Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), also referred to as advanced practice nurses (APNs), are an important part of nursing and by extension the healthcare workforce. These professionals are nurses who have been licensed to carry out certain advanced tasks such as requesting tests and evaluations, diagnosing patients, drafting and managing treatment guidelines to the extent of prescribing and dispensing medications.
These professionals are deemed qualified for such a role having completed graduate-level training in one or more specialty areas and amassed healthy clinical practice hours to prepare them for such practice. There are four major types of advanced practice nurses which include Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs), Certified Nurse Practitioners (CNPs), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), and Certified Nurse Specialists (CNSs). The CNPs account for the majority of APNs in Illinois.
In Illinois, the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) in conjunction with the Board of Nursing are responsible for issuing licenses to CNPs to practice in the state. All applicants are required to comply with certain requirements to be considered for a license. A graduate-level degree and a valid national certification in a given specialty area as a nurse practitioner are some of the major requirements for the application process. The IDFPR is also saddled with the responsibility of processing applications for licenses for registered nurses (RN)s.