Advanced Practice Nurse

What is an advanced practice nurse (APN)?

Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists are two very similar types of Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs). APNs are registered, professional nurses who have acquired knowledge and skills through an advanced program of study. This advanced training enables the APN to practice in an expanded role as a medical professional. In Texas, the Texas Nursing Board regulates all APN practice and licensure.

As part of the medical team, APNs work in collaboration with physicians and provide a wide range of services, including:

  • taking health histories,
  • performing physical examinations,
  • obtaining and interpreting appropriate diagnostic tests,
  • counseling and providing emotional support,
  • making health assessments,
  • participating in community health awareness programs, and
  • developing individual health care plans and services.


Austin Regional Clinic APNs are masters prepared and have obtained certification through the Texas Nursing Board. They regularly update their knowledge and skills, renewing their certification every five years through a series of mandatory continuing education programs.


APN responsibilities vary according to the setting in which they practice, their training, and their experience. Common subspecialties at Austin Regional Clinic include pediatrics, adult medicine, family medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and orthopedics. In providing medical treatment for the acutely ill patient, the ANP works under the supervision of a physician and contributes to the high quality of care provided to each individual.

Advance Practice Nurses provide concise professional and psychological evaluation. They pride themselves as patient educators, who have the ability to teach, explain, and interpret health issues in an effective way.

Extensivist Advance Practice Nurses (APN) are APNs who:

  • Provide comprehensive and coordinated care to patients with multiple complex medical issues.
  • Implement the treatment plan developed by the patient and the Extensivist Physician.
  • Work within a setting that supports extended-length outpatient visits and frequent and timely access, when needed.
  • Work with a team of other healthcare providers, including Advanced Practice Nurses, Nurse Navigators, Medical Assistants, and Behavior Health Specialists to deliver complete and holistic patient-centered care.
  • Improve health quality and efficiency of care by emphasizing preventive health care and improving the continuity of patient care within the health care system.

American Association of Nurse Practitioners