Advanced Practice Nurse in South Korea and Current Issues

Published:November 21, 2022DOI:


      • Advanced practice nurses (APNs) in Korea began as special-field nurses in the 1970s.
      • Master’s degree education and certification of APN followed in the early 2000s.
      • The number of certified APNs has increased; yet, APN use continues to be low.
      • The lack of clarity regarding the scope of practice and reimbursement is problematic.
      • To maximize APN use in Korea, government efforts are required.


      In South Korea, advanced practice nursing was introduced in the 1970s to facilitate access to health care. Private hospitals began to employ nurses in advanced roles in the 1990s, and legislation governing advanced practice nurse (APN) education and certification followed in the early 2000s. As of September 2022, there were 16,888 certified APNs. However, there are several impediments to their use, including a lack of clarity regarding the scope of practice and the absence of a medical fee schedule. The resolution of such issues calls for the government to take an active role in establishing a reimbursement system and developing APN staffing regulations.


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      Su Jung Choi, PhD, APN, MSN, RN is a professor at the Graduate School of Clinical Nursing Science, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, South Korea.


      Yeon Hee Kim, PhD, MSN, RN is a professor at the Department of Clinical Nursing, University of Ulsan, Seoul, South Korea, and can be contacted at [email protected]


      Kyung-Choon Lim, PhD, GNP, MSN, RN is a professor at School of Nursing, College of Nursing, Sungshin University, Seoul, South Korea.


      Young-ah Kang, APN, MSN, RN, Department of Nursing, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea.