North Carolina Board of Nursing

Nursing Practice

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

General Information

In North Carolina, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) is an umbrella title for RNs who are, as defined in the NC Administrative Code, as Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse-Midwife or Clinical Nurse Specialist. 21 NCAC 36.0120(5)

Definition of an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, adapted from the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation*

An Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) is a nurse:

  1. Who has completed an accredited graduate-level education program preparing him/her for one of the four recognized APRN roles; 
  2. Who has passed a national certification examination that measures APRN, role and population-focused competencies and who maintains continued competence as evidenced by recertification in the role and population through the national certification program; 
  3. Who has acquired advanced clinical knowledge and skills preparing him/her to provide direct care to patients, as well as a component of indirect care; however, the defining factor for all APRNs is that a significant component of the education and practice focuses on direct care of individuals; 
  4. Whose practice builds on the competencies of registered nurses (RNs) by demonstrating a greater depth and breadth of knowledge, a greater synthesis of data, increased complexity of skills and interventions, and greater role autonomy; 
  5. Who is educationally prepared to assume responsibility and accountability for health promotion and/or maintenance as well as the assessment, diagnosis, and management of patient problems, which includes the use and prescription of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions; 
  6. Who has clinical experience of sufficient depth and breadth to reflect the advanced practice role.

* Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification & Education, July 7, 2008. Completed through the work of the APRN Consensus Work Group & the National Council of State Boards of Nursing APRN Advisory Committee.

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