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Advanced Nursing Practice

Two advanced nursing practice roles are recognized in Canada:

  • Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)
  • Nurse practitioner (NP)
Advanced Nursing Practice: A National Framework

CNSs provide expert nursing care and play a leading role in the development of clinical guidelines and protocols. They promote the use of evidence, provide expert support and consultation, and facilitate system change.

NPs provide direct care, focusing on health promotion and the treatment and management of health conditions. They have an expanded scope of practice that enables them to diagnose, order and interpret diagnostic tests. They can also prescribe medications and perform certain procedures.

CNA advanced nursing practice resources
Advanced Nursing Practice [PDF, 195.2 KB] (position statement)
Uncover the Roles of Advanced Nursing Practice (Recording, PowerPoint [PDF, 908.4 KB])
Who is the Clinical Nurse Specialist? (Recording, PowerPoint [PDF, 1.1 MB])

Canadian Centre for Advanced Practice Nursing Research (CCAPNR)
CCAPNR is a leading research program dedicated to optimizing the role of registered nurses (RNs) and advanced practice nurses (APNs) in Canada and internationally. CCAPNR supports evidence-based, innovative research that benefits nursing practice and the health of all Canadians.

CNA has collaborated with CCAPNR members on many projects. Among them are recommendations for a pan-Canadian primary care framework to advance the role of RNs and ANPs working in interprofessional teams. CCAPNR’s leadership continues to expand and clarify the role of all RNs and ANPs, enhancing their abilities and contributions to the health-care system.

International Council of Nurses policy brief on advanced practice nursing
International Advanced Practice Nursing
International Council of Nurses Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Nursing Network