There are four distinct nursing professions in New York State: Registered Professional Nurse, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Licensed Practical Nurse and Nurse Practitioner.
A Registered Professional Nurse (RN) may:
- perform health assessments;
- diagnose and treat a patient’s unique responses to diagnosed health problems;
- teach and counsel patients about their health;
- execute medical regimens as prescribed by licensed physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and podiatrists; and
- contribute as members of interdisciplinary health care teams and health related committees to plan and implement health care.
A Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) is an RN who has completed advanced clinical nursing education (usually a master's degree) and is certified by New York State as a clinical nurse specialist. New York certifes CNSs in the following specialties: Adult Health; Pediatrics; Oncology; and Psychiatry/Mental Health.
A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is an RN who has earned a separate license as an NP through advanced clinical nursing education (usually a master's degree) in a distinct specialty area of practice. Nurse practitioners may diagnose, treat, and prescribe for a patient’s condition that falls within their specialty area of practice. Nurse practitioner specialty areas include: Acute Care; Adult Health; College Health; Community Health; Family Health; Gerontology; Holistic Nursing; Neonatology; Obstetrics and Gynecology; Oncology; Palliative Care; Pediatrics; Perinatology; Psychiatry; School Health; and Women's Health.
A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) provides skilled nursing care tasks and procedures under the direction of an RN, nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, physician, or other authorized health care provider.