Advanced Practice Roles in Nursing


This final paper discusses the different roles of the various specialties of the advance practice roles of nurse practitioner, educator, administrator, and informaticist together with their scope of practice. The discussion focuses on their roles in line with core competencies, certification requirements, and legal requirements of the practice. The paper also discusses the writer’s desired advance practice role, the preferred state and organization of working, and the core competencies and requirements of the specialty. The last section of the paper highlights a current health policy, the appropriate changes and the writer’s role in making the changes.


Roles of a Nurse Practitioner

An advanced practice roles nurse is a nurse who has received formal education within a defined scope of practice and licensed to practice within this extended role (Nizette, Evans, & Elder, 2008). The NPs have the education and experience to provide health promotion and maintain, diagnose, and treat acute illnesses and chronic diseases without the direct supervision of a physician.

Nurse practitioners provide direct care to the citizens of all ages, races, and communities. The roles of NPs to these people are to treat illnesses, order tests and prescribe medications to the patients. NPs also perform the roles of leaders, researcher, and bring new experience into the sector because of their advanced education. The nurses also play the role of educating individuals and individual on how to live healthy lives, prevention of diseases and managing the illnesses.

NPs also pray a crucial role in policy development, capacity building, and community development. They perform these tasks in collaboration with other registered nurses, professionals, and doctors. NPs aim at taking care and treating the whole person, which involves addressing the needs of their physical and mental health, determining how the diseases affect the lives of the patient advice them on how to effectively manage the chronic diseases for the patients suffering from lifetime illnesses.

The Family nurse practitioner (FNP) is an advanced nurse who has the skills to provide health improvement and care to patients in primary care settings (Earleywine & Emerson, 2011). The FNP focus is the promotion of health and disease prevention for people of all ages. FNPs also perform practical assessments, perform diagnostic tests, determine diagnoses, prescribe medications, and educate patients and families on matters of health, illnesses and treatment plans.

Roles of a nurse informaticist/ informatics nurse

A nurse informaticist is a nurse who undertakes the functions of nursing informatics. Nursing informatics is a specialty area of nursing that identifies, collects, processes, and manages information data to support the nursing practice in addition to administration, knowledge, and research (Cashin, 2010). Nursing informatics influences the roles of nurses by creating new nursing knowledge and delivery of evidence-based nursing practice.

The most critical role of the informaticist is to collaborate with the other professional in the nursing industry to discover the information needs and determine the actions that will translate those needs to create appropriate formats that enhance data collection, analysis and presentation (Jones, 2007). The NI also performs the role of evaluating the needs of patients and other persons in the patient support system and then identifies approaches to providing care-based nursing. The nurse will then lead in the implementation of the agreed plan and evaluate the effect on the patients and their responses.

Nurse Informatics also plays the role of managing, interpreting and communicates the paramount data recorded and uses in the health organizations, clinics, doctors’ offices. Nurses in this extended position work in the organization’s information systems departments are required to have extensive skills in nursing science, and computer. The nurses also hold the responsibility of applying the information systems in the analysis and research of clinical analytics and train other nurses on how to use other systems.

Roles of a Nurse Educator

A nurse educator is a registered nurse who teaches and mentors other nurses undergoing training. The advanced role nurse performs the tasks of assessing, outlining, executing and appraising the nursing education and professional advancement lessons. The nurse also advances practice development and nurse student support. The nurses require undertaking a master’s and doctorate level of education and work in the nursing faculties in vocational schools, universities, and colleges. They design the academic programs in the institutions they are teaching in accordance with the state regulations where they operate. After designing the programs, they must also evaluate if the programs are efficient and make any necessary adjustments.

The educators also offer lecturing services in the classrooms and other health settings like in nursing homes, clinic and hospitals. The learning mostly takes place in clinical labs located within the institutions where they instruct students on the necessary nursing skills. The educators tailor the students’ learning experiences by choosing the most appropriate learning opportunities that will equip the students to improve their strengths. They also conduct regular assessments and then provide feedback to the students to help them develop their nursing skills.

Some of the nurse educators may rise to the administration positions like deans in the nursing schools. The individuals in the administrative roles hold the functions of developing the nursing programs with other stakeholders, making budgets, and hiring and supervising staff.

