Nurses carry out essential roles in enhancing treatment and the therapeutic process. While nursing practice focuses on the general population, the advanced nursing practice focuses on the provision of dedicated services to a special and underserved populations. The major difference between nursing and advanced nursing practice is the application of theory in the latter’s clinical practice.
The nursing practice focuses on assisting patients to achieve and maintain optimal health and well-being. The intention of nursing practice is to assist patients to maximize the quality of life across their entire lifespan (Butts & Rich, 2011). Although the nursing practice is not grounded in theory, it is exercised in the context of continuing change and developments occasioned by advances in research and technology. Nursing practice requires that nurses respond to patient’s needs by regularly updating their skills through ongoing nursing education (Woo, Lee & Tam, 2017). Advanced nursing practice, on the other hand, involves the delivery of cost-effective care and enhanced access to patients and their families. The practice focuses on providing the necessary help and support to special and underserved populations.
Nursing theories are applicable in advanced nursing practice. Per Buerhaus, DesRoches, Dittus & Donelan (2015), the practice is grounded in theory and research supporting the clinical practice. For example, the unitary human being theory guides advanced nursing practice by requiring nurses to focus on their interactions with patients and their environment. The unitary human being theory supports nurses to direct and redirect efforts aimed at improving a patient’s general health (Buerhaus et al., 2015). Advanced nursing practice is equally guided by the theory of caring requiring nurses to empathize with their patients as a way of fostering connections with them to facilitate their healing process.
The nursing practice envisages the roles and activities undertaken by nurses to address a broad range of human experiences and responses to illnesses. The advanced nursing practice involves the application of theory to enhance interactions and connection with the patients to facilitate the healing process.
Buerhaus, P., DesRoches, C., Dittus, R., & Donelan, K. (2015). Practice characteristics of primary care nurse practitioners and physicians. Nursing Outlook, 63, 144-153. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2014.08.008.
Butts, J., & Rich, K. (2011). Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Woo, B., Lee, J., & Tam, W. (2017). The impact of the advanced practice nursing role on the quality of care, clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, and cost in the emergency and critical care settings: a systematic review. Human Resources for Health, 15(1), 63. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12960-017-0237-9.