Advanced Nursing Practice: The Key Roles


Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) have advanced postgraduate education compared to registered nurses. Their job is to diagnose and assess patient problems and prescribe medications. APNs usually have a master’s degree in nursing, a doctorate in nursing, and related training certificates. Registered nurses (RNs) also provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various medical conditions, and support patients and their families. APRNs have more knowledge and skills to provide much higher quality nursing services, explaining the importance of transitioning from RN to APN. The purpose of this paper is to find out what the four APN roles are, describe the transition strategy from the RN role to the NP role, and demonstrate personal plans for clinical practice after graduation. It is also necessary to explain the choice of one of the four roles in advanced nursing.

Four APN Roles

The nurse coordinates and is responsible for timely and adequate treatment and care for each of her patients. It is worth mentioning that specialists with a Master’s degree contribute to the work environment, even if they are not engaged in advanced practice (Wilkinson et al., 2018). There are four leading APN roles for those who have gained extra skills after graduation. CNP is a nurse with additional education in a specific specialty such as pediatrics. To be considered a certified nurse practitioner, one must have a certificate demonstrating the necessary skills. In addition to working in clinics, it is assumed that these specialists can provide their services in rural areas, in health centers, in college territories. CNSs administer direct patient care in many nursing specialties, such as psychiatry or pediatrics. They also provide complementary care by working with other professionals to improve the quality of care, take leadership roles, conduct research, and advocate for specific policies. These nurses can work in a variety of settings, from schools to private doctors’ offices.

A certified nurse anesthesiologist (CRNA) is an advanced nurse practitioner who is certified as an anesthesiologist. CRNAs must use their nursing skills and drug knowledge to ensure patient safety and achieve the desired drug effect. These professionals work both in clinics and in surgery centers. They often have to cope with job dissatisfaction, professional stress, and burnout (Boyd & Poghosyan, 2017). The role of CNMs is to provide care for pregnant women. To work, one needs to obtain a nursing diploma and a certificate confirming the ability to engage in obstetrics. CNMs practice in hospitals and private health clinics and can operate in maternity hospitals; they collaborate with an obstetrician and gynecologist.

Rationale for Choosing CNP Role

A certified pediatric nurse is responsible for the care or treatment of children. Such a nurse is obliged to examine young patients and to provide, if necessary, first aid to them. A person planning to become a CPN should have an approach to children since working with them requires extraordinary patience to persuade a minor patient to allow examination. I have always found it interesting to interact with children; I get along with them quickly. At the same time, I spent a lot of time studying pediatrics, meaning that I have the necessary skills to carry out CNP activities. In particular, for example, my knowledge in anesthesia is comparatively less than in pediatrics, and in general, I do not have much interest in other advanced practice roles.

Plans for Clinical Practice

In recent decades, there have been changes in the field of nursing education. It seems extremely important to continue my studies with an in-depth analysis of the field of pediatrics since I plan to link my future work with this area. I want to combine studies in pediatrics and work in a clinic with young patients. Before writing this work, the need to continue my studies was not so apparent to me, and it seemed to me that it is enough to be considered a registered nurse. However, I realized that I was wrong when I thought that education could be stopped.

Role Transition

In moving from the RN to NP role, the student needs to become familiar with the fundamental differences between the two roles. This process may require studying the current state’s practice in which the nurse intends to work. The factors influencing the transition will be clinical experience before NP practice and a mentor who can provide emotional support. In addition, closer cooperation between educational institutions and structures where amateur specialists practice will help support nurses in their transition since there is a particular gap between theory and practice (Woo & Newman, 2020). For me, an essential strategy for successfully dealing with potential change will be to maintaining realistic expectations. I also plan to contact my future colleagues to clarify with more experienced specialists what difficulties I will face in the course of work to be ready in advance.


In this work, it was possible to analyze the main characteristics of the four ANP roles. It was also identified what the educational preparation and work environment for each of these roles are. I have outlined why I think that the CNP advanced practice role is the most suitable for my future work. Writing this paper helped me realize the importance of continuing my studies, which I had thought less about before.


Boyd, D., & Poghosyan, L. (2017). Certified registered nurse anesthetist working conditions and outcomes: A review of the literature. AANA Journal, 85(4), 261-269.

Wilkinson, J., Carryer, J., & Budge, C. (2018). Impact of postgraduate education on advanced practice nurse activity – a national survey. International Nursing Review, 65, 417-424.

Woo M. W. J., & Newman S. A. (2020). The experience of transition from nursing students to newly graduated registered nurses in Singapore, International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 7(1), 81-90.

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