Roles of an advanced practice nurse

Posted: August 6th, 2013

A master’s prepared nurse is educated as an advanced practice nurse who integrates research, theory, leadership, management, education, and consultation in his/her clinical roles. Advanced practice nurses implement their knowledge and skill into the administration of primary health services delivery through cost effective, accessible, and high quality standards. An advanced nurse can work in different areas in hospital units, private practice, ambulatory clinics, rehabilitation centers, public health centers, managed health care practice and home health agencies. Their practices can be as caregivers, consultants or specialty care providers.

Advanced practice nurses play the role of clinical practice through supportive or consultative role. These include nurse practitioner, certified registered nurse anesthetist, clinical nurse specialist and certified nurse midwife, which are some of the roles of advanced nurse practice. As a clinical nurse specialist, an advanced nurse demonstrates competencies in advanced nursing practice and clinical practice. They provide expert nursing care for different and specialized client populations (Canadian Nursing Association, 2008).  In the research and development, they bring out their role as change agents in nursing practice. They enhance the scientific base of nursing practice by utilizing nursing practice with other disciplines. Advanced practice nurses communicate, interpret and disseminate research findings to support patient care and give recommendations for policy changes based on research. They participate in research committees. As educators, they develop clinical guidelines and protocols. They promote the use of evidence and provide expert consultation and support to facilitate changes in the system.  These nurses publish articles in professional journals and consumer health magazines to educate the readers. They facilitate and serve as speakers in health education programs. They also take part in graduate and undergraduate education classes and programs as instructors and directors of the school programs.


In conclusion, advanced practice nurses are equipped with advanced education and practice which gives them a broad spectrum of practice. It is vital for an advanced practice nurse to have the skills and ability to play the roles of a researcher, collaborator, educator, mentor, clinician,  improving health care, change agent, negotiator, consultant, change manager and consumer negotiator. The education level that they achieve qualifies them to be all round in their practice to ensure effective practice. Thus, they should implement these roles in their practice. They can be everything that they want to be to make nursing practice better and more advanced. Thus, these roles give reasons of how master’s education is vital in nursing practice and education.

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