Acute Care. The provision of health care services by clinicians to patient populations that require intense care requiring urgent diagnosis, treatment, and management of discrete, complex health care problems.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). See definition under Section A: Regulatory.
Case Manager. An individual with primary accountability for a patient case load. The scope and duration of accountability depends on the setting of care delivery.
Chief Nursing Officer - Nursing Service. The individual who has ultimate primary responsibility for assuring the delivery of nursing and patient care services.
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). A registered nurse with a graduate nursing degree (masters or doctorate) from a CNS program, prepared with specialty expertise to provide direct care to patients/clients, lead nurses, and contribute to outcomes across settings of the larger care delivery system. Sub roles within the specialty include expert clinical practitioner, consultant, educator, researcher, and clinical leader.
Critical care. Anywhere patients who require increased nursing vigilance due to acute, critical, and/or complex chronic illnesses that may be physiologically unstable, technologically dependent, and/or highly vulnerable to complications may be found.
Employment Setting. The setting in which nursing personnel provide nursing services. (Note: Examples are listed in Appendix A.)
Nurse Manager. An individual who has line management position with 24-hour accountability for a designated patient care services which may include operational responsibility for patient care delivery, fiscal and quality outcomes.
Nursing Care Delivery Model. The structure by which nursing care is delivered to individuals, families, and communities.
Primary Care. The provision of integrated, accessible health care services by clinicians who are accountable for addressing a large majority of personal health care needs, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community.
Primary Nursing Position. The position in which a nurse spends the greatest number of hours.
Primary Nursing Setting. The setting in which a nurse spends the greatest number of hours.
Specialty Care. The provision of health care services by clinicians to patient populations that is directed at the diagnosis, treatment, and management of discrete, complex health care problems.
Advanced Nursing Practice. The practice of nursing by RNs who have specialized, formal, post-basic education and who function in highly autonomous and specialized roles as nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, certified registered nurse anesthetists or clinical nurse specialists.
Nurse Practitioner (NP). For the certified nurse practitioner (CNP), care along the wellness-illness continuum is a dynamic process in which direct primary and acute care is provided across settings. CNPs are members of the health delivery system, practicing autonomously in areas as diverse as family practice, pediatrics, internal medicine, geriatrics, and women’s health care. CNPs are prepared to diagnose and treat patients with undifferentiated symptoms as well as those with established diagnoses. Both primary and acute care CNPs provide initial, ongoing, and comprehensive care, includes taking comprehensive histories, providing physical examinations and other health assessment and screening activities, and diagnosing, treating, and managing patients with acute and chronic illnesses and diseases. This includes ordering, performing, supervising, and interpreting laboratory and imaging studies; prescribing medication and durable medical equipment; and making appropriate referrals for patients and families. Clinical CNP care includes health promotion, disease prevention, health education, and counseling as well as the diagnosis and management of acute and chronic diseases. Certified nurse practitioners are prepared to practice as primary care CNPs and acute care CNPs, which have separate national consensus-based competencies and separate certification processes. (Consensus Model for APRN Regulation)
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). An RN, who posses a baccalaureate degree and a minimum of one year of critical care experience, through a graduate or post-graduate nurse anesthesia education program, has passed a national certification examination and provides anesthesia and anesthesia-related care.
Certified Nurse-Midwife. A certified nurse-midwife (CNM) is an individual educated in the two disciplines of nursing and midwifery, who possesses evidence of certification according to the requirements of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. (American College of Nurse-Midwives.)
Nurses, Nursing Education, and Nursing Workforce: Definitions *