Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice


Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), also referred to as advanced practice nurses (APNs), is a broad term that comprises nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists. In the United States, about 8 percent of all registered nurses are trained to become APNs (“Advanced practice nursing fact sheet,” 2018). This cohort of nurses has advanced education and specialized clinical training (Dowling, Beauchesne, Farrelly, & Murphy, 2013). Their functions depend on state regulations and can differ, but the major aspects of APNs’ activity are similar throughout the country.

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This paper aims to analyze the scope of practice for APNs, provide a personal assessment, study current networking and marketing strategies, and create curriculum vitae for APN. To achieve these goals, it is necessary to answer the following questions that reflect background of these nurse professionals. Thus, the answer to “who?” is advanced practice registered nurses. “What?” explains the essence of nursing, which is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, healing facilitation, prevention of diseases, and help those who are suffering. The answers to questions “Where?” and “When?” are any place where there is a person in need of help and any time nursing knowledge and expertise are useful. Finally, the reason for these actions, or “Why?” question is answered as to reach the best possible patient outcomes through following the principles of nursing’s social contract and obligation to society.

APN Scope of Practice

The scope of practice of APNs comprises diverse aspects such as education, licensure, regulatory requirements, and practice environment details. As for education, an APN is expected to have a Master’s Degree, which presupposes a certain level of skill, knowledge, and scope of practice in nursing. The form of education and peculiarities of practice depend on the selected area of specialization among nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists. After a degree is completed, a nurse has to pass a licensure procedure that differs depending on states’ legislature. Still, some common demands include the Master’s degree, a course in prevention of medical errors, and liability insurance.

Practice limitations and regulations depend on states’ practice and legislature. Thus, there are full, limited, and restricted practice limitations in the United States. Nurses employed in the states that adopted full practice for all APNs are allowed to perform a broad range of functions such as to evaluate patients, diagnose order and interpret diagnostic tests, as well as initiate and manage treatments. This type of practice follows the recommendations of the National Academy of Medicine and National Council of State Boards of Nursing. In states that have limited and restricted practice environments, state practice and licensure laws limit the ability of APNs to perform at least one function typical of nurse practice. Also, law in these states demands a career-long regulated collaborative agreement with a health provider to empower APNs for providing patient care or limit the one of the practice elements. On the whole, 22 states in America as well as the District Columbia allow full-time practice (Herman, 2018). In fact, nurses in these states have the same prescriptive authority as physicians. Currently, prescriptive authority’s scope of practice is similar to that of a nurse practitioners’ and comprises diagnosing, treating, and prescribing as a member of a healthcare team.

Personal Assessment

Personal assessment of the advanced practice nurse can be provided on the basis of Benner’s Novice to Expert Model (Benner, 2001). As a professional nurse, I should be aware of my strengths, weaknesses, and have clearly stated goals to achieve and objectives to follow. I believe that one of my strengths is the ability to learn. Continuous training is crucial for a professional nurse since it allows providing care of high quality due to application of knowledge and skills. Another strength I consider important is the ability to communicate my thoughts and listen to other people. It is likely to be useful both for working with patients and cooperating in a multidisciplinary team of professionals or with colleagues within the unit. One of the weaknesses I am aware of is the lack of practical experience. It is evident that even profound theoretical knowledge will be more beneficial with enough practice that just theoretical training. Still, this weakness can be corrected within a relatively short period of time.

As for the goals, I have some of them related to my professional performance. The major goal is to complete my education. To have an opportunity to become an advanced practice nurse, I need my Master’s degree. The second important goal is to obtain as much practical experience as possible to apply my knowledge to practice and thus provide patients with high quality care. Finally, I am planning my research to contribute to adoption of evidence-based practice as a whole. My objectives meet the nursing practice standards (American Nurse Association [ANA], 2016). They are as follows: to provide practice according to the accepted ethical standards, to be involved in research and continuous education, to guarantee high quality of practice, to perform effective communication, utilize the resources thoughtfully, and contribute to improvement of environmental health.

Networking and Marketing Strategies

On the national level, both employment and education opportunities for APNs are provided by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. The membership services , apart from education opportunities, include conferences, local networking events, job suggestions, email newsletters, and relevant professional information. The scope of practice for ANPs is regulated by the recommendations of the National Academy of Medicine and National Council of State Boards of Nursing. On the local level in Florida, there are such major professional nursing organizations as the Florida Nurse Practitioner Network and the Florida Association of Nurse Practitioners. They perform informative function, provide employment opportunities, deal with legislature issues, and support relationships with APNs in the region.

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One of the effective networking strategies applicable to nursing is the creation of an own network. It can be started already in college because education process is rich in new people and information. Consequently, by the time professional practice begins, an ANP will have a personal network of professional associations. Speaking about marketing strategies, the 4 C’s approach can be applied to nursing. It is a customer-oriented strategy, which is similar to a popular patient-centered approach in healthcare. It comprises such aspects as customer (patient) value, cost of service (care), convenience, and communication. An effective APN should be patient-centered, provide high-quality care, be available at convenient place and time, and be involved in a productive communication.

Curriculum Vitae


On the whole, an advanced practice nurse is a health care professional who provides and coordinates patient care as well as primary and specialty care. Still, the scope of APNs practice is defined on the state level and can be different. For example, advanced practice nurses in states that adopted full practice, have duties similar to those of physicians while in case of limited and restricted practice environments, APNs are deprived of at least one professional function. A future APN has to pass a licensure procedure, the major demand of which is to have a completed Master’s degree. Also, APNs have significant support including employment opportunities from local and national organizations.


“Advanced practice nursing fact sheet.” (2018). Nurse Journal. Web.

American Nurse Association [ANA] (2016). Nursing: scope and standards of practice (2nd ed.). Silver Springs, MD:

Benner, P. (2001). From Novice to Expert: Excellence and power in clinical nursing practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Health.

Dowling, M., Beauchesne, M., Farrelly, F., & Murphy, K. (2013). Advanced practice nursing: A concept analysis. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 19(2), 131-140. Web.

Herman. J. (2017). Prescriptive authority update 2017. (2017). Contemporary Clinic. Web.

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