Advanced Practice Nursing

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Both registered nurses and advanced practice nurses hold an RN license and deliver nursing care. An advanced practice nurse usually functions as a nurse practitioner, a certified nurse-midwife, a nurse anesthetist, or a clinical nurse specialist. Although there are many similarities between a registered nurse and an advanced practice nurse, or APN, there are also some distinct differences. Among these differences are the scope of practice, the salary, and the level of responsibility. Registered nurses and APNs both provide direct care, but the scope of practice is different. The scope of practice covers exactly what a nursing professional may do in his or her professional capacity. The scope of practice varies from state to state. A certified nurse-midwife can also provide prenatal care and deliver babies, while a nurse anesthetist can administer general anesthesia (“Advanced Practice Nurse Role Descriptions and Application of Project Management Concepts,” 2018). An APN has a much higher level of responsibility than an RN. Certified nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, and nurse practitioners are directly responsible for the complete care and management of a group of patients. A nurse practitioner is often responsible for medical management and will prescribe medications, order diagnostic tests, interpret diagnostic results, and make medical diagnoses (Lindell & Huber, 2015). APNs and RNs are both a crucial part of the healthcare team.
There are a variety of nurse theories that can be applied for advanced practice nursing. Advanced nursing theory is a set of predictive models for treating patients, developed through a combination of field observation and scientific testing. Some are used more widely than others in nursing practice. A primary role of graduate education, especially an MSN degree, is to provide a theoretical framework that helps students know how to give care in different settings. Sister Simone Roach developed a nursing theory based on caring as the central premise. Her 5 C’s of Caring are commitment, conscience, competence, compassion, and confidence (“Advanced Practice Nurse Role Descriptions and Application of Project Management Concepts,” 2018) . They form the cornerstone of her theoretical model. Martha Rogers contributed the theory of “Unitary Human Beings,” which posits that treatment needs to focus on the symphonic interaction between patients and their environment, directed and redirected to improve patient health. Dorothea Orem is responsible for the “Self-Care Deficit Theory,” the basic premise of which people should be responsible for their care insofar as possible, developing an awareness of their potential health problems and applying self-care to ameliorate them. Madeleine Leininger advanced the model of “Transcultural Nursing,” a more recent theory that views empathetic care is essential to wellness and argues that, to provide caring, the nurse must provide treatment congruent with the patient’s cultural beliefs and values. Jean Watson’s Theory of Caring views empathetic care as the nurse’s primary responsibility, focusing on making a heartfelt connection with the patient to facilitate the healing process (Lindell & Huber, 2015). Advanced nursing theory can be broken into processes. General system theory breaks a system down into its parts and studies the interaction among them. Adaptation theory focuses on how well patients adjust to changes in their internal and external environments (“Advanced Practice Nurse Role Descriptions and Application of Project Management Concepts,” 2018) . The developmental theory looks at how people have to change needs as they move through life stages.

Advanced practice nurse role descriptions and application of project management concepts. (2018). In Project management for the advanced practice nurse. Springer Publishing Company.
Anderson, R., & Ferguson, R. (2020). A nurse practitioner–led medication reconciliation process to reduce hospital readmissions from a skilled nursing facility. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 32(2), 160–167. Retrieved October 15, 2020, from
Lindell, J. L., & Huber, D. L. (2015). Clinical leadership development and education for nurses: prospects and opportunities.

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