The advanced practice nurse, or APN, has an advanced scope of practice in the nursing field, having been equipped with advanced training in clinical and educational practices. “Most states allow APNs to prescribe medications, including controlled substances,” and they “work in clinics, nursing homes, and hospitals to provide primary and preventive health care services, prescribe medication, and diagnose and treat common minor illnesses and injuries” (Prater and Hall, 2008). This often involves a much higher level of education than a normal RN, and they are given greater responsibility regarding the care of a patient, often under their own practices (Bryant-Lukosius et al., 2004).
There are varying disciplines inherent in the APN scope of care, from certified nurse-midwife to nurse anesthetist, among others. The Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse who is “prepared, through advanced education and clinical training, to provide a wide range of preventive and acute health care services to individuals of all ages” (O’Grady, p. 5). Among the duties included in the roster of the NP is diagnosis and treatment of chronic and acute conditions experienced by the patient, as well as counseling and support regarding health matters. Illness prevention and overall fitness is the primary emphasis of a nurse practitioner when dealing with their patients.
The Family Nurse Practitioner uses these skills in order to administer treatment to all members of a family on a recurring basis, becoming their dedicated health care practitioner. Their range of skills deals intimately with the health care needs of individuals of all ages, from children to the elderly. FNPs typically use their knowledge to discuss recurring health matters with a family unit, can offer referrals as required, and can offer follow-up care for any potential issue (“Why Become,” 2011). This places them at a unique advantage to provide comprehensive assistance to an entire family unit.
After I complete the nurse practitioner program, I would like to obtain a position in a family practice setting. I possess a number of attributes that will make me a valuable asset as a nurse practitioner. Being a nurse practitioner, I would primarily focus on the person as a whole, as opposed to the condition I am to treat, offering them a more comprehensive level of care. As a nurse practitioner, I will attempt to provide my patients with the complete picture of the effects of their condition on themselves and those around them. The specialized nature of nurse practitioners means they can work in virtually any nursing field, making it a unique and interesting specialization. The diverse array of people I can work with spans all ages and sexes, from infancy to old age – this would equip me more comprehensively for work as a family nurse practitioner, which requires a unique set of skills for treating and diagnosing various age groups.
Utilizing my advanced scope of practice, I will have a chance to treat patients with acute and chronic health conditions with multiple comorbidities, and to do so with a certain level of expertise. This would permit me to diagnose and treat disease as a nurse practitioner. Ideally, given that nurse practitioners are allowed to have their own autonomous practice, I would like to hone my skills as a nurse practitioner and achieve the goal of possessing my own practice. That will provide me with the freedom I desire in practicing medicine and helping people heal.
Bryant-Lukosius, D., DiCenso, A., Browne, G., & Pinelli, J. (2004). Advanced practice nursing roles: development, implementation and evaluation. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 48(5), 519-529.
O'Grady, E. (2008). http://rndegrees.net/articles/nurse-practitioner-career.html. Patient safety and quality an evidence-based handbook for nurses (pp. 1-20). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Prater, S., & Hall, C. (2008). Advanced Practice Nursing. Bureau of Legislative Research, 08-286, 1-52.
Why Become A Nurse Practitioner?. (n.d.). RN Degrees Online Nursing School Guide. Retrieved August 14, 2011, from http://rndegrees.net/articles/nurse-practitioner-career.html