The Role of Advanced Nurse

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The Role of Advanced Nurse


The landscape of the health care system has experienced significant changes towards patient-centered that care whose primary objective is to focus on the needs and preferences of the patients. The changes in the system imply that there is a need for fundamental changes in complementary segments of the health care system such as nursing education. Specifically, the training and education for nurses need to be geared towards ensuring that nurses are focused to deliver health care that meets the unique needs of the patients as opposed to what is convenient for the health care provider. Advanced nursing education strived to bridge this gap in the health care system. This paper will explore the role of an advanced practice nurse, determine the value of a master’s degree in nursing education, and explore how the nurse practitioner role can impact career development.


The Role of Advanced Nurse and the Need to Pursue an Advanced Degree

The accreditation for a nurse to become an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) requires the completion of advanced training, certification, or a higher degree such as a master’s degree in nursing. These qualifications are important because the ideal environment for an advanced nurse is characterized by increased independence and autonomy. Specifically, in some cases, advanced nurses have the autonomy to serve patients without the supervision of a doctor. Further, advanced nurses have the power to order diagnostic tests and use the results of the tests to make a clinical diagnosis(IOM, 2016). The delegation of these tasks from the doctor to an advanced nurse improves the overall efficiency of the health care system and makes the patients increasingly in control of the treatment process because of the close contact with the advanced nurse.

Keeping healthcare records is one of the most essential elements of the health care system because it improves the efficiency of health care services and enhances patient privacy. To that end, advanced nurses are charged with maintaining health care records primarily to ensure privacy, but also to ensure that the records taken from the patients comply with the hospital and regulatory guidelines(IOM, 2016). The cardinal advantage of assigning advanced nurse the role of record-keeping is that it allows them the opportunity to advise patients who are hesitant in choosing a course of action, and modify treatment to align the objective of the treatment process to the needs and preferences of the patients.

In the face of the various roles assigned to advanced practice nurses, there are various justifications for pursuing an advanced degree in nursing. For example, the increased autonomy for advanced practice nurses provides an opportunity for nurses with advanced degrees to understand the unique needs of the patients. Further, a degree in advanced nursing would allow a nurse to improve collaboration with other stakeholders in the health care system.


How a Masters Level Nursing Education Makes a Difference in Patient-Centered Care and Decision-Making

Nurses have a major opportunity to play a role in meeting the needs of the patient-centered health care system. The principal objective of patient-centered care is to align the diagnosis and treatment process with the needs and preferences of the patients. To that end, a master’s level nursing education will impart several skills essential for the practice of the nursing role. For example, the training on efficient, safe, and accurate health recode keeping will ensure that an advanced nursing degree graduate has the skills and knowledge to access and safeguard patient information(Hu & Forgeron, 2018). Notably, access to this information is useful in improving the decision making framework of nurses with master’s degrees. Ultimately, the pursuit of an advanced degree will make nurses become better decision-makers in the health care system.

The changes in the health system mean that there is a need to abolish outdated policies and eliminate the cultural barriers that handicap the interaction between nurses and patients, and impair decision making. A master’s degree in nursing helps nurses to requests tests and make a medical diagnosis without supervision from doctors(Hu & Forgeron, 2018). Ultimately, this brings them closer to the patients, thereby allowing them to make plausible decisions and meet the unique needs of the patients in line with the tenets of patient-centered care.


The Impact of Nurse Practitioner Role in Career Development

Certified nurse practitioners are unique in the health care system in that they work in specialty areas. Some of these areas include pediatrics, pain management, oncology, and surgical services. Additionally, in most cases, nurse practitioners deal with patients in outpatient settings. In light of the fact that most of the patients visiting health facilities are outpatients, nurse practitioners have huge headroom for career development(Woo, Lee & Tam, 2017). It is also notable that the nurse practitioner role request recommending tests for patients with diverse medical conditions, hence the opportunity to learn about new trends in diseases and treatment and enhance career development.



Patient-centered care is the defining feature of the modern health care system. The system requires that nurses align the treatment process with the unique needs and preferences of the patients. To that end, an advanced degree provides a unique opportunity for nurses to enhance career advancement and at the same time improve health outcomes for the patients. Specifically, a master’s degree in nursing is likely to improve the diagnostic and record-keeping knowledge of the nurses and make them more competitive.


Hu, J., &Forgeron, P. (2018). Thinking, educating, acting: Developing advanced practice nursing. International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 5(2), 99-100. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnss.2018.04.006

IOM. (2016). The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Retrieved 8 February 2021, from

Woo, B., Lee, J., & Tam, W. (2017). The impact of the advanced practice nursing role on quality of care, clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, and cost in the emergency and critical care settings: a systematic review. Human Resources for Health, 15(1). doi: 10.1186/s12960-017-0237-9