennsylvania, NPs must have an RN license, a master’s degree, certification by national organization, must provide evidence of continuing competence in medical diagnosis and therapeutics – 30 hours of continuing education per year and 45 hours of advanced pharmacology.

In 35 states, the NPs require taking and passing a national certification exam and especially adult and pediatric NPs require a master’s degree to sit for national certification exam.

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