APN Roles

APN Roles


Choosing between Nurse Practitioner (NP), Nurse Midwife, Nurse Anesthetist and Clinical Nurse Specialist can be a confusing task. One has to weigh their interests and the specific roles of each of the nursing specializations. Though there are a bit of overlap in the functions of these four, a broader view of the four professions reveals they are different. This paper will describe how I would choose one of the professions by developing a pros and cons list that would aid Mary in making a decision (Barker & DeNisco, 2013). It is of prime importance that Mary makes a decision at the beginning of the course since changing her mind midway would be costly and wasteful of time and other resources. I will analyze each giving the pros and cons below.

Nurse Practitioners

I would recommend the Nurse Practitioner for the more social people or rather someone who is a “people person.”  The NPs are the advanced level nurses who resemble the traditional idea of a nurse most. They get to interact with the people in the care setting but they do so in a manner that is befitting of their status. Being a Nurse practitioner would give Mary the opportunity to interact with patients, treat their illnesses, administer medications to them and even share health messages with them. The NP makes a diagnosis and then makes a judgment on the best course of action; whether to refer upwards or not. They can work in a hospital setting or a clinic depending on the particular patient population they are interested in treating (Dreher & Glasgow, 2011).If patient care is the reason why I came into nursing in the first place, then I would choose NP any day and so should Mary.


Nurse Anesthetist

Providing anesthesia for patients is a complicated procedure that allows no room for the nurse to make errors. The nurse anesthetists have to factor in every conceivable detail about the patient before they administer the anesthetic drugs. To be a nurse anesthetist you have to be well versed in the function of the human body the anesthetics and their effects o the body. Such requires an encyclopedic amount of knowledge regarding the same. This field would be favorable for people comfortable with intense studying and memorization, be a good team player since you would be working with lots of surgeons, nurses, e.t.c. Finally one must have a knack for quick interventions whenever something goes wrong during the operation (Hamric, 2014).

Nurse Midwife

These people deal with expectant mothers during the whole gestation cycle. The care you would give spans from preconception, across the three trimesters, and well after the baby has been born. One has to be aware of the unique health issues that affect the mother’s health. One needs to be able to provide health advice. One has to be a team player to work with other health care team members to ensure the proper health of the mother and the baby. One also needs the capacity to deal with families since you are ushering them with a bundle of joy, at the same time one has to be able to deliver sad news to a couple (Hamric, 2014). If I ever felt I had a special connection with mothers and babies, then I would pick Nurse Midwife.

Clinical Nurse Specialist

This group concern themselves with the underlying factors that cause disease. These factors could be societal or not (Dreher & Glasgow, 2011). Rather than just treat a patient with typhoid the clinical nurse specialist would be interested in finding out what is the cause of typhoid and coming up with interventions to treat the entire population that is exposed to typhoid (Barker & DeNisco, 2013). One meets with people, collects data and provides a solution to the problem; they go further to treat and educate the population; primary prevention is their niche. If I were the type interested in assisting individuals at the same time branching out to save the community I would pick CNS.


Given these facts and an analysis of Mary’s personality I would suggest that she picks Nurse practitioner; there she can stay with patients and treat them.




Barker, A. & DeNisco, S. (2013). Advanced practice nursing. Burlington, Mass.: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Dreher, H. & Glasgow, M. (2011). Role development for doctoral advanced nursing practice. New York, N.Y.: Springer Pub. Co.

Hamric, A. (2014). Advanced practice nursing. St. Louis (Missouri): Elsevier.