Advanced Practice Nurse

Written by Rachel Arieff
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Advanced practice nurses may consist of four types of registered nurses, each type with a different specialty. Registered nurses receive two to four years of standard nursing education and training. Advanced practice nurses, also known as AVNs, receive extra education and training beyond the basic RN requirements.

As such, nurse practitioners (NPs), clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), certified nurse midwives (CNMs), or certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) all fall under the umbrella of advanced practice nurses. Each of these types of APNs receives specialized training and follows a certain career path, though the specific standards for each class of nurse can vary from state to state. Those training to be nurses and eventually AVNs can benefit from some of the newer study aids in their courses. Having a study guide that can condense a 1,000 page manual into a 10 or 15 page reader can be helpful while taking nursing courses and throughout one's career. As a result of this extra training and expertise, advanced practice nurses can expect higher salaries and more job opportunities.

Types of Advanced Practice Nurses

In today's increasingly uncertain economy, this is what spurs many RNs to take the extra step to become APNs. For example, in addition to their RN training, nurse practitioners usually have a master's degree, certification from the American Nursing Association or another esteemed nursing organization, or both. This allows them to work in a wide range of areas, from hospitals and clinics to nursing homes and private practices.

Clinical Nurse Specialists are specialists in a diversity of areas, among them oncology, gerontology, mental health, and community health. These nurses are RNs who have earned advanced nursing degrees, and as a result, often work not only with patients, but also as consultants, educators, administrators, and researchers. Certified nurse midwives receive specialized obstetric education after nursing school and focus on prenatal care, delivery, and post-partum wellness. Certified nurse anesthetists must complete two to three years of specialized education and can find work in any medical setting in which anesthesia is used.


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