Roles in Advanced Practice Nursing

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 3
Words: 850
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: Master


Nurses are crucial in providing care for patients, although there are some differences between certain roles. Advanced practice nursing refers to various nursing interventions that can impact patients’ health, with the nurses being educated professionals who can assist people from various backgrounds (DeNisco & Barker, 2015). With that being said, one should be mindful when transitioning roles from a registered nurse (RN) to an advanced practice nurse (APN) to avoid any mistakes in the future. As nurse practitioners are supposed to expand access to high-quality and cost-effective care, the transition should not be undermined (Faraz, 2019). Analyzation of the roles of the advanced practice nurse can be helpful in a successful transition.

Four APN Roles

First, one should explore the differences between the roles of APN. In the US, those roles are certified nurse practitioner (CNP), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), and certified nurse-midwife (CNM) (Phillips, 2020; Schirle & Dietrich, 2020). However, research shows that the roles and educational preparation vary across the nation (Phillips, 2020; Schirle & Dietrich, 2020). For example, in Illinois, the APN must hold a graduate degree and current RN licensure, with a certain exception for CRNAs who completed their program before January of 1999 (Phillips, 2020). Moreover, to prepare for practice, nurses have to have clinical experience in collaboration with a physician (Phillips, 2020). Furthermore, the work environment for the APN roles impacts patient care and depends on organizational factors and policies (Schirle & Dietrich, 2020). For instance, research shows that CNPs work in an environment with a better organizational climate than CRNAs (Schirle & Dietrich, 2020). With that being said, relations with physician colleagues can impact nurses’ perceptions of the work environment (Schirle & Dietrich, 2020). Overall, the four APN roles may differ in some states but have certain requirements for education and experience.

Rationale for Choosing CNP Role

Next, out of the four roles of APN, I am most interested in the CNP role. Since I am concerned with challenging myself, such an interest can be rationalized by the wide range of work in both primary and acute care (Gonzalez & Gigli, 2021). In primary care, CNPs provide care for most health needs, while in acute care, CNPs assist patients in complex acute, critical, and chronic conditions (Gonzalez & Gigli, 2021). However, I would prefer to practice in a good work environment which, as mentioned before, is more prevalent to CNPs (Schirle & Dietrich, 2020). With CNP’s scope of practice, I will continuously find ways of challenging and improving myself while helping people.

Plans for Clinical Practice

Following that, my plans for clinical practice after graduation are based on my desire to work at a medical facility at the place of my current residence. I want to obtain as much practical experience as possible before I decide to change my location. My understanding of NP has changed after researching APN roles, as I now have more knowledge on requirements for nurses in various states. For example, I have learned that California does not require national certification to practice (Phillips, 2020). However, as of now, I plan to focus on my education and prepare for my transition to the role of NP to become a successful professional.

Role Transition

Next, I would like to focus on my transition to the NP role. There are certain factors that may negatively impact my transition. First, I am worried that I may face a lack of respect from other clinicians or find myself in a disrespectful work environment, which seems to happen to many new NPs (Faraz, 2019). Second, as much as I like to challenge myself, I am concerned that I would not have enough support from colleagues in terms of mentorship and formal training (Faraz, 2019). Despite that, there are some facilitators on which I can base strategies to support a successful transition. In the first place, I am usually eager to learn, so even if there is a lack of support, research shows that more autonomy can be a positive aspect of a new NP role (Faraz, 2019). Following that, even if other clinicians do not respect me at first, I am sure that I will have opportunities to grow professionally and earn their consideration (Faraz, 2019). Overall, with my educational background, I am positive about the outcomes of my transition.


To summarize, analysis of the roles of APN shows that for a successful transition, one should pay attention to education, practice, and finding ways to sustain a good work environment. While there are four APN roles in most states, they can vary in terms of education and experience. However, out of those roles, I am most interested in CNP, as I believe that beyond helping people, I would be able to constantly obtain new knowledge and improve myself in this position. To become a successful CNP, I plan to focus on my transition and work at a health care facility at my current location before I decide to move. Although there may be some barriers to transition, I believe that I will succeed with enough hard work.


DeNisco, S. & Barker, A. (Eds.). (2015). Advanced practice nursing: Essential knowledge for the profession (3rd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Faraz, A. (2019). Facilitators and barriers to the novice nurse practitioner workforce transition in primary care. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 31(6), 364-370. doi:10.1097/JXX.0000000000000158

Gonzalez, J., & Gigli, K. (2021). Navigating population foci and implications for nurse practitioner scope of practice. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 17(7), 1-5.

Phillips, S. J. (2020). 32nd annual APRN legislative update: Improving access to high-quality, safe, and effective healthcare. The Nurse Practitioner, 45(1), 28-55. doi:10.1097/01.NPR.0000615560.11798.5f

Schirle, L., & Dietrich, M. S. (2020). Advanced practice registered nurses’ work environment perceptions in hospitals: A cross‐sectional survey. Journal of Nursing Management, 28(4), 919-926.