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Roles in Advanced Nursing Practice Essay Example

Healthcare is becoming one of the most significant sectors in today’s world. The factors such as increased demand for professionals in primary care facilities, cost-effective healthcare demands, and rising vulnerability in the population are driving this significance. With the rise in significance, nurses are also required to possess strategic patient care proficiencies. The role of the Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) fulfills this requirement and enables a nurse to develop complex decision-making skills and competencies to meet up the dynamic healthcare demands. (Schober et al., 2020). As a Registered Nurse (RN), a professional can enter a master’s degree program in a particular specialty and complete the APN certification to effectively transition to an APN role. The rationale for choosing a Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP) is to polish the advanced professional, research-oriented, and evidence-based skills in patient care.

With this understanding, the purpose of the paper is to describe different APN roles and provide a rationale for the choice of CNP compared to the other APN roles. The paper further aims to discuss the future plans in clinical practice and role transition from RN to CNP role.

Four APN Roles

There are four primary APN roles. As per the Chicago School (2020), this includes CNP or Nurse Practice (NP), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA), and Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM). Each of these roles has distinct educational preparation and work environment as discussed below:

  • CNP

CNPs are nurses with a graduate degree in APN who predominantly focus on primary care or concentrate their practice on a specific health population or clinical area. As per the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (2020), the educational preparation roadmap covers four essential steps. The steps include obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing, passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and obtaining an RN License, enrolling in a graduate program, passing the National NP Licensing Certification Board Exam, and receiving an NP Licensure. The work environment involves dynamic settings such as emergency rooms, hospices, supervised care facilities, surgical workshops, and reserved practice.

  • CNS

CNSs are nurses who work as a counselor and proficient coaches to the nursing workforce. These nurses usually specialize in a particular health care milieu, health concern, or residents. The educational preparedness involves systematic steps including certification as an RN, completion of a Master’s program from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, and clearance of the state CNS exam. The work environment may involve hospitals, nursing homes, emergency spaces, healthcare agencies, and long-term care facilities.

  • CRNA

CRNAs are the nurses responsible for providing anesthesia to subjects in dynamic clinical environments. They are also in charge of provisioning sedation-linked care for subjects with lethal to situational medical ailments. The educational preparedness involves some experience as an RN, enrollment in the Nurse Anesthesia Program, and clearance of CRNA certification. The work environment includes surgical hospitals, outpatient care centers, and emergency rooms.

  • CNM

CNMs are nurses responsible for supporting families in generative, prenatal, delivery, and postnatal care. The educational preparedness involves gaining RN experience, earning a DNP degree in the Midwifery specialty, and clearing the CNM certification. The work environment includes hospitals, community centers, and emergency wards.

Rationale for Choosing CNP Role

The primary reason for choosing CNP is to get an opportunity to work in dynamic settings like ambulatory clinics, chronic care settings, and outpatient facilities. The other reason is to become competent in application-based clinical scenarios like evidence-based diagnostics, provision of education and specialized referrals, and direct patient care. I chose CNP role compared to CNM because the scope of the latter is limited to pre- and post-natal clinical conditions whereas NP will enable all-inclusive healthcare provision irrespective of patient stage.

Plans for Clinical Practice

After graduation, the plan is to prepare for the NCLEX exam and receive an RN License. The next step is to expand the foundational knowledge of the BSN degree and complete the MSN program. Finally, the plan is to utilize the MSN knowledge and clear the NP certification exam. Researching the ANP roles has created an insightful understanding of the dynamic NP roles that enable a nurse to not only facilitate traditional patient care but also apply strategic, evidence-based, and long-term measures to improve patient outcomes in the future.

Role Transition

The role transition from RN to NP will start with obtaining state licensure. This requires completion of the NCLEX exam. (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2020). Along with the preparation for this exam, obtaining an Authorization to Test (ATT) will be a supplementary endeavor. After completion of the exam, the next step would require obtaining the state RN license. Under the graduate program of MSN or DNP, the focus is to research the specialized program and the concerned health population to gain domain proficiency. Finally, the transition would require attempting and clearing the national board certification exam. The application for the renewal of the NP license is also required at this stage. The two factors that may impact the transition are accessibility to the training and development programs and professional relationships during the graduate program. The two strategies to support a successful transition are to develop advanced patient interaction and care skills and improvement in time management to effectively prepare for the NCELX exam.


In conclusion of this essay help sample, the role of the CNP provides useful opportunities to gain the necessary clinical skills and knowledge. These proficiencies help provide focused and patient-centered care delivery in dynamic healthcare settings. The rationale for choosing the role is that it is more comprehensive than CNM. The preparation plan is to clear the NP certification exam and receive an RN renewal. Time management and focused training are the strategies to support this plan.


  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners (2020). The Path to Becoming a Nurse Practitioner (NP). AANP Org. https://www.aanp.org/news-feed/explore-the-variety-of-career-paths-for-nurse-practitioners
  • Schober, M., Lehwaldt, D., Rogers, M., Steinke, M., Turale, S., Pulcini, J., Roussel, J., & Stewart, D. (2020). Guidelines on Advanced Practice Nursing 2020. International Council of Nurses. https://www.icn.ch/system/files/documents/2020-04/ICN_APN%20Report_EN_WEB.pdf
  • The Chicago School (2020). What is Advanced Nursing Practice? The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. https://www.thechicagoschool.edu/insight/health-care/what-is-advanced-nursing-practice/
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