|The role of the Advanced
Practice Nurse (APN) is to
provide preventative care and treatment and to participate in the
management of acute and chronic illnesses using advanced clinical
skills, diagnostic reasoning, and advanced therapeutic interventions.
APNs demonstrate a high level of independence and clinical expertise
in the management of rheumatic diseases. APNs integrate education,
research, management, leadership, and consultation into their clinical
What Does the APN Do?
The APN assesses patientsí' health status through comprehensive health
histories, physical examinations, and interpretation of appropriate
diagnostic tests. The APN formulates patient diagnoses and with the
patient identifies outcomes in order to manage health problems,
maximize functional abilities, prevent or minimize disabilities, and
promote health maintenance. Collaborating with the patient and family,
and other health care professionals as needed, the APN develops an
appropriate plan of care to attain individualized expected outcomes,
prioritizing multiple needs.
The APN prescribes, orders, and
implements interventions and treatments identified in the plan of
care, including: prescribing pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic
interventions, in accordance with state law; providing patient/family
education and counseling; and, initiating referrals to other health
The APN evaluates and documents
patient/family progress toward attainment of expected outcomes and
provides consultation to other providers to optimize the plan of care
and affect system change. The APN provides comprehensive clinical
coordination and case management and acts as an advocate for the
patient and family within the health care facility, the community, and
the legislative arena.
Where Does the APN Work?
The APN provides care in a variety of
health care settings including hospital units, ambulatory clinics,
managed care practice, private practice, rehabilitation centers, home
health agencies, public health centers, and long-term care facilities.
APNs may serve as primary care providers, specialty care providers, or
What Kind of Training Does the APN
APN is an umbrella term given to a
registered nurse who has met advanced educational and clinical
practice requirements beyond that for basic registered nurse
licensure. There are four types of APNs: clinical nurse specialists
(CNS), nurse practitioners (NP), certified nurse midwives (CNM), and
certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA). Since 1992, APNs have
met the requirement of obtaining at least a Masterís degree. Regulated
by both state and federal laws, APNs are licensed as registered nurses
in the states in which they practice. Most states require APNs to be
nationally certified in their specialty area by the APN specialtyís
professional organization. National APN certification requires
graduation from an accredited APN educational program and successful
completion of a national certification examination. (1.)
(1.) Article courtesy of the
Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals
For additional information, contact the
Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals, 1800 Century Place,
Suite 250, Atlanta, Georgia 30345, (404) 633-3777.
Revised 2001-2002 Professional Papers
Approved by ARHP Executive Committee, October 2002, New Orleans