Advanced Practitioner Job Search:
Tips and Advice

Career Paths Available for Advanced PractitionersCrystal Carter

Advanced Practitioners, sometimes called Advanced Practice Providers, can have a multitude of different job titles within many different specialties. In this article, we’ll go a little more in depth about those different titles and discuss what it means to work in each of the different positions. Advanced Practitioners are healthcare providers who aren’t physicians but perform medical activities typically performed by a physician. It is also important to note that Advanced Practitioners hold Master’s degrees, at a minimum. Advanced Practitioner roles include Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Certified Nurse Midwives, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, and Allied Health.

Nurse Practitioner (NP)
In a Nurse Practitioner role, you can expect to provide preventive and acute healthcare services to patients of all ages. Nurse Practitioners collect information about health history and provide physical examinations. They complete graduate-level education preparation leading to a Master’s or Doctoral degree. They also prescribe and manage patient medications. During their practice, they may pursue education, research, or administrative services.

Physician Assistant (PA)
Physician Assistants are licensed healthcare professionals (unless federally employed, in which case they are credentialed) to practice medicine with the supervision of a physician. As part of their practice, Physician Assistants conduct physical exams, write prescriptions, assist in surgery, order and interpret tests, and more. Similar to Nurse Practitioners, a Physician Assistant’s practice may include education, research, and administrative services.

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
A Clinical Nurse Specialist is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) who has earned a Master’s or Doctoral degree in nursing. They assess, diagnose, and treat patients. A Clinical Nurse Specialist’s specialty may be defined by population (women’s health, pediatrics); setting (critical care, emergency room); disease or medical subspecialty (diabetes, oncology); type of care (psychiatric, rehabilitation); or type of problem (pain, wounds, stress). A Clinical Nurse Specialist’s practice may include healthcare management, education, consultation, and research.

Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
In order to become a Certified Nurse Midwife, you must acquire a Master’s or higher-level nurse-midwifery program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). A Certified Nurse Midwife uses their unique skill set to improve quality of care while decreasing costs. They are excellent advocates for patients, which is important as more women seek out-of-hospital care.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses and spend 6 to 8 years in higher education. They must obtain either an ADN or a BSN degree, pass the NCLEX-RN, and complete advanced training to become an APRN (which requires one year of work experience as an RN). After all of the previous requirements are met, a national certification must be passed, through the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist can work in a hospital, doctor’s office, surgical clinic, emergency rooms, and many other settings. While a CRNA administers anesthesia to patients like an anesthesiologist would, they have very different educational backgrounds.

Allied Health
Allied Health professionals hold the following positions: dental hygienist, diagnostic medical sonographer, dietitian, medical technologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, radiographer, respiratory therapist, and speech language pathologist. In order to become an Allied Health professional, you must have at least a high school diploma or GED equivalent. The next step is to complete an associate’s degree to complete further certification. After this, most students will be required to proceed through a registration or certification process. Education requirements will vary from profession to profession.

We have provided you with the most basic information, in the event that you’re trying to choose a career as an Advanced Practitioner, or Advanced Practice Provider. Hopefully this article can help you make a decision about where and in what specialty you wish to practice medicine.

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Crystal Carter

Crystal Carter, Marketing Specialist

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