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Advanced Practice Nursing

Advanced practice nurses (APN) are registered nurses (RN) who have a Master’s degree or better in nursing. APNs have also completed specialized training and have experience beyond that which is required of RNs.

As a result of their advanced education and experience, APNs are certified through the California State Board of Registered Nursing.  APNs provide a variety of expert services including consultation, direct patient care, formal and informal education.

APN Types

Examples of APNs include clinical nurse specialists (CNS), nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and certified nurse anesthetists.

  • Clinical nurse specialists are experts in the provision and evaluation of nursing care. The formal roles of a CNS include consultation, education, leadership and conducting and utilizing research.  The CNS improves patient outcomes through implementation of evidenced-based protocols or guidelines and expert consultation with complex or specialized populations.
  • Nurse practitioners provide direct clinical care to a select group of patients.  Through approved protocols, nurse practitioners diagnose and manage common acute and chronic illnesses, perform and interpret diagnostic tests, perform and prescribe therapeutic measures and prescribe medications.   
  • Certified nurse midwives provide care for women with pregnancies that are uncomplicated and not considered to be “high risk.” They can prescribe medications, medical devices and diagnose and treat conditions.
  • Certified nurse anesthetists are APNs who have been board-certified in anesthesia. They are authorized to deliver comprehensive anesthesia care, including general, spinal, sedation, epidural or local.

Interdisciplinary Practice Committee

The Interdisciplinary Practice Committee (IDP) meets to review and approve allied health professional practice protocols and grant APNs privileges to provide care to patients at UC Irvine Medical Center.  To be considered for review, APNs submit practice protocols, an application and other documents for consideration by the committee.