There are several different types of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). Choosing one field to specialize in can be a difficult decision. Registered nurses looking to further their career should look at all their options in order to determine which one will be best suited for their abilities and passions.
There are four basic types of APRNs: Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, Clinical Nurse Specialists and Nurse Practitioners. Within these four groups, nurses can also have certain concentrations, or sub-specialties, in a specific field of study or for a certain patient group.
Nurse Anesthetists are specialized in administering anesthesia to patients. They are usually needed in operating rooms where they are responsible for monitoring both anesthesia levels and the patient’s vital signs. They usually work in hospitals, dental offices and psychiatric facilities.
Educational requirements for Nurse Anesthetists include a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Individuals must already be Registered Nurses before they can continue their education. Training can be obtained in both hospitals and select universities. If individuals decide to complete their training and education at a university in a graduate program, they can earn a master’s degree upon completion of the course work, as well as 800 hours of clinical experience time. In order to be a Certified Nurse Anesthetist , individuals must also pass a national exam before they are able to practice.
Nurse Midwives specialize in the delivery and care of infants and their mothers. As more women choose the option of a natural birth, more of these medical professionals are needed. The responsibility of bringing new life into the world is a big one, and it requires a lot of training and certification.
Educational requirements for Nurse Midwives include being a Registered Nurse and completing a master’s degree program. There are several schools across the nation that specialize in training and educating those who wish to be Nurse Midwives. After all the schooling is completed and before they can begin their practice, individuals must pass a written exam.
One of the two extremely versatile Advanced Nursing certifications is the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). CNSs focus their talents and care on a specific population of patients. They may choose to work with a specific disease, or with pediatrics, among other options.
In order to practice as a CNS, individuals must meet certain educational requirements. After becoming a Registered Nurse, they must complete a master’s degree in nursing with a focus in the specific area of their choosing. In order to practice after sufficient training, they must also become Certified Clinical Nurse Specialists.
Nurse Practitioners work closely with doctors in medical institutions and often perform many higher level tasks when caring for patients. This is also a very versatile advanced practice option with many specialty choices. Some common specialties are Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Obstetrics.
In order to meet the educational requirements necessary, individuals must first become Registered Nurses and then pursue a master’s degree in nursing with the focus of their choice. After their training and classes are completed, they may take an exam for certification and begin their medical practice.
There are many options when considering careers for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, but once you research them thoroughly, you’ll find the right fit for your specific goals, passions and abilities.