Many people aren’t really familiar with the term “advanced nursing practice”. Although all nurses work hard to help their patients return to their original healthy selves as soon as possible, the duties and responsibilities of an advanced practice nurse involved in patient care make them different from any other nurse such as nursing assistant, clinical nurse specialist, or registered nurse. Almost all nurses have to deal with manual tasks, and if you’re a nurse as well or thinking about becoming one, you should make sure to take a manual handling course online or in-person in order to minimize the risk of injuries.
Before we dive deeper, it’s important to know how an advanced practice nurse is different from the other kinds of nurses.
Advanced practice nurse has the authority to prescribe medications to their patients, run diagnostic tests and manage the patient’s treatment plan even in the absence of a doctor. They also manage the rest of the nurses and offer them advice regarding the condition of their patients. Advanced practice nurses usually hold a master’s or doctorate degree in a specific field of nursing. There are four main types of advanced practice nurses:
Certified nurse practitioner. A certified nurse practitioner works in an outpatient clinic or hospital, where they diagnose an illness by running some tests on the patient. These tests are usually part of regular medical checkups.
Certified nurse-midwives. Nurse-midwives help expecting moms throughout their pregnancy and some may deliver babies too.
Nurse anesthetists. Their duty is to offer anesthesia to patients that are about to undergo surgery as well as administer medication to ward off pain during surgery.
Clinical nurse specialist. A clinical nurse specialist either leads other nurses to improve their patient’s health, or they can also offer direct care to their own patient.
There’s no doubt that nurses are superheroes in real life, and most often their importance is overlooked in the healthcare systems. Nurses benefit society as a whole as well as individuals. But how important are advanced practice nurses really? Read below.
An advanced practice nurse is not confined to simply look after the patients. Their top-notch skills and knowledge can help others as well in various ways. They can opt for medical research to help a scientific study, educate or train other nurses for the benefit of maximum people, and they can even advocate for their patients or nurses to build a strong relationship with them and for their mental wellbeing.
Advanced nursing practice allows the nurses to switch from one career path to another anytime they like without jeopardizing their career. This means an advanced practice nurse can offer society a variety of benefits with expertise in their field and at the same time enjoy what they are doing.
For instance, an advanced practice nurse can choose to be a clinical nurse specialist and after some time they can switch to offer their services in the medical research field.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for advanced practice nurses is going to increase by 31% percent before 2022, hence creating 47,600 new jobs. This means there’s a benefit for both the unemployed nurses and the general practitioners in the hospitals or clinics down the line.
The advanced practice nurse can be sure that the increasing demand for them in the market is going to widen new career opportunities for them. Whereas, general practitioners find it hard to deal with loads of patients who visit them for acute illnesses in a day, therefore, it takes some patients quite a few days to book an appointment and wait in line. An advanced practice nurse can deal with typical issues of patients easily on behalf of the doctor, thus minimizing the waiting time for patients and increasing the efficiency of doctors.
As patients have to wait for more to get an appointment date, let alone the waiting time at the clinic or hospital, and the general practitioners don’t often give a deep analysis of a patient’s conditions. Hence, advanced practice nurses are certified to check the patient on behalf of the doctor and they provide a more detailed overview of the condition of the patient as compared to the doctor.
They even give more time to the patient without a lot of waiting time, this in return relaxes the patient and their family and they return satisfied.
Last but not the least, advanced practice nurses are paid the highest in comparison with the other types of nurses. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, advanced practice nurses’ extensive knowledge and skills pay them an average of $117, 670 per year.
This means all the hard work and sweat of the nurses to help humanity becomes even more worth it in the end. Not to forget, a smile on the patient’s face after they are cured is still the biggest accomplishment for an advanced practice nurse.