What is nursing?
Nursing has many definitions, but the essence of nursing is that nurses combine the art of caring with the science of health care. Nursing places its focus not only on a particular health problem, but on the whole patient and his or her response to treatment. Care of the patient and a firm base of scientific knowledge are indispensable elements.
What is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse?
An advanced practice nurse (APN) is an umbrella term that includes nurse practitioners (NP), clinical nurse specialists (CNS), certified nurse-midwives (CNM), and nurse anesthetists (CRNA). All are registered nurses with advanced training and education, most with Master’s degrees in nursing. APNs must pass national licensing exams in order to practice and must maintain their licenses through ongoing educational activities and testing.
Where do APRNs work?
APNs have been providing primary and preventative health care for over 35 years. They work in all 50 states, in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, businesses, and private practices, HMOs, schools, and community centers. Some APRNs have their own practices, but most work in collaboration with a physician. Many APRNs can prescribe medications, order and evaluate laboratory, x-ray and other diagnostic tests. They can refer to specialists and other community resources. Nurse-managed health care centers are run by nurses, usually APRNs, and are located in neighbor hoods and communities to best serve their clients.
What can an APRN do?
APRNs practice in varied health arenas including Family Practice, Pediatrics, Geriatrics, Oncology, Cardiology, Midwifery, and Anesthesia. One type of APRN, a nurse practitioner (NP), can evaluate and treat people with acute illness, (such as pneumonia, ear and sinus infections, or acute back pain), chronic conditions (such as diabetes, hypertension, and depression), and provide preventative health care services (such as physicals and immunizations). A nurse practitioner focuses on prevention, wellness and education. Helping people stay well is a primary goal of NPs. Prevention screening for diseases such as elevated cholesterol, asthma, and cancer are another focus of nurse practitioners.