Who are Advanced Practice Nurses?
There are two types of Advanced Practice Nurses recognized in Ontario: The Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) and the Nurse Practitioner (NP). Both have additional university education with advanced knowledge in a specialized area of their clinical practice. Clinical Nurse Specialists are general class registered nurses and Nurse Practitioners are registered in the extended class of nursing with the College of Nurses, Ontario. The NP is registered with a certificate in one or more of Adult, Paediatrics,or Primary Health Care.
What is our Focus?
What do we Do?
The Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) is a registered nurse with minimal preparation at the Master level, usually in the profession of nursing. The CNS is registered in the general class of nursing. This nurse possesses a comprehensive nursing knowledge base and clinical competence in caring for a select patient group with specialized health needs. The CNS assists patients and families with hospitalization, education around a diagnosis, adjusting to special needs at home, and family adaptation to patient problems. In addition to clinical practice, the CNS provides leadership at the program, corporate and professional levels; education of staff and clinical partners as preceptor, coach or mentor; and formal and informal consultation to the interprofssional team members and clinical partners regarding patient, family, and professional practice issues.
The Nurse Practitioner-Adult or Nurse Practitioner-Paediatrics has completed NP education that focuses on either adult or paediatric (including neonatal) patients. NPs certified as NP-Adult or NP-Paediatrics almost always work within the hospital setting with in-paients, out-patients, or a combination of the two. They provide comprehensive care to specialized patient populations supporting life-saving and curative goals as well as evaluating health risks. They provide leadership within their programs and corporation, and often are clinical researchers.
The Nurse Practitioner - Primary Health Care has completed NP education through the province wide COUPN NP program. NPs certified as NP-PHC mainly work in community settings such as family health teams, community health centres, community care access, or public health. The also work in Long Term Care (nursing homes), emergency departments, and ambulatory clinics. Within these settings, the NP-PHC provides individuals of all ages, families, groups, and communities with health services in health promotion, disease and injury prevention, cure, rehabilitation, and support. Some NP-PHC have begun to work within the hospital setting alongside their NP-Adult or NP-Paediatrics colleagues.
The NP-Anesthesia is a fourth class of certification for NPs. The advanced knowledge of the registered NP is furthered with specialty anaesthesia education. Currently there is not a registering examination, although a small cohort of NPs have completed the anaesthesia program. These NPs often work in pain and symptom management and other anaesthesia related fields.
How do we Contribute to Health Care?