The abbreviation ICN INP/APNN comes from the words International Council of Nurses, International Nurse Practitioner, Advanced Practice Nursing Network.
The definition of APN by ICN:
A Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Nurse is a registered nurse who has acquired the expert knowledge base, complex decision-making skills and clinical competencies for expanded practice, the characteristics of which are shaped by the context and/or country in which s/he is credentialed to practice. A master's degree is recommended for entry level.
The further characteristics include Educational Preparation, Nature of Practice, and Regulatory Mechanisms.
- Educational preparation at advanced level
- Formal recognition of educational programs preparing nurse practitioners/advanced nursing practice roles accredited or approved
- Formal system of licensure, registration, certification and credentialing
Nature of Practice
- Integrates research, education, practice and management
- High degree of professional autonomy and independent practice
- Case management/own case load
- Advanced health assessment skills, decision-making skills and diagnostic reasoning skills
- Recognized advanced clinical competencies
- Provision of consultant services to health providers
- Plans, implements & evaluates programs
- Recognized first point of contact for clients
Regulatory mechanisms – Country specific regulations underpin NP/APN practice
- Right to diagnose
- Authority to prescribe medication
- Authority to prescribe treatment
- Authority to refer clients to other professionals
- Authority to admit patients to hospital
- Legislation to confer and protect the title "Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Nurse"
- Legislation or some other form of regulatory mechanism specific to advanced practice nurses
- Officially recognized titles for nurses working in advanced practice roles
Read more specific information on ICN APN network webpage.