The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (2015) describes an advanced practice nurse as a nurse with a graduate level education in a specific area of study including nurse anesthesia, nurse midwifery, nurse practitioner, and clinical nurse specialist. Advance practice nurses have been crucial to meeting the demands of the growing patient population due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. These nurses bridge the gap between physician and patient and are a vital part of the healthcare team. There are a variety of specializations and educational paths nurses may pursue in order to advance their career towards advanced practice nursing.
The Clinical Nurse Leader is an advanced practice nurse who works directly with patient care providers to implement care plans based on evidence based practice. They are typically master’s prepared nurses and are eligible to be certified by the Commission on Nurse Certification (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2013). In comparison, the AACN (2015) identifies the Clinical Nurse Specialist as a nurse with a specialized area of expertise who works as a researcher and coordinator to develop plans of care for a particular patient population. The CNS has a master’s or doctorate degree and can be certified in a variety of specialties (Joel, 2013). Nurse educators are advanced practice nurses with graduate level degrees. According to the AACN (2015), nurse educators with a master’s degree may teach groups such as patients and hospital staff members about disease states, prevention, and nursing care. However, many higher institutes of learning require their faculty to obtain a doctorate degree in nursing education (AACN, 2015). The associati...
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...dardize APRN practice. The article explains how the model will set up a defined curriculum in education for graduate nursing programs and create standardized laws and tests for licensure and certification for advanced practice nurses. The goal of the model is to create greater consistency within advance practice nursing education and licensure (Rounds et al., 2013).
The aging population, along with the millions of new Americans receiving health insurance under the recent legislation, has impacted the field of nursing profoundly. New regulation for APRNs will undoubtedly provide clarification of roles, titles, and education for providers and patients. Advanced practice nurses have an opportunity to educate, prevent disease, and promote health for a variety of patient populations and will be vital in sustaining a positive future for the world of healthcare.
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