This response will discuss how advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) can distinguish their roles from other nursing roles and medical counterparts. The APRN role includes several roles, such as “clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), NPs, certified nurse midwives (CNMs), and certified RN anesthetists (CRNAs)” (Ko, Burson & Mianecki, 2019, p. 26). CNMs provide low-risk gynecological and obstetrical care; CRNAs administrate aesthesia to patients; NPs care for patients in hospital settings, and CNSs are autonomous nurse clinicians providing expert care and educating patients. However, evidence shows that the public, medical professionals, and hospital administrators are often not aware of the differences among these APRN roles in terms of their scope of practice, abilities, and impact on care quality (Ko et al., 2019). Therefore, there is a need for APRNs to take measures to distinguish their roles from those of other healthcare professionals.
There are several ways in which APRNs can advocate for their specific professional roles. First, they should educate healthcare providers about the existing APRN roles and their scope of practice (Miller, 2019). This step will help to address the problem of medical professional’s unawareness of the differences among APRN roles. Secondly, APRNs should seek inclusion in credentialing committees to be able to correct any misunderstanding about the scope of practice of a particular APRN role (Miller, 2019). This problem should also be addressed at the educational level. Students enrolled in APRN programs should have a clear understanding of their future professional role (Miller, 2019). In addition, APRN programs should educate students about state statutes defining the APRN scope of practice (Miller, 2019). Overall, the measures that APRNs have to undertake are focused mainly on raising awareness about the distinctions among APRN roles.
There is a strong reason for APRNs to advocate for their professional roles. According to Poghosyan, Norful, and Martsolf (2017), a lack of clarity regarding APRN roles leads to the situation when APRNs have to perform tasks that should be done by medical assistants or registered nurses. As a result, APRNs are not able to demonstrate their advanced skills, so they are forced to be not as effective and productive as they could be (Poghosyan et al., 2017). Thus, by not recognizing the differences among APRN roles, healthcare providers do not use available professional resources effectively, which takes a toll on the quality of patient care.
Ko, A., Burson R., & Mianecki, T. (2019). Advanced nursing practice roles: Closing the knowledge gap. Nursing Management, 50(3), 26-36.
Miller, K. (2019). Setting or patient care needs: Which defines advanced practice registered nurse scope of practice? The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 15(7), 494-495.
Poghosyan, L., Norful, A. A., & Martsolf, G. R. (2017). Primary care nurse practitioner practice characteristics: Barriers and opportunities for interprofessional teamwork. The Journal of ambulatory care management, 40(1), 77-86.