Duties of a nurse administrator

Nurse Administrator is a registered nurse who influences the work of other in a healthcare environment to achieve the organization’s shared vision (American Nurses Association, 2009). The health sector is experiencing rapid changes, and the position of nurse administrators is critical both in the clinical and non-clinical settings. The goals of nurse executives are to focus their efforts towards offering quality care and setting the infrastructures that satisfy the public demands on nurses. The administrator must be in a position to balance business responsibilities and the obligations of the nursing profession. Despite the leaders being corporate employees, their major responsibility is working as registered nurses and must always uphold the nursing values and advocate for those values.

In addition to developing the vision of the healthcare organization, the nurse administrator must also create and maintain relationships between the staff in different departments to have cohesive effort towards achieving that vision. They also provide mentorship and guidance to other nurses, together with acting as the link between the nurses and the institution management.

Due to expanding nature of nursing care, the nurse administrators also plan work schedules and delegate duties to the nursing staff, oversee implementation of policies, monitoring, and planning for training, establishing budget compliance and ensuring proper delivery of care.

Individual advanced practice role (Family Nurse Practitioner)

Regulatory and legal requirements

I desire to work in New York State. According to the state’s laws, nurse practitioner holds the responsibility of diagnosing illnesses and physical conditions and offering treatment services with the specialty areas one is certified. The legal requirement applies to all the different categories of nurse practitioners. The state holds nurse practitioners to have independent responsibility for the diagnosis and treatment of patients as the law does not require the practitioners to be under physician supervision. However, the nurses must practice according to the agreements made with the collaborating physician. The collaborative agreement addresses the issue relating to the handling of emergency absences of the NP, resolution of any disagreements, patient referral and consultation, and other provisions as agreed by the practitioner and the physician.

To qualify as an NP one must be a registered and certified as an NP by the New York Education Department (NYSED). To be certified and registered, one must be a registered nurse in the State, have passed through an advanced nursing role education program recognized by the state, have completed a pharmacology course recognized by NYSED and apply to the NYSED for NP certification.

Professional organizations available for membership for family nurse practitioner

A family nurse practitioner can serve in a variety of organizations. The family nurse practitioner can practice in a variety of settings both in the urban and rural setting. The NP can work in the following organizations; health maintenance organizations, private offices, nursing homes, walk-in clinics, and home health care agencies. They can also serve in physician’s offices, public health departments, school or college clinics, medical clinics, hospitals, and long-term care facilities.

Certification requirements

To qualify to be a family nurse practitioner, the nurse must have a Master of Science in Nursing with advanced practice certification. The nurse must complete the graduate nursing program aligned to his or her role and for the targeted population. After graduation, the NP must seek national and state certification. There some certifying agencies and different states choose the organizations whose certifications they will accept. However, there are national organizations that the states certification bodies often look to when making these decisions. In addition, some states may require the family nurse practitioners to undertake certain tests before being licensed to practice in those states. Before seeking certification as an FNP, the professional must first be a registered nurse. In addition, different states may have other additional requirements that a practitioner must meet before licensure. The specialist requires understanding the industry requirements for each state separately to address the requirements for the desired choice state.

Required competencies

The core competencies of a family nurse practitioner include the capability to conduct physical exams, make accurate assessments when performing screenings, excellent understanding of the different types of testing results, and ability to communicate properly. FNPs should also have the capacity to teach patients, work with other teams of professionals in healthcare, ability to work independently, a good understanding of all the acute and chronic diseases, and ability to prescribe the right medications (Novotny, Lippman, Sanders, & Fitzpatrick, 2006).

NP must have scientific competencies that enable him or her to translate research and other forms of new knowledge into usable information that improve the practice outcomes and develop new methods based on this research.

NP must also have leadership competencies as some of them rise to leadership positions. These competencies require the ability to initiate and guide the institution through change, making critical decisions during emergencies, advocating for improvement in the health services offered and creating professional relationships with all the stakeholders in the healthcare industry.

NP also requires having health delivery system competencies that allow him or her to apply the acquired nursing knowledge to improve the delivery of care, reduce individual and institutional risks facing patients, promoting diversity and meeting the needs of the diverse cultures, and applying various skills in negotiating and collaborating with other stakeholders.

The NP must also be in a position to conduct him or herself ethically when performing the licensed duties, maintain high levels of accountability to patients and the institution he or she works for, and provide high-quality care while recognizing the patient as a partner in decision-making.

Predicted organization and setting a plan to work

I intend to work in a hospital setting. I choose to work in a hospital setting because it will give me the opportunity to offer my services to the inpatients who cannot access the services of a physician, or assist the resident physician to diagnose and treat the inpatients. It will also help me to acquire the necessary experience to admit, care for and discharge patients from the hospital and performing other procedures as directed by the physician.

