Advanced Nursing Practice vs. Advanced Practice Nursing


The nursing profession is complex and essential to the provision of quality health care for patients. Different medical roles require different levels of education, knowledge, contribution, and skills from individuals. For instance, Advanced Nursing Practice (ANP) and Advanced Practice Nursing (APN) are two distinct fields of medical practice (Lewis, 2022). Their development indicates the increased autonomy of nurses, who can now perform tasks that had once been limited to physicians. This paper aims to differentiate between Advanced Nursing Practice and Advanced Practice Nursing, discuss the four roles in advanced practice nursing and the Family Nurse Practitioner role, as well as provide a list of ten questions for an interview with an advanced practice clinician.

Advanced Nursing Practice vs. the Advanced Practice Nurse

The difference between advanced nursing practice and advanced practice nursing is based on the skills, tasks, responsibilities, and contributions of nurses in each field. ANP is an essential part of the health care system in the United States that contributes to the quality of medical services and upgrades the nursing profession (Lewis, 2022). Advanced nursing practitioners have comprehensive skills and knowledge obtained through master’s level education or above, which enables medical staff to meet various patient needs with regard to pediatric, psychiatric, family, women’s health, or neonatal care (Lewis, 2022). In other words, the ANP task is to serve different patient populations in various settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and learning institutions. Therefore, nurse practitioners must have comprehensive knowledge in the fields of medicine, economics, and management to efficiently perform their tasks (International Council of Nurses, n.d.). Another essential ANP responsibility includes patient safety promotion, ensuring individuals’ compliance with health care guidelines and evidence-based practices.

In turn, Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) play a pivotal role in delivering effective care that involves independent decision-making regarding diagnosis, treatment, and disease management. Advanced practice nurses have superior medical knowledge obtained through post-graduate education and training, which enables them to perform a broader number of tasks in patient management compared to advanced nursing practitioners (Lewis, 2022). In particular, ANP involves basic training and compliance with set policies, while APN requires more in-depth knowledge and complex skills that emphasize the nurse’s autonomy in decision-making (International Council of Nurses, n.d.). Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) can provide specialty or primary care.

Advanced Nursing Practice Definition

Advanced Nursing Practice can be defined as versatile patient care activities performed by nursing specialists. ANP contributes to career development and promotes the increased role and scope of knowledge required for nurses to provide safe and cost-efficient care (National Council of State Boards of Nursing, n.d.). The advancement of skills and expertise is the key aspect of this field. Furthermore, ANP emphasizes the need to extend the role of the nurse beyond traditional limits, highlighting comprehensive knowledge and optimal decision-making that are enabled by advanced practice. In this regard, higher accountability and learning requirements must be considered when discussing Advanced Nursing Practice.

The Four Roles of Advanced Practice Nursing

The four roles of Advanced Practice Nursing should be discussed for better comprehension of the subject. According to the International Council of Nurses (n.d.), an “Advanced Practice Nurse is a registered nurse who has acquired the expert knowledge base, complex decision-making skills and clinical competencies for expanded practice, the characteristics of which are shaped by the context and/or country in which s/he is credentialed to practice” (para. 1). In particular, the APN field includes the following roles: Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (Family Nurse Practitioner), Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM), and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).

In this regard, each role has its distinctive characteristics that focus on specific patient needs. A CNS provides effective patient care, participates in management activities, and develops procedures and policies aiming to improve patient outcomes (National Council of State Boards of Nursing, n.d.). Primary Care Nurse Practitioners provide general care and work with families (National Council of State Boards of Nursing, n.d.). According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (n.d.), Certified Nurse-Midwives provide “a full range of primary health care services to women throughout the lifespan, including gynecologic care, family planning services, preconception care, prenatal and postpartum care, childbirth, and care of the newborn” (para. 5). Finally, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are involved in the provision of anesthesia-related care for various patients (National Council of State Boards of Nursing, n.d.). Overall, APN education is pivotal to fostering accountability, independence, and efficiency of advanced practice nurses’ decisions.

The Family Nurse Practitioner Role

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) role is essential to providing primary care for children and adults. As stated by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (2019), “FNPs maintain patient records; perform physical exams; order or perform diagnostic tests; prescribe medications; develop treatment plans; and treat acute and chronic illnesses, conditions and injuries that fall under primary care” (para. 2). In other words, Family Nurse Practitioners perform a variety of tasks to serve the needs of diverse patients. My nursing experience and desire to provide excellent care for my patients have contributed to my decision to acquire this role. Furthermore, my compassionate, solution-driven, and responsible nature provides me with an opportunity to use my personal qualities to contribute to the common good. My personal philosophy is based on the idea of supporting diversity and continuous learning in order to make a difference and advance the nursing profession by emphasizing quality care and professional decision-making.

Interview Questions

The advanced practice clinician that I would like to interview on June 11 is Michelle Jones, FNP, who works at Care Memphis Clinic.

  1. What motivated you to advance your nursing career and become an FNP?
  2. How did your previous background in the nursing field help you in your current role?
  3. What personal qualities do you find helpful to succeed in an FNP career?
  4. What aspects of your job do you find the most challenging?
  5. What aspects of your role as a Family Nurse Practitioner do you like most?
  6. What advice can you give to individuals that consider becoming an Advanced Practitioner Nurse?
  7. How can the quality of patient care be enhanced from your experience?
  8. How do you make sure that patients comply with recommendations and guidelines effectively?
  9. Could you describe your usual day at Care Memphis Clinic?
  10. How do you measure your success and growth as a professional?


To conclude, advanced nursing practice and advanced practice nursing are two distinct fields that involve different competencies, tasks, responsibilities, and contributions of nurses. In order to succeed as an ANP or APN, it is essential to understand the specifics of one’s role and continue learning. In this regard, identifying the field of interest and scheduling an interview with a recognized professional can provide valuable insight into the role.


American Association of Nurse Practitioners. (2019). Are You Considering a Career as a Family Nurse Practitioner? Web.

International Council of Nurses. (n.d.). Definition and characteristics of the role. Web.

Lewis, R. (2022). The evolution of advanced nursing practice: Gender, identity, power and patriarchy. Nursing Inquiry, e12489. Web.

National Council of State Boards of Nursing (n.d.). APRNs in the U.S. Web.

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