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How does current advanced nursing practice benefit the profession?

  • Comments (3)
  • Article: Barton TD et al (2012) Advanced nursing 1: the development of advanced nursing roles. Nursing Times; 108: 24, 18-20.

Key points

  • The evolution of advanced nursing has been long and complex
  • This process has led to innovation in nursing, but also to confusion about what advanced nursing was and is
  • Advanced nursing has been and still is one of the most scrutinised and researched concepts
  • It has been advocated as a cost-effective service redesign tool
  • Advanced nurses are the cutting edge of nursing innovation

Let’s discuss

  • Compare and contrast the roles of clinical nurse specialist and nurse practitioner. What are the key components of these roles?
  • What are the key elements of advanced nursing practice and which nursing roles in your organisation meet these criteria?
  • What preparation do advanced nurses need to undertake their role?

The authors of this series notes that “Moves to regulate advanced nursing via the professional register in the 2000s have faltered, and are now regarded as at best unlikely, and at worst unworkable (Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence, 2008). The current professional view is that advanced nurses represent no greater risk to the public than new registrants, and as such a separate part of the register would add no new benefit”.

What do you think? Do advanced nurses need a regulated clinical career framework?

  • Comments (3)

Readers' comments (3)

  • Anonymous

    I have been a Senior Advanced Nurse Practitioner since 2005 - having served in a more junior capacity for 3 years prior to this.

    In preparation for the more senior post: I did a plethora of academic and practical learning including what is commonly known as the 'ENP' course (diagnositic & consultation skills, minor injury / illness modules - usually part of an undergraduate degree).

    I also trained in minor surgical procedures / suturing techniques under a more senior nurse and A&e Registrar and had a GP Mentor for illness aspect. Later, I went onto complete a Masters Level study. Some of my colleagues also took the independant prescribers course along the way as it was relevant to their employment at that time.

    Most of my job is now doing what a junior doctor would have been doing in the 'old days': see and treat mainly of minor conditions> Having functioned as an autonomous practitioner for some time now, I would not go back to the more traditional role. I think it has been good for both the patient and the nurse.

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  • Anonymous

    Interesting comment to make about the "old days" and how you feel patients benefit more from you as an autonomous practitioner. All I see in the comment is a nurse who wishes she could have been a doctor!! Patients benefit from caring professionals regardless of their level of training and expertise. Therefore I do not believe there is any need for seperate regulation as we are all required to follow the NMC code of conduct.

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  • Doing what was formerly a junior medics work is not advancing nursing, it's actually degrading it. As for being an autonomous practitioner, load of codswallop, you work within a prescribed set of rules with a prescribed set of patients. Deviate from these, and see how autonomous the NMC thinks you are!

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