Advanced Practices in Nursing: Better Nursing Career & Patient Care

Advanced Practices in Nursing: Better Nursing Career & Patient Care

In 2020, COVID-19 brought the American healthcare workforce under public scrutiny. It was evident that the medical sector took complete onus to provide care to patients. As of this writing, there are nearly 2,986,500 registered nurses in multiple medical facilities. This makes it a lucrative healthcare profession in the United States.

Additionally, recent healthcare events in Las Vegas have highlighted that nurses provide 80% of direct patient care. It is evident that, with advanced and specialty training, nurses can improve their careers and employment scopes.

In July 2023, the Nursing Times reported on the discussion at the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Congress on advanced practices. There was a session where various nurse leaders talked about the relevance of developing ‘specialty certification’ for nurses.

Dr. Denise Bryant-Lukosius, a professor at McMaster University in Canada, said that the healthcare sector will keep evolving. Hence, specialty certification can strengthen the global nursing workforce. In this article, we will shed light on how advanced practice can help nurses fine-tune their skills and ultimately lead to better patient care.

The Relevance of Advanced Practices in Nursing

According to Denise Bryant-Lukosius, specialty certification is essential because it sets a standard. It creates a benchmark for education, practice, competencies, and experience to ensure high-quality, consistent patient care. Employers count on specialty certification to recognize and recruit advanced practice nurses with apt expertise.

In January 2023, Modern Healthcare reported that APRNs (Advanced Practice Registered Nurses), including nurse-midwives, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse practitioners, have earned people’s trust. Today, Americans depend on them to receive compassionate healthcare services everywhere.

Advanced practice nurses often have a doctoral or a master’s degree to offer pain management and anesthesia services. They can also diagnose and treat ailments, suggest remedies to people for their health problems, and manage chronic diseases.

Women count on advanced practice nurses during pregnancy, whilst childbirth, and even in the postpartum period. These professionals can successfully interpret diagnostic exams and prescribe non-pharmacologic treatments and medication.

Evidently, advanced practices prepare nurses for a rewarding career. In February 2023, the Offaly Express reported on five nurses receiving postgraduate certificates in advanced practice from Trinity College Dublin. They now have a bright future. The course has qualified them to register as advanced nurse practitioners. They can take on advanced practice roles to address the challenges within their expertise.

These five nurses exemplify the importance of dedicating oneself to advanced nurse training.

Pursuing a DNP Degree: Is It Worth It? states that a DNP (Doctorate of Nursing Practice Degree) is a ‘terminal degree’ in nursing. It aims to produce leaders in the nursing domain. Nurses with a DNP degree possess better expertise and know-how. They may work in a leadership role or a clinical setting once they have obtained the desired credentials.

You might be thinking, is DNP a doctor? The answer is no. It is not a role, but a degree. Other similar degrees are ‘Bachelor of Science in Nursing’ (BSN) or ‘Master of Science in Nursing’ (MSN). The nursing roles include APRNs and the RN (Registered Nurses). To work in the similar roles mentioned above, you will need the degree.

Nurses often wonder whether it is worth opting for a DNP degree. The answer is yes. The following reasons can help you get a better understanding of it:

  • Entry-Level Requirement: It is possible that this degree might become the standard entry-level criteria for licensure and certification in advanced nursing practice. Therefore, having this degree will prepare nurses for the future.
  • Designed for Leaders: The curriculum of this degree has been designed to build leaders in the industry. The training module comprises systems leadership, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and informatics.
  • Caters to Current Demands: Present-day healthcare requires nurses with a comprehensive skill set of outcome measurement, scientific know-how, and leadership qualities to offer the best patient outcomes.

Additionally, Baylor University states that a nurse with a DNP degree can help during physician shortages. They can readily fill up such clinical vacancies by catering to various health requirements. Even employers realize that nurses with a DNP degree know evidence-driven clinical rules better and apply them correctly. They possess better knowledge about health policies than an MSN degree nurse.


Opting for a DNP degree from an established university will not just change a nurse’s academic path. It will help them expand their leadership skills to perform better in their workplace.

It enables nurses to access career opportunities that previously were unavailable to them. This results in better patient care.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that advanced practice nurses earned $123,780 annually in 2021. The salary is projected to increase in the future years. Therefore, nurses who intend to be in a better place professionally and financially should opt for a DNP degree.


Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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