An advanced practice nurse is a nurse whose qualifications are a little different from those of a staff nurse. This kind of nurse is one who also has some special assignments and obligations above regular duties assigned to the staff nurses. The special obligations that are assigned to an advanced practice nurse require some level of higher training, knowledge and skills. He or she is expected to exceed the duties and responsibilities of a staff nurse due to their expertise. Such a nurse due to the advanced qualification and responsibilities is also compensated differently compared to staff nurses.
Advanced practice nurses form an integral part of any medical institution by offering their services. In case of baby delivery, an advanced practice nurse is able to help the mother deliver the baby safely. They perform this job after being certified as mid wives. Mid wives are nurses that after going training can help in bay delivery and the necessary care needed during that time. The nurses can also be pediatric nurses who are responsible for providing treatment and care to children patients. Advanced practice nurses do this job as well. Other responsibilities are such as gerontological nurse practitioners, adult nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, psychiatric and mental health practitioners and other complex duties. All the above duties as shown need special extra training which in their training, advanced practice nurses get.
Training and Education Requirements
As part of their training as staff nurses, advanced practice nurses must go further and get a masters degree in Nursing. This gives them the necessary additional advanced skills and knowledge above their counterparts. Advanced practice nurses also need to specialize in the other fields such as pediatric, adult or even mid wife training so as to be skilled in them. This is because with such skills, that is only when they will be able to do the special responsibilities as assigned. The education level and professional qualifications is higher compared to their counterparts the staff nurses.
Advanced Practice Nurse Salary and Wages
Ordinarily, when one has been trained more than another who they share the same profession, the one trained gets a better package than the latter. The salary and wages on an advanced practice nurse are much higher but might differ due to location and other factors. The factors that determine the salary of a person may be the education and certification level, where they live and their costs of life i.e. urban or rural and also experience in their profession. Nevertheless, the salary of advanced practice nurses range between $ 80,000 and $ 130,000 annually depending on the state they operate in. in some states, the figure can go high and in some other states be the least amount. An advanced practice nurse who has been trained on the other special courses such as pediatric practice will earn more than a nurse who does not have that training. So is the case with a nurse who has been practicing for a longer time compared to another who is a fresh graduate.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Before starting to practice, many professional either need a license or a certificate to operate from the state office. The organization that offers certification for advanced practice nursing is the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). There are four primary categories of practice namely; nursing specialists, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners and miscellaneous. Advanced practice nurses falls under the areas of adult car, acute care, gerontology and family nursing. The first thing before getting any certification, there are some certain requirements that the nurse needs to have attained. One is that they need to be licensed registered nurses and have actively worked in the field they are seeking certification for. ANCC offers an eligibility examination to the qualified nurses in order to obtain the certification after passing the examination. Eligibility for board certification also varies depending to the area of specialization. This certification is not a requirement when seeking employment but for some specialization, the certification is mandatory before getting employed.
All applicants for the advanced practice nurse certification require RN license upon becoming eligible. The RN license must be valid in the state that they operate from. For the ANCC examination, a period of not less than six months is required for study as preparation before getting the board certification examination. The exam is computer based and for every exam four hours are allocated. As soon as finishing the exam, the applicants know their results if they have passed or failed.
The advanced practice nurse has to have associations with relevant organizations such as the American Nurses Association. Such associations are important because they show just how the nurses are qualified because as an advanced practice nurse before joining any of these associations, you have to be fully qualified. There are other benefits as well for doing that.