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Advanced Practice Nursing

Advanced nursing practice refers to the work of nurses and is vital for defining the particular nature and goals of Advanced Practice Nurses' roles. Advanced practice nursing also refers to the entire field, taking into account various roles and surroundings where they occur (Cowan & Hays, 2006). Many challenges in realizing the full capability of such roles can be dealt with by way of having good planning and endeavors to address factors of the environment, resources, and structures that are important for the roles of advanced practice nursing to occur.

Two categories of advanced practice nursing have come up to deal with such needs. They include clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) and nurse practitioners (NPs). Several NPs in nursing practice are found in primary care roles. They work as the initial contact for patients affected by minor illness, offering routine follow-up for the patients having conditions that are chronic and prescribing drugs or even taking orders for tests (Pearson, 2007). The roles of NPs may also include working in acute care environments in healthcare institutions to offer nursing care for patients who are critically, chronically, or acutely ill with multifaceted conditions.

CNSs seem to work in healthcare institutions where their roles are not limited to carrying out research and offering education and leadership to the staff in the nursing institution to promote high levels of patient safety and care.

Professional Roles of Advanced Practice Nursing

The advanced practice nurse evaluates the health status of a patient by carrying out a comprehensive history check of the health status, physical assessments, and interpretation of the tests carried out for diagnosis. Besides, it is within the role of the APN to diagnose and establish a treatment procedure for managing problems of health, maximize abilities of function, deter or lessen disabilities, and enhance health sustenance. The APN makes use of a team strategy in establishing a treatment, the procedure for the patient through the collaboration of health care professionals and the patient as well.

The APN has a role to prescribe, order, and, at the same time, implement treatments and interventions identified in the treatment procedure (Cowan & Hays, 2006). APNs will give prescriptions of a pharmacologic kind and non-pharmacologic treatments based on the law of the state. APNs offer family and patient counseling and education and begin referrals to other providers of healthcare as the case may require.

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Additionally, the APN has a role of assessing and documenting family and patient progress towards the achievement of expected results and offers discussion to other healthcare providers to maximize the care plan and effect changes in the system (Delamaire & Lafortune, 2010). The APN offers thorough clinical coordination and management of cases and can as well be an advocate for the family and the patient within the facility of health care, the legislative area, and the community at large (Pearson, 2007). The APN can as well be involved in the research, program planning, and validation.

An inherent role of an APN is being an agent of change, taking into account consultation and collaboration with other providers of health care. The APN can offer this service through constant personal development, research, education, and offering organizational leadership. In palliative care environments, APNs have been used as knowledgeable advocates for nurses and patients. APNs can also take up the role of frontline nurses to carefully plan care and establish new approaches to offer services to patients and nurses as well.

APNs help staff nurses with complicated care procedures, offer hands-on bedside education, and support the nursing professionals in dealing with situations that could pose a challenge to them. APNs need to work in collaboration with the managers of nursing to have ideas accepted and develop the professional staff. Maybe the most significant APN role is to act as mentors to greenhorn nurses (Bryant-Lukosius et al., 2004). Such a role is very useful as it helps to increase the level of comfort of the greenhorn nurse, which will enhance job satisfaction and reduce any chance of getting burnout.

There are several ways through which APNs can make the place of work function in a more effective way for the nursing professionals and patients as well. APNs can work to coordinate groups of support for nurses who work in pediatric palliative care environments. Research has proved that workers could get benefits from interventions of briefs, known as debriefing when exposed to events of trauma (Hanna & Romana, 2007; Lucia, Otto & Palmier, 2009). APNs can do an excellent job of bringing staff members together to point out stressful areas and teach mechanisms of coping. It would be very useful for those members of staff who require extra individual counseling. These activities will assist alleviate the anger, grief, and helplessness that nurses encounter during stressful moments.

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The roles of APNs can reach far and wide. They can organize in-services every month to assist staff to stay updated on evidence-based practice and pediatric palliative care. Such meetings could include guest speakers coming from different professional disciplines. Proper collaboration and communication with other professional disciples could assist with the care implementation process. Other roles could include developing policies that offer guidance for matters like pain management, performing pain assessment records’ audits in charts of patients for purposes of monitoring trends of the conditions. In conclusion, the role of an APN has been useful in reducing the pressure linked to clinical activity and high acuity of patients along with increased education of staff. Advanced practice nursing reaches the conventional scope of knowledge in nursing and adds up to the establishment of the nursing profession.

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