I'm writing this partly to get it off my chest and partly to maybe help others who feel the same....
I don't have a Master's degree, just a plain ole' BSN. Still I consider myself an advanced practice nurse in spirit if not in fact. Here's why:
I've been an OR nurse for the better part of 10 years. I've done almost everything a Circulator can do, in every kind of case or situation. I've scrubbed and assisted on rare occasions; never enough to become, or maintain, an RNFA.
I have no desire to be a manager. I Relief Charge occasionally, but have no designs on that job and I definitely don't want to be a Director. Similarly, I like teaching new employees and students, but don't want to solely be the Educator.
I've worked in Pre-Op and in PACU and am competent, if not exemplary, in those areas as well. I have taken a patient all the way through their Perioperative experience on more than one occasion.
I am respected by most all those who I work with be they Surgeons, Anesthesia Providers, RN's or Techs.
The facts are that the RNFA role is dying, CNOR is costly to gain and maintain with rare compensation. The NP's and CNS's have to do rounding and office or data analysis, that I don't have to do.
I've traded the APN's specialization for diversification. And 95% of the time it makes me happy.