Expanded Educational and Career Roles of Nursing

NURSE PRACTITIONER. A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse who has completed specific advanced nursing education (generally a master’s degree) and training in the diagnosis and management of common as well as complex medical conditions. Nurse Practitioners provide a broad range of health care services.

CLINICAL NURSE SPECIALIST. A clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is an advanced practice nurse, with graduate preparation (earned master’s or doctorate) from a program that prepares CNSs. CNSs are clinical experts in the diagnosis and treatment of illness, and the delivery of evidence-based nursing interventions (ANA, 2004). CNSs work with other nurses to advance their nursing practices and improve outcomes, and provide clinical expertise to effect system-wide changes to improve programs of care.

NURSE ANESTHETIST. A nurse anesthetist (AE) is a registered nurse and advanced practice nurse who has acquired additional education and training to administer anesthesia. The title, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), reflects the nurse’s qualifications and abilities. In the United States, education is overseen by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA). The nurse anesthetist’s education, training, and official title vary in different nations.

NURSE MIDWIFE. A nurse-midwife is an advanced practice nurse who has specialized in the practice of obstetrical and gynecological care of relatively healthy women. Most nurse-midwives have a Master of Science in Nursing in addition to being a Registered Nurse. Nurse-midwives practice in hospitals and medical clinics, and may also deliver in birthing centers and at home.

NURSE EDUCATOR. A nurse educator is a nurse who teaches and prepares licensed practical nurses (LPN) and registered nurses (RN) for entry into practice positions. Nurse Educators also teach in graduate programs at Master’s and doctoral level which prepare advanced practice nurses, nurse educators, nurse administrators, nurse researchers, and leaders in complex healthcare and educational organizations.

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