Advanced Practice NursingAPN-200x300

Advanced Practice Nursing (APN) refers to several specialties in nursing for those with advanced education and skills. They include Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs), Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs).

Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) provide obstetric and gynecologic care to women of all ages. They perform gynecologic exams and Pap smears, prescribe medications and birth control methods, deliver babies, perform the first newborn exam, and assist new mothers with breastfeeding. CNMs consult with a physician if complications arise during pregnancy or birth. CNMs also educate patients about reproductive health and family planning.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are responsible for the administration of all types of anesthesia including routine and invasive monitoring of vital signs for all surgical procedures as well as obstetric procedures. CRNAs can practice under the supervision of a physician. They also conduct full pre-anesthetic assessments and provide post-operative care.

Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) most often work within a hospital and are experts in a specialized area of practice, such as cardiology, gerontology, mental health, or cancer care. They provide direct care or advise other nurses in the care of those patients. CNSs may also carry out nursing research, educate patients and staff, or act as a consultant to groups needing expert nursing knowledge.

Nurse Practitioners (NPs) work as primary health care providers in specialty practice. In collaboration with a physician, they conduct physical assessments, take medical histories, prescribe medications, diagnose and treat many illnesses and injuries, and may perform a variety of medical procedures. Nurse practitioners are also experts at teaching patients about staying healthy and preventing disease.

Salary Range: $66,330 – $161,030

Salary Notes: Nurse practitioners typically earn a median annual salary of $107,460 per year. Nurse anesthetists usually earn up to $160,270 per year to start. Nurse midwives earn an annual  salary of $99,770.

Where you can study:
Albany Medical College Nurse Anesthesiology Program, Albany, NY
Boston College School of Nursing, Chestnut Hill, MA
Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT
Northeastern University Bouve College of Health Sciences, Boston, MA
Quinnipiac University, Hamden, CT
Simmons College, Boston, MA
Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT
University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA
University of New England – Portland, Portland, ME
University of New Hampshire, Durham, MA
University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
University of Vermont College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Burlington, VT
Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, CT
Yale University School of Nursing, New Haven, CT

Where you might work:
– Birthing Centers – Clinics – Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) – Hospice – Hospitals – Industry – Military – Nursing Homes – Nursing Schools – Outpatient Offices – Private Homes – Public Health Departments – Schools

Job Outlook: The demand for advanced practice nurses is expected to continue to increase over the next decade and beyond, as the need and demand for effective health care increases. Demand is expected to be particularly high in rural, inner-city and other underserved areas.

Education, Licensing and Certification: For those interested in advanced practice nursing, high school coursework should include an emphasis on math and science. A bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) and a registered nurse (RN) license are usually required before continuing on to advanced certification or a master’s degree; however, there are nursing programs that enroll non-RNs with bachelor’s degrees in other areas of specialization. Master’s programs generally take two years to complete.

Nurse anesthesia programs usually require 1 to 2 years of critical care experience. These programs generally take 2.5 years to complete.

Professional Organizations:
American Association of Nurse Practitioners 512-442-4262
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists 847-692-7050
American College of Nurse-Midwives 240-485-1800
National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists 703-436-0092
Vermont Nurse Practitioners Association