Differentiate between specialty nursing practice and advanced practice
nursing by comparing and contrasting these levels of practice in the
following dimensions: knowledge base, scope of practice, credentialing,
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Specialty nursing practice and advanced practice nursing are two levels of nursing practice that differ in several aspects. It is important for nursing students to understand the differences between the two levels to make informed decisions about their careers. In this answer, we will compare and contrast specialty nursing practice and advanced practice nursing in terms of knowledge base, scope of practice, credentialing, and regulation.
Specialty nursing practice refers to a level of nursing practice that involves the application of specialized knowledge and skills in a particular area of healthcare. Specialty nurses have focused expertise in a particular area of nursing practice, such as pediatrics, oncology, or critical care. Their knowledge base is specialized and limited to their area of practice. Specialty nurses work under the supervision of advanced practice nurses or physicians.
On the other hand, advanced practice nursing involves the highest level of nursing practice that requires extensive specialized knowledge, skills, and experience. Advanced practice nurses have a broader knowledge base that allows them to diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medications, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and provide health promotion and disease prevention services. Advanced practice nurses practice independently and have a wider scope of practice than specialty nurses.
In terms of credentialing, specialty nurses are required to have a registered nurse (RN) license and a specialty certification. The certification verifies that the nurse has the knowledge and skills required to provide specialized care in their area of practice. In contrast, advanced practice nurses must have a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing, a national certification in their specialty, and a license to practice in their state.
Finally, both specialty nursing practice and advanced practice nursing are regulated by their respective state’s nursing board. However, regulations are more stringent for advanced practice nurses due to their higher level of practice and independence.
In conclusion, specialty nursing practice and advanced practice nursing differ in terms of knowledge base, scope of practice, credentialing, and regulation. Aspiring nurses should carefully evaluate their career goals and choose the level of practice that aligns with their interests and abilities.