About Advanced Practice

What is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse?

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses are registered nurses (RNs), who receive additional education, in the form of master's degree or higher, within one of four advanced practice nursing roles. The four roles are: certified nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, certified nurse-midwives and clinical nurse specialists. Lurie Children's employs nurse practitioners (NPs), certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) and clinical nurse specialists (CNS). Nurse practitioners serve as primary, and, in some cases, specialty care providers, diagnosing and treating a variety of illnesses. Clinical nurse specialists provide patient care and expert advice in one of several nursing practice specialties related to the setting. CRNAs specialize in providing anesthesia and sedation. APRNs prescribe medications, order and interpret diagnostic testing, diagnose and treat illness, and provide patient and family education.

A master's degree is the minimum degree required to be licensed as an APRN. Prior to licensure, the APRN must be board certified in the area of specialty, by a nationally approved certifying body. APRNs are regulated primarily by State Boards of Nursing. The authority given by state licensure varies based on state law and state Board of Nursing regulations.

What is a Physician Assistant?

Physician Assistants (PAs) are nationally certified and state licensed medical professionals. PAs practice medicine on health care teams with physicians and other providers. Certified PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventative health care, assist in surgery and prescribe medications. They earn the PA-C credential by graduating from an accredited post grad level PA educational program and passing a national certification exam. At Lurie Children's, certified PAs are part of the medical teams that assess, treat and prevent illness in our patients.

Advanced Practice Providers at Lurie Children's

All Advance Practice Providers (APPs) collaborate, consult with, or refer to physicians. This collaboration happens as a prudent and necessary part of delivering quality, safe, evidence-based care to patients. Many practice in health care teams with physicians and other types of health care providers. At Lurie Children's, APRNs and PAs are privileged and credentialed members of the Medical Staff, and follow the policies and procedures set forth by the Medical Staff Bylaws. APPs have prescriptive authority and are able to bill for reimbursement of services.

APPs practice in 25 different specialty and sub-specialty areas, at all of our outreach locations, and are nationally board certified in the specialty areas of anesthesia, pediatrics, family, and neonatal populations.

Many of the Lurie Children's APPs hold offices in local and national professional organizations, participate on various hospital and community committees, support legislative advocacy, and have received national awards related to improving the delivery of quality, safe and effective patient care to our specialized pediatric populations.

Purpose of Center for Advanced Practice

The Advanced Practice Providers Council (APP Council) is organized for the ongoing development and progression of Advanced Practice Providers practice (leader, educator, mentor, clinician and researcher).

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Support and create top of license practices intended to improve access to care, patient care outcomes and maximize reimbursement.
  • Participate in utilizing and developing technologies that advance communication amongst health care providers.
  • Facilitate credentialing and privileging.
  • Develop and implement orientation for new providers and provide continuing education opportunities.
  • Develop and maintain policies and procedures as they apply to APP practice in the state of IL.
  • Develop and disseminate meaningful practice contributions through research, publishing and quality improvement initiatives.
  • Impact health policy on the local and national level to enhance legislation as it related to APP practice and the delivery of pediatric health care.

What makes Lurie Children's exceptional?

  • We have nearly 300 APPs represented in all specialty areas at Lurie Children's, providing comprehensive evidence-based care to patients and families. Several specialty areas have independent APP clinics for better access to care.
  • We offer an extensive transition into practice (TIP) for new APPs to help mentor them into their new role and the organization
  • Our council is organized for educational purposes, professional development and more specifically for disseminating information pertaining to advanced practice at Lurie Children's. The council consists of several subcommittees to provide leadership opportunities and representation on hospital wide committees.
  • We offer ongoing professional development through scholarship awards, research grants, educational opportunities through APP Grand Rounds and various supported conferences and events.
  • We have APRNs in appointed positions such as the Director of Advanced Practice Providers Practice and Professional Development and as the Associate Director of Nursing Research, with a focus on strategic planning for the Clinical Translational Research Program.
  • We have a Nursing Clinical Governance structure to improve communication, provide a coordinated decision-making process and improve patient outcomes and care, as well as increasing productivity and accountability.
  • We foster professional development of APP, with many receiving awards for research and health improvement projects, publishing in journals to represent expertise and dedication to children and families, and continuing formal education, with tuition assistance, for programs including doctorate programs, (DNP, PhD, post-master's certifications, MBA and others.
  • We have a formal leadership structure that includes a Senior Director of Advanced Practice Providers and APP Director of Practice and Professional Development. The leadership structure consists of APP Managers who oversee specialty and subspecialty groups. This structure allows for professional growth and development along with direct support of APP practice and consistencies.