Comprehensive Clinical Services, P.C. » What is an Advanced Practitioner Nurse (APN)?

What is an Advanced Practitioner Nurse (APN)?

Many people hear a lot of terms in regards to nurses and what can do.  So here is a quick guide to nursing and why seeing an APN is a perfectly good choice for your care:

APN – Advanced Practice Nurse (minimum of a Master’s of Nursing degree, often board certified in a specialty, such as CCS’ APNs who are specialized in psychiatry.)  APNs include four types of nurses who can have their own patients.  They can assess, diagnose, order labs and medications.  The four advance practice nurses are:

  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Nurse Anesthetists
  • Nurse Midwives
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists (usually found in hospitals)


In Illinois, an APN works in collaboration with a medical doctor who serves as a resource and can help troubleshoot complex situations.  Our APNs collaborate with our president, Dr. Daniel Martinez.

APNs hearken back to the days when nurses did a great deal of the care that today we associate with doctors.  Nurses provided care in poor and rural areas, delivered babies and were the assistants to surgeons – which meant they did the anesthesia and pain control.  Still today, in many states where there are fewer physicians, APNs practice independently and provide a critical part of the care network.

So when you have an appointment with Erin Petrusic or Marian Glenn, know that you are with APNs who have spent time specializing in psychiatric nursing and have trained at Rush University – the number 3 program in the country for psychiatric APNs.  Also know that we are a training site for new APNs at Rush, so if you work with Greg Gaffney or Andrea Miller, know that you are in good hands!


What does PMHP-BC mean?  Psychiatric- Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Board Certified


A quick guide to other kinds of nurses:

RN – Registered Nurse (minimum of an Associate degree, most now have a Bachelor’s, plus considerable additional medical and nursing training.  Able to administer all medications (oral, shots, patches and intravenous), do nursing care planning, give direction to LPNs and techs, give patient teaching about medications and their health.

LPN – Licensed Practical Nurse (1 year of nursing school), able to administer regular simple medications and perform basic care tasks – usually in Nursing Homes).

CNA – Certified Nursing Assistant (75 hours of training) – may perform basic care tasks for patients, such as bathing, feeding, etc.

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