What are the Different Types of Advanced Practice Nurses?

Advanced practice registered nurses are those who have obtained a post-graduate degree in the field of nursing.

There are four different types of advanced practice nurses:

Nurse Practitioners

These nurses treat patients who have a variety of conditions such as depression and diabetes, and in most states, they can prescribe non-narcotic medications.

Job Duties

They have a variety of duties including:

  • Maintaining each patient’s health history
  • Answering patient questions
  • Ordering or performing a variety of diagnostic tests
  • Diagnosing a host of medical conditions


Advanced Practice Nurses


Nurse practitioners need a bachelor’s degree along with a master’s or doctorate. They must obtain an RN license which is done by passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), as well an advanced practice nursing license.


Specialization is available by earning certification in acute care, mental health, pediatrics, family care, school nursing, gerontology, and diabetes management.

Job Outlook and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook is positive as the growth rate is expected to be faster than other occupations, and in 2013, nurse practitioners earned a mean annual wage of $95,070.

Certified Nurse Midwives

Certified nurse midwives provide care from pre-conception to the postpartum period.

Job Duties

Their duties are similar to an obstetrician and include:

  • Monitoring the labor process and delivering babies
  • Diagnosing and treating a range of illnesses
  • Performing ultrasounds
  • Educating women about pregnancy and how to care for their baby
  • Taking each patient’s medical history


Those interested in becoming a certified nurse midwife need to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree along with a master’s. Completing a two-year midwifery program and passing the certification exam administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board is also required.

Job Outlook and Salary

The job outlook for these nurses is excellent, and according to the BLS, the annual wage in 2014 was $97,700.

Clinical Nurse Specialists

Clinical nurse specialists are experts when it comes to diagnosing and treating illnesses in their area of expertise. They focus on health promotion and disease management, and most find employment in hospitals.

Job Duties

They have several job duties including:

  • Providing direct care to patients
  • Researching and developing quality improvement plans
  • Working with other healthcare professionals
  • Diagnosing and treating a variety of injuries and illnesses
  • Documenting a patient’s health history


Clinical nurse specialists must first obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing and earn a registered nurse license. Upon passing, they must work as a registered nurse for one to two years before enrolling in a clinical nurse specialist master’s degree program. Once they graduate, they need to obtain certification in adult health, orthopedics, community health, gerontology, oncology, psychiatric, or critical care.

Job Outlook and Salary

According to the BLS, there is a nineteen percent job growth, and Payscale.com reports the median salary is $81,461.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists

Certified registered nurse anesthetists, or CRNAs, provide anesthesia to patients during surgical procedures.

Job Duties

They have several other job duties such as:

  • Monitoring patients before, during, and after surgery
  • Answering patient questions about anesthesia
  • Creating patient care plans
  • Administering medications
  • Taking a patient’s health history
  • Modifying the anesthetic dosage as needed
  • Updating a patient’s family regarding when the patient will awaken after surgery and about possible side effects


All certified registered nurse anesthetists need a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a registered nurse license. They must gain at least one year’s work experience in an acute care setting before applying to a master’s degree program. After graduation, passing the certification exam administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists is required.

Job Outlook and Salary

The job growth of CRNAs is expected to be thirty-one percent until 2022, and the median annual salary is $96,000.

To learn more about working as an advanced practice registered nurse, or if you would like to find a training program, please contact us.

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