Specialty Nursing and Advanced Nursing

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Each type of a nursing practice model has a specific target, application, and influence on the patient’s state. It defines not only the skills, knowledge, and expectations of the nurse but also one’s career and ways of professional development. One of the most used approaches is a specialty nursing practice with its wide duties in a particular department, while advanced practice nursing uses a narrower field of medical care. Both methods are essential for a health care system and the state of the patients. However, there are significant differences between them as they are aimed at different goals, groups of patients, and responsibilities.

The specialty nursing supports an idea of a nurse who is multifunctional. It means that the nurse can be used as a tool for different duties, including managing documentation, having access to the medical records, and interacting with the patients (Bryant-Lukosius et al., 2017). However, the hospital defines the major responsibilities of the nurse as well as limitations for this position. As the name of the model suggests, the duties can be characterized by the specialty of the nurse’s practice and one’s educational background (Hamric et al., 2014). The responsibilities can vary from clinic to clinic, but the major point is that the nurse can fulfill several roles to save time, health care resources, and create a comfortable environment for staff and patients.

The advanced practice model narrows the duties of the nurse and groups of patients with whom the medical worker can interact. For example, there are nurses who provide assistance with anesthesia during surgeries, nurses who specialize in the female reproductive system (Hamric, O’Grady, Hanson & Tracy, 2014). The advanced practice suggests the medical worker fulfills one’s duties in a very narrow field of work which requires precision, detailed knowledge of specific part of the body, and an ability to communicate with a particular group of patients (Finnell, Thomas, Nehring, McLoughlin, & Bickford, 2015). In many instances, female patients need different attention than male patients because of differences in psychology and body functions. To ease the patients’ anxiety and increase comfort, the advanced nursing practice exists.

Apart from the differences in duties, the specialty nurses can prescribe medication while advanced practice nurses might not able, depending on the field where they operate. The specialty nursing model also suggests that the nurses can work in specific medical facilities, such as private, ambulatory, and community clinics. The advanced nurses can be hired in any hospital that requires their specialization and scope of duties. They have more freedom in terms of employment and can also work in educational establishments (Bryant-Lukosius et al., 2017). The specialty nurses are not able to educate students in medical institutions and conduct any educational activity.

The models of nursing practice have different fields in which they specialize. For the specialty nursing practice these are adult patients, patients with psychiatric diseases, neonatal and pediatrics, gender-related diseases, family diseases, and health. For the advanced nurses there are only four primary positions: nurse-anesthetist, nurse-midwife, clinical nurse, and nurse practitioner (Finnell et al., 2015). Specialty nurse has a broader scope, and hence they can be advanced nurses at the same time, while the advanced nurses might not replace the specialty ones. As stated above, the hospital defines the policy and the duties of the nurses, where they work and how their professional experience can be applied to the patients’ state.

As for cooperation, both nurses have to cooperate with physicians and other nurses to establish appropriate treatment plans for the patients. However, specialty nurses can have limited freedom and operate without cooperation in cases, when the disease or injury is not a threat to the patient’s life. In minor incidents, the nurses can create the treatment plan, prescribe medical drugs, and treat the patient (Bryant-Lukosius et al., 2017). However, advanced nurses are not allowed to do the same as their role is limited to assistance.

Furthermore, there is also a difference in education for the nurses. For instance, the specialty nurses have to confirm their certificate and license every five years. The advanced nurses have a different schedule which is based on the field where they work. For some fields the licensing and confirmation of the skills require the same test every five years; however, in some fields, it can take 3-7 years (Finnell et al., 2015). For instance, oncology nurses have to participate in tests every four years in order to confirm their qualification. However, both models strongly encourage nurses to improve their skills and knowledge continuously throughout their career. Due to the fact that some of the advanced nurses can have access to children who are especially vulnerable, the tests typically require additional qualification every three years.

In conclusion, both types of nurses work to save patients and improve their health. However, specialty nurses have more freedom and functions, compared to advanced nurses. The educational background is the same for the nurses; however, they can work at different types of medical facilities and work with different groups of patients. The advanced nurses focus on specific groups of patients and the specialty nurses can operate without direct interactions with the patients. Nonetheless, the core principles and the positive influence of both nursing practices are similar and aim at helping people.


Bryant-Lukosius, D., Valaitis, R., Martin-Misener, R., Donald, F., Peña, L., & Brousseau, L. (2017). Advanced practice nursing: A strategy for achieving universal health coverage and universal access to health. Revista Latino-Americana De Enfermagem, 25. Web.

Finnell, D., Thomas, E., Nehring, W., McLoughlin, K., & Bickford, C. (2015). Best practices for developing specialty nursing scope and standards of practice. The Online Journal of Issues In Nursing, 20(2). Web.

Hamric, A., Hanson, C., Tracy, M., & O’Grady, E. (2014). Advanced practice nursing (5th ed.). Saunders.

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NursingBird. (2021, December 19). Specialty Nursing and Advanced Nursing. Retrieved from https://nursingbird.com/specialty-nursing-and-advanced-nursing/


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"Specialty Nursing and Advanced Nursing." NursingBird, 19 Dec. 2021, nursingbird.com/specialty-nursing-and-advanced-nursing/.


NursingBird. (2021) 'Specialty Nursing and Advanced Nursing'. 19 December.


NursingBird. 2021. "Specialty Nursing and Advanced Nursing." December 19, 2021. https://nursingbird.com/specialty-nursing-and-advanced-nursing/.

1. NursingBird. "Specialty Nursing and Advanced Nursing." December 19, 2021. https://nursingbird.com/specialty-nursing-and-advanced-nursing/.


NursingBird. "Specialty Nursing and Advanced Nursing." December 19, 2021. https://nursingbird.com/specialty-nursing-and-advanced-nursing/.