Advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) is an umbrella term given to a registered nurse who has at least a Master’s educational and clinical practice requirements beyond the basic nursing education and licensing required of all RNs and who provides at least some level of direct care to patient populations. Under this umbrella fit the principal types of APRNs:
- Nurse practitioner (NP) – Working in clinics, nursing homes, hospitals, or private offices, nurse practitioners provide a wide range of primary and preventive health care services, prescribe medication, and diagnose and treat common minor illnesses and injuries.
- Certified nurse-midwife (CNM) – CNMs provide well-woman gynecological and low-risk obstetrical care in hospitals, birth centers, and homes.
- Clinical nurse specialist (CNS) – Working in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, private offices, and community-based settings, CNSs handle a wide range of physical and mental health problems. They also work in consultation, research, education, and administration.
- Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA) – The oldest of the advanced nursing specialties, CRNAs administer more than 65 percent of anesthetics given to patients each year.