What Is Advanced Nursing Practice and How Does It Impact Patient Welfare?

Updated on January 20, 2023
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Healthcare is not only one of the most important sectors in society but also one of the most rapidly evolving. While this is evident in specific parts of the industry, nursing has certainly come a long way in recent times. 

This refers not only to how nurses now perform their jobs, but also the roles available. This is great news for anyone working in this healthcare niche, as it offers a great deal of choice when deciding which nursing position you wish to move into. 

One increasingly popular choice is a role in advanced nursing practice. But what is advanced nursing practice and how do you break into it? 

What is advanced nursing practice? 

As the name suggests, advanced nursing practice promotes higher-level skills within the sector and is an effective route for career development as a nurse. By pursuing advanced nursing practice, professionals in this field can access a wider range of specialist roles which allow them to work at a higher-level. 

How do you get into advanced nursing practice roles? 

Education is key and the best way to advance as a nurse. This is because all advanced roles in nursing require a master’s or a doctorate to be eligible for them. Some more specialized roles will even ask for extra qualifications on top of this! So, it is key to settle on the advanced nursing role you are most interested in and work to gain the academic credentials needed. 

If you plan on moving into adult gerontology for example, the UIndy online MSN-AGNP program is a popular course to enroll in. CCNE accredited, it can be studied part-time to fit around your current job. It is a fine illustration of how the right course can make pursuing a role within advanced nursing practice possible. 

How does advanced practice in nursing affect patient welfare? 

Just as meeting the demand for high-quality admin in healthcare is a hot topic currently, it is important to focus on the positive impact that advanced nursing practice can have for patient outcomes. 

The most obvious example is simply the quality of care that is received. As people who have followed this route have completed higher-level studies to prepare for it, they possess a wealth of knowledge to utilize in their roles. In addition, studying to move into an advanced position in nursing also means they are up to date with the latest conditions, cures, and treatments when caring for patients. 

It is also key to consider the specialized care that advanced nursing practitioners can deliver and how key this is for society. While nurses who provide generalized care will always be important, advanced nurses who can deliver targeted primary care to certain groups in society are becoming very important. 

This is not only in terms of the quality of care patients receive, but also in terms of patient welfare outcomes. Without advanced nurses in areas such as mental health and pediatrics, patients would not be able to get the best treatment in order to recover. 

The last major way advanced nursing practice positively impacts patient welfare is the leadership people in these positions provide. This helps keep nursing standards high across the sector, stimulates improvements to processes, and leads to better patient care. 

What roles can advanced nursing practice lead to? 

As we have already mentioned, advanced nursing practice is not itself a job, but more of a route to higher-level roles for working nurses. But which positions can you move into at more senior levels? 

One popular option is nurse practitioner, which is in high demand across US healthcare right now. In simple terms, this is the next step up from registered nurse, and enjoys more autonomy than RNs. Nurse practitioners can choose to remain focused on general primary care or specialize in the area they find most interesting. According to Payscale, the average salary for this role is $102,474 which reflects its more senior status. 

Certified registered nurse anesthetist is also a position that those moving into advanced nursing practice can focus on. These highly qualified workers provide anesthesia to patients in healthcare settings. For those who enjoy bringing new life into the world, a certified nurse midwife role may be the ticket. This involves assisting families in prenatal, childbirth, and post-birth care. It can also include working with families on reproductive health as well. This is also a well-paid role and is in demand across a range of healthcare facilities. 

Advanced nursing practice is key for modern healthcare 

When you think about it further, it becomes clear that advanced nursing practice is very important to the healthcare industry. It not only provides a route for working nurses to develop their careers and attain high-level skills but also has a positive effect on the welfare of patients. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.