Patrick Kenny, EdD, ACRN, NE-BC, RN-BC, APRN-PMH
The HIV/AIDS Nursing Certification Board is a nonprofit professional organization whose goals are:
Definition of HIV/AIDS Nursing Practice
HIV/AIDS nursing practice is the provision of educational, therapeutic, and supportive interventions. The goals of nursing care are to prevent infection; promote client, family, and community adaptation to HIV infection and its sequelae; and to ensure continuum of care by collaborating with others.
Nursing practice in HIV/AIDS requires a complex knowledge base and range of skills that include pathophysiology, learning principles, family dynamics, grief and loss, coping with chronic illness, care of immunocompromised clients, risk assessment, and risk reduction. Utilization of standard of care is essential in maintaining an adequate knowledge base in an evolving field such as HIV/AIDS nursing. Nursing practice is multifocused and occurs in an array of settings including primary care, acute care institutions, communities, and schools. The goals of nursing practice are achieved in collaboration with the client, other health care professionals, and community-based organizations.
The advanced practice of HIV/AIDS is the provision of preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic interventions to individuals, families, and communities that lead to reducing the burden of HIV and AIDS. The advanced HIV/AIDS nurse utilizes expert clinical reasoning, which includes clinical-decision making, critical thinking, and a global grasp of the situation, coupled with nursing skills acquired through a process of integrating formal and experiential knowledge.
Because of the epidemiologic impact of the disease and social construction of the epidemic, the advanced HIV/AIDS nurse must utilize systems thinking; demonstrate caring practices; and recognize, appreciate, and incorporate differences into the provision of care.
Since the needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS are diverse, it is essential for the advanced HIV/AIDS nurse to collaborate with others while serving as an advocate/moral agent. Advanced HIV/AIDS nursing practice is multi-faceted and occurs in an array of settings including the home, primary care, acute care institutions, communities, schools, long-term care facilities, hospices as well as correctional institutions.
Because the science related to preventing and treating HIV/AIDS is constantly expanding, it is critical for the advanced HIV/AIDS nurse to utilize clinical inquiry to continually question and evaluate practice through research utilization and experiential learning. As a recognized clinical expert, the advanced HIV/AIDS nurse facilitates the learning of others.