Help!! RN vs. APN vs. MD

  1. 0
    Hi all,

    So here is my problem. I just graduated from college. I have a B.S. in biology and I am (eventually) pursuing a career as some sort of advanced practice nurse. But I am still painfully lost with all the distinctions.

    Can someone help me sort out the following?
    1. How does an advanced practice nurse differ from an RN?

    2. How do NP and CNS differ?

    3. Lastly, how does the role of say a Family Nurse Practitioner differ from that of a primary care physician?

    I know it's a lot of questions. But, I'm desperate to get them cleared up! I've read tons of sites and can't seem to sort it out.

    I would also appreciate any good links/references anyone can provide.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this!!!
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Quote from jelly2008
    Hi all,

    So here is my problem. I just graduated from college. I have a B.S. in biology and I am (eventually) pursuing a career as some sort of advanced practice nurse. But I am still painfully lost with all the distinctions.

    Can someone help me sort out the following?
    1. How does an advanced practice nurse differ from an RN?

    2. How do NP and CNS differ?

    3. Lastly, how does the role of say a Family Nurse Practitioner differ from that of a primary care physician?

    I know it's a lot of questions. But, I'm desperate to get them cleared up! I've read tons of sites and can't seem to sort it out.

    I would also appreciate any good links/references anyone can provide.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this!!!
    Hello and Welcome to allnurses.com

    So good to have you with us.

    1 - This is the header in the NP forum which will give you some idea about the role of the Advanced Practice Nurse:

    A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse with advanced academic and clinical experience in diagnosing and managing most common chronic illnesses either independently or in collaboration with a physician. They have prescription authority in all states and provide high-quality, cost-effective and individualized care for the lifespan of the patient's special needs. There are still nurse practitioners currently in practice who were educated through programs that granted a certificate, but today a Masters in Nursing is the minimum requirement to practice and in most states, additional certification is required in the Nurse Practitioner’s specialty area.
    One thread of interest: Dumb question--What do you NPs do?


    2 - Here is a link about the CNS including comparisons/contrasts with the NP; found in the Clinical Nurse Specialist forum: Different roles for CNS's??? Come on guys share what you do!

    3 - Here is link comparing/contrasting the roles of the NP and MD: discussion regarding education of NP, PA and DNP compared to MD/DO


    Good luck with your career plans in nursing. And, we hope you enjoy allnurses.com!!
    traumaRUs likes this.
  5. 0
    Thanks, Iris!

    I really appreciate the feedback!
  6. 0
    You are quite welcome!!
  7. 1
    Other ideas might be to try to talk with some APNs, RNs. You might want to look up some threads in the general nursing forum too so that you can get a better idea of what RNs do...good luck.
    jelly2008 likes this.


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