FACTS ABOUT ADVANCED PRACTICE REGISTERED NURSES IN NORTH CAROLINA
“Advanced Practice Registered Nurse”(APRN) is an umbrella title for RNs who are Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, Certified Nurse Midwives, Clinical Nurse Specialists or Nurse Practitioners. Completion of an advanced formal education program is required for recognition to practice in any of these categories. The specific scopes of practice and requirements for recognition to practice in North Carolina for each APRN category are defined in Administrative Rules, which may be obtained from the North Carolina Board of Nursing.
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
Education: Completion of Master’s Degree in Nursing, with clinical specialization and preparation for expanded role functioning in areas such as mental health, neonatology, gerontology, cardiology, oncology, community. Recognition as a CNS by the NC Board of Nursing (NCBON) is voluntary in the State. National certification is mandatory in the State if one wishes to be recognized as a CNS by the NCBON.
What they do: Manage complex patient health problems through direct care, consultation, research, education and administrative roles. CNS’s may provide preventive care, patient and family education and counseling, psychotherapy and/or supervision of physical and mental health needs over time. While historically the role began in hospitals, increasingly the CNS practices in settings such as private practice, home health, and rehabilitation.
Employment options: Salaried or self-employed. Psychiatric CNS services reimbursable by insurance.
Who regulates: Board of Nursing.