The population I will serve will include people of all ages from young children to the elderly, from different cultural backgrounds, and suffering from both acute and chronic illnesses.

The colleagues I plan to work in the hospital setting with include physicians, entry level, and advanced practice nurses, health information technology experts, medical receptionists, hospital administrators, therapists, and technicians. Others include janitorial, clerical, food services, environmental services, and pharmacy staff.

Leadership qualities of the role

My leadership approach

According to the results of the link provided in the assignment, I am a democratic/participatory leader. Democratic leadership is a leadership strategy that involves the subordinates in the information gathering, discussions and making decisions (Janes & Lundy, 2009). This style of leadership creates group cohesion and makes a significant contribution to individual and collective empowerment.  The technique allows two-way communication and the opinions of all staff members, which creates a cohesive team and increased customer satisfaction (Nugent & Vitale, 2013). As a democratic leader, I listen to the input of other, but I retain the power to make the final decision.

The attributes I currently possess

The leadership attributes that I possess are mostly personal and can contribute to my capacity to lead. These characteristics include self-confidence, being reliable, and self-discipline, having a strong sense of purpose, resilience, and persistence. I also have proactive and optimistic orientation. I also have the ability to influence other people to perform specific tasks or to pursue the institutional goals. I am also courageous, appreciate others and myself, have the capacity to communicate well with others, willingness to grow and acquire more experience in my career, and ability to manage time well. In my time management skills, I have the capacity to organize my duties and workstation, making an earlier plan of the daily things that I require to accomplish, prioritizing the most important responsibilities, and creating schedules.

The attributes I need to develop

I need to develop relationship-oriented attributes. I need to develop critical skills of initiating and maintaining an active relationship with others, among my subordinates, and among other health professionals. I need to develop the attributes of relationship management to be in a position to inspire others, influence their behavior and develop their potential. I will perform these contact duties while at the same time handling emergencies, dealing with conflicts between the other nurses under jurisdiction.

How to attain the missing attributes

I will achieve the missing attributes by undertaking further training in leadership in the healthcare sector. The leadership education I aim to take will be the one that focuses on nursing leadership. I will also seek to obtain the missing attributes by seeking mentorship by other family nurse practitioners who are already in leadership positions.

Health Policy and the advanced practice role

Current health policy and necessary changes

One of the health policies described on the link is diminishing childhood obesity. Obesity among children and youngsters between the ages of two and nineteen years is defined by the CDC growth charts (O’Dea & Eriksen, 2010) Childhood obesity has been on the rise for a long time. This rapid increase required the healthcare professionals to raise the awareness of the public as an approach to reducing the number of children suffering from obesity. The epidemic requires nationwide efforts to reduce because obesity put the children at the risk of suffering from diabetes, which affects the quality of life of the children (Young & Iannelli, 2007). Due the dangers of the disease to children and the entire health sector different measure were taken. The measures included teaching children and families on healthy eating and encouraging the children to engage in physical activities on a daily basis. According to the recent data, the national childhood obesity rate has reduced though the rates are still high (Trust for America’s Health, 2016). The required change is to reduce the rates further.

Process required making the changes

Though the obesity rates in children have been reducing, the health industry still needs to do more to reduce them to the minimum. The education on how to live a healthy life should extend to further areas like schools, workplaces, and social gatherings. The health administrators should also collaborate with the education officials to set aside time for school going children to engage in physical activities during class hours. The workplace training can take place through the formation of partnerships between the employers and the executives in healthcare. The companies will give the invite the health professionals to train the employees on how to prevent cases of obesity in both children and adults.

How I will lead efforts to influence the change in policy

As a family nurse practitioner, I will interact with people of different ages. When conducting examinations, diagnosing or treating the patients, I will offer advice to the patients on the best approaches to practice healthy lifestyles for both children and adults. The new information I will give to these people as a health professional will help in reducing the number of obese children in the country.

I will also advocate for the creating of nursing interventions aimed at creating environments where nurses can get forums to engage children in physical activity while also teaching them on how to eat the right foods. The nurses can also use these forums to examine and test all children to identify those facing the risk of becoming obese to help in taking preventive measures.

How the implementation of the changes will affect health care quality

The major effects of implementation of these changes will be the reduction of the cost incurred in seeking treatment and reduction of the strain on the healthcare industry. The application will reduce the cost that individuals incur in the search for treatment and lower the cost the healthcare industry incurs in offering treatment to the obese children. The reduction of the strain on the sector will come from the reduction of the number of people seeking treatment for obesity and other related diseases, which will also improve the quality of services offered.

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