Nursing Career Ladder (Part Four): the Advanced Practice Nurse

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This post is the fourth and final one in this four-part installment series that has aimed to put a spotlight on the diverse nursing career ladder in the United States.

The first post in this particular series discussed certified nursing assistants, known as CNAs, and the second post elaborated on the unique importance of licensed practical nurses (LPNs), also known as licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) in the states of California and Texas. The third post highlighted the significance of registered nurses. This fourth post will shed light on advanced practice nurses.

An advanced practice nurse, or APN, is also known as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). The APN is a registered nurse (RN) with additional educational attainment, specialized training and a wide knowledge base that soars above and beyond the customary bedside RN role.

According to the American Nurses Association (2018), APNs include nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives. Additionally, all APNs possess a vital place in the future of the entire healthcare system in the United States. APNs routinely serve as patients’ primary care providers. They are placed at the forefront of the provision of preventative healthcare to the public as a whole.

APNs treat and diagnose disease processes, possess the authority to write prescriptions in most states, advise the general public on health issues, and manage chronic disease processes in strict accordance with high quality evidence-based practices. APNs also obtain continuing education to remain abreast of the continual, technical, methodological, and other emergent changes in the nursing profession.

All APNs have attained a minimum of a master of science degree in nursing with an advanced practice specialization. This educational attainment is in addition to the initial nursing education and licensing that is mandated for all RNs. A number of APNs hold doctoral degrees (PhD or DNP). The PhD degree is the doctor of philosophy in nursing science, and the DNP is a doctor of nursing practice degree.

Many APNs started their glorious careers as nursing assistants before ascending the healthcare career ladder through hard work, education, persistence and the pursuit of lifelong learning. Legacy Healthcare Careers is a Dallas/ Fort Worth CNA school in the Mid-Cities/HEB area of Texas that offers coursework to become a nursing assistant in four short weeks.

Feel free to place a telephone call to Legacy Healthcare Careers’ office line at (682)626-5266 or the school’s 24-hour hotline at (682) 313-6404 for enrollment information that might possibly change lives for the better.

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