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October 8, 2015

APRN - Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Jobs

What Does An Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Do?

Registered nurses (RNs) who have completed advanced clinical and educational requirements can become Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). There are currently approximately 250,000 APRNs in the United States. APRN is an umbrella term for four types of nurses, according to the United Advanced Practice Registered Nurses of Georgia :

  • Certified nurse practitioners diagnose and treat patients with a variety of health issues and also promote wellness. They specialize in areas like pediatric and adult nursing. 
  • Certified nurse midwives have specialized training in caring for women and infants during and after pregnancy.
  • Certified nurse anesthetists administer anesthesia and provide related care before and after surgery.
  • Clinical nurse specialists diagnose and treat conditions within their respective specializations, such as a geriatric population or a clinical area like oncology.

What Are The Job Roles For An APRN?

  • Ordering diagnostic tests 
  • Determining appropriate types of treatment
  • Providing patient education
  • Managing preventive care through screenings

Job Characteristics

  • Work is primarily managerial.
  • Jobs are multifaceted.
  • Work requires a high level of independence.
  • Responsibilities involve considerable patient contact.

What Education & Certification Is Needed For An APRN?

The path to APRN status begins with becoming an RN. It also requires relevant work experience and certification in a specialty. 

The American Nurses Association indicates that RN candidates must complete a two- or four-year nursing degree or a hospital nursing program. In order to be eligible for state licensing, graduates must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). RNs interested in becoming APRNs should continue their education with a master’s degree in nursing that includes training in their chosen clinical specialty.

According to GraduateNursingEDU , two changes have been proposed regarding APRN training and certification. The first is implementation of a national regulatory consensus model to assure common licensing requirements and scope of practice for APRNs. Also proposed is making the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree a requirement for national APRN certification and state licensing. 

Among the schools offering at least master’s degrees are: 

What Certification Is Needed For An APRN?

APRNs possess certification in their respective specialties. The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners offers competency-based exams for adult nurse practitioners, family nurse practitioners, and adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioners, while the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists awards the designation Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center awards certification for clinical nurse specialists. Certified nurse-midwives earn that designation from the American College of Nurse-Midwives .

What Are The Degree Requirements For An APRN?

According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing , all APRNs must possess at least a master’s degree.

What Are the CEU Requirements As An APRN?

APRNs must complete specified continuing education requirements to renew their specialty certifications. Each state also has continuing education requirements listed in our continuing education guide.

The current trend is for employers to provide on-site or online training for nurses. Professional organizations such as the American Association of Nurse Practitioners typically offer continuing education courses to their members.

Where Can I Work As An APRN?

The most common places where APRNs work include:

  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Operating rooms
  • Birthing centers
  • Veterans’ hospitals
  • Hospices
  • Nursing programs in colleges and universities

Where Are the Best APRN Jobs?

High-paying nursing opportunities abound. As an in-demand nurse, you are in control of your career. Explore the opportunities available to nurses of every specialty and education level. Get the pay and career path you deserve. Click here to see today's best nursing opportunities.

Vonda J. Sines is a freelance writer based in the Washington, DC area. She specializes in health/medical, career, and pet topics and writes extensively about Crohn's disease. Her work has been published at EverydayHealth, Lifescript, womansday.com, Yahoo! Health, Catholic Digest, Angie's List Health, and on many more sites.

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