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State of Advance Practice Nurse

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State of Advance Practice Paper
There are many definitions of advanced practice nursing. Nursing’s Scope and Standards of Practice (ANA, 2014) defines APNs as having advanced specialized clinical knowledge and skills through master’s or doctoral education that prepares them for specialization, expansion, and advancement of practice. Specialization is concentrating or limiting one’s focus to part of the whole field of nursing. Expansion refers to the acquisition of new practice knowledge and skills, including knowledge and skills legitimizing role autonomy within areas of practice that overlap traditional boundaries of medical practice. Advancement involves both specialization and expansion and is characterized by the integration of theoretical, research-based, and practical knowledge that occurs as part of graduate education in nursing.
APN is an umbrella term for the four roles mentioned earlier: clinical nurse specialist (CNS), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), certified nurse-midwife (CNM), and nurse practitioner (NP) (Sheer, & Wong, 2008). Each role is distinguishable from the others, but in some respects they overlap. This APN definition encompasses nurses engaged in clinical practice; it does not include nurses with advanced preparation for administration, education, or research (ANA, 2014). Only recently has the expectation arisen that APNs should receive their education within master’s or doctoral nursing programs. Although CNSs have always required master’s degrees in nursing, the educational preparation for many nurse-midwives, nurse anesthetists, and nurse practitioners did not necessarily occur in graduate nursing programs. Now, however, NPs must receive their education in graduate masters or clinical doctoral programs in nursing (Sheer, & Wong, 2008). Moving the education of all APNs to graduate degree nursing programs, and now the...

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