What Are the Different Types of Advanced Practice Nurses?

An Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) is a nurse who has obtained at least a master’s degree in nursing, and provides and coordinates patient care in primary or specialty healthcare. Within the category of APRNs are specialty areas that include nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists. Read more about the different types of Advanced Practice Nurses.

Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners are clinicians who blend clinical expertise in diagnosing and treating health conditions with an added emphasis on disease prevention and health management. Theirs is comprehensive perspective to health care, and one in which they practice in many different medical settings. They are able to diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medications, and order and interpret medical tests. 

With 89% of NPs prepared in primary care, they constitute a vital component of the primary care workforce, ensuring high-quality and patient-centered health care is available to a broad range of consumers. In fact, NPs make up the most rapidly growing component of the primary care workforce. The percentage of primary care positions filled by fourth-year medical students was the lowest on record. In fact, The American Association of Medical Colleges predicts a shortage of between 21,100 and 55,200 primary care physicians by 2032.


Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist 

Nurse anesthetists were the first healthcare providers dedicated to the specialty of anesthesia, beginning in the 1800s. To this day, they remain the main anesthesia providers in nearly all rural hospitals in the United States, and to the men and women in the armed forces.  CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered, and 45 million anesthetics are safely administered each year in the United States. 


Clinical Nurse Specialist 

A clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is a graduate-level registered nurse who is certified in a specialty and thereby has an advanced level of knowledge and clinical skills in a niche area of nursing. CNSs provide diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing management of patients, as well as expertise and support to nurses caring for patients at the bedside to ensure the use of best practices and evidence-based care to achieve the best possible patient outcomes. 

A CNSs’ specialty may be defined by a population, setting, disease or medical sub-specialty, type of care or the type of problem. There are currently 1,130 CNSs practicing throughout the state of Ohio.


Certified Nurse Midwife

CNMs provide health care and wellness care to women, which may include family planning, gynecological checkups, and prenatal care. They also help mothers birth their babies safely and naturally, managing labor and monitoring both the mother and the baby during delivery. In some cases, they work under the supervision or in collaboration with physicians during C-section births. 

According to the American Midwifery Certification Board, there are 11,475 CNMs in the US, with 53% of CNMs identifying reproductive care and 33% identifying primary care as main responsibilities in their full-time positions.

Through education, communication and collaboration, OAAPN is actively advancing the health and well being of patients as well as its profession in Ohio. There is strength in our numbers; authority in our voice; and influence in our action.  Contact us today to learn more about membership in OAAPN.