Distinguish between the following: advanced practice registered nurse, certified register nurse, and physician assistant.

  • Distinguish between the following: advanced practice registered nurse, certified register nurse, and physician assistant.
  • Distinguish between licensed practical nurses, certified nurses’ assistants, and home health aides. What are some of the healthcare manager’s challenges with these groups?


There are similarities and differences between Advance Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), Certified Registered Nurses, and Physician Assistants (PA).  With their similarities, all three careers within the medical field requires an advanced degree, which is usually a Masters in Science in their specialization.  They are also within a category know as non-physician practitioners.  However, the difference are as follows:

•         APRNs-are pseudo buffers as RN and MDs.  They usually have a specialization in one of four categories; clinical nurse specialist, certified registered nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioners, and certified nurse midwives.

•         Certified Registered Nurses-are nurses who possess a master degree within nursing with a specialization.  However, there are many variants of which a nurse may go into instead of the general path of an APRN specialization which is the same as APRNs.

•         PA-now require in most states an advanced degree such as a master.  They in turn can legally write prescriptions, give diagnosis, and perform minor procedures.

There are also similarities and difference between licensed practical/vocation nurses (LPN/LVNs), certified nursing assistants (CNAs), and home health aides. With all three positions, they require supervision of a Registered Nurse.  The training program for all three are shorter than that of the RN.  However, there are differences between the three:

•         LPN-are licensed nurses who training is shorter than that of a registered nurse.  They can administer some drugs and are in some cases in charge of CNAs or Medical Assistants

•         CNA-require formal training.  They usually are assistants to ensure patients are assistant with the ADL.

•         Home Health Aides-are usually CNA who do the same functions as previously described, however it is done within a home setting.

Some challenges that healthcare managers may encounter is that within this selected group of career paths that have been presented, is the separation of responsibilities.  Just as what was presented in the last assignment, you may have individual who feel as if with a little more education, that they my neglect the basic necessities of the practice of being a nurse (minus the PA).  When this happens, nurses may delegate menial duties to those who are lower in the nursing hierarchy.

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