Comparing and Contrasting the Definitions of Advanced Practice Nursing


Nurses and nurse practitioners (NPs) should possess numerous skills in order to support the health needs of their clients. However, such roles and skills might be inadequate towards the delivery of evidence-based care. This fact explains why Advanced Practice Nursing (APN) has gained a new meaning. Different definitions of Advanced Practice Nursing have also been offered. To begin with, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) DNP Taskforce defines “Advanced Nursing Practice as any form of nursing intervention aimed at influencing the health outcomes of many populations through direct care of patients, management of care, administration of healthcare organization, and continued development and implementation of health policy” (“American Association of Colleges of Nursing” par. 4). This definition shows clearly that “APN should be characterized various evidence-based knowledge and theoretical ideas obtained from the educational process” (“American Association of Colleges of Nursing” par. 6).

According to the APRN consensus model, Advanced Practice Nursing is a role for practitioners who have gained more education in different specialties. Some of these roles include Certified Nurse-Midwife, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), and Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). These APNs should undergo a broad-based learning process in advanced health assessment, pharmacology, and patho-physiology. This definition seeks to offer the relevant guidelines and regulatory measures for individuals who want to offer advanced patient care. However, this definition “fails to equip more people with the best understanding of advanced practice nursing” (“Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification & Education” par. 4).

The class text goes further to present an updated definition of Advanced Practice Nursing. According to the text, Advanced Practice Nursing is “a function of practice and educational preparation and a constellation of primary criteria and core competencies” (Cockerham and Keeling 2). The definition also explains why Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) must engage in different clinical practices. This competency will support the needs of more patients. As well, APNs share similar core competencies despite working in different clinical settings. This definition therefore offers an evidence-based description of Advanced Practice Nursing.

Two Important Factors in the Definition of Advanced Practice Nursing

The definition presented in the text identifies specific factors that can support the roles of every Advance Practice Nurse (APN). The first factor focuses on “the issue of direct clinical practice” (Cockerham and Keeling 6). APNs should be ready to engage in direct clinical care. This practice is associated with all the major nursing competencies. This understanding encourages APNs to acquire “new skills such as teamwork, decision-making, critical thinking, and evidence-based practice” (Cockerham and Keeling 13). Such competencies will make it possible for them to deliver adequate clinical care to their respective patients. It is also notable that such competencies can be applied in different specialties and clinical settings. This factor encourages APNs to focus on the best competencies in order to offer quality clinical care.

The second factor is that APNs share similar competencies and core criteria. APNs tend to possess similar educational skills. They should also have adequate training in disease management, patient care delivery, patho-physiology, health assessment, and pharmacology. These skills explain why such APNs share similar core criteria. Such skills will make it easier for them to deliver evidence-based care in different settings (Cockerham and Keeling 19). The ultimate goal of Advanced Practice Nursing is to provide quality care to every targeted population. These two factors are therefore critical towards understanding the role of APNs in different clinical settings.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing 2015. Web.

Cockerham, Anne, and Arlene Keeling. “A Brief History of Advanced Practice Nursing in the United States.” Advanced Nursing Practice. Ed. Ann Hamric, Charlene Hanson, Mary Tracy and Eileen O’Grady. St. Louis: Elsevier Saunders Publishing, 2013. 1-21. Print.

Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification & Education 2008. Web.

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