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Advanced practitioner apprenticeship standards unveiled

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Draft apprenticeship training standards being developed for advanced clinical practitioners have revealed trainees will be taught at master’s level and will be able to prescribe. