An advanced practice nurse is a nurse with advanced didactic and clinical education. Whether they are nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, or nurse midwives, play a pivotal role in the future of health care. APNs are often primary care providers and are at the forefront of providing preventative care to the public. Because of different title they can have, their role can be very confusing; mostly in defining their role as practitioners or as researcher. The groundwork of nursing is evidence base practice; which open opportunities for APNs to be in research studies. Nurses tend to avoid research because of lack of knowledge or simply not aware about the fields. It is vital that nurses be more involved in research because it will help the profession to evolve better. Therefore training and educational opportunities should be available to enable nurses to progress in career like clinical, medical, or nursing research. As a result, experienced nurses as well as novice nurse researchers will play a more active role in educating and motivating others to not only apply research that was conducted by others, but to be involve in research which in turn will be incorporated in their daily practice.
Advanced practice nurses are taking their place in the forefront of the rapidly changing health care system, developing an innumerable of roles in organizations that aim to provide cost-effective, quality care. Due to the variety of specialty under the APN umbrella it becomes confusing to define APN and their role. The International Council of Nurses (ICN) defines Advance Practice Nurse (APN) as “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 she is credentialed to practice.” http://icn-apnetwork.org/. Hamric, Spross, and Hanson( 2009) state that: the State Nursing Practice Act uses APNs to refer to Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNSs), nurse anesthesiologist (CRNAs), and Nurse Midwife (CNMs). In spite of the title or area of practice, it is obvious that research is important in healthcare practice nowadays. In this paper, a general overview of the role of research in healthcare will be presented, which then will follow by the different roles of the APN in research. Also, a look at some of the literatures that outlines the current trends in APN research activities will also be elaborated. The advantages and disadvantages of research will be presented.
According to Hamric, Spross, and Hanson (2009), research is one of the core competencies of advanced practice nursing, and research skills are imperative for the Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) to be able to fulfill their roles. The core APN research competency has three individual competencies: interpretation and use of research findings and other in clinical decision making, evaluation of practice, and participation in collaborative research (Hamric et al., 2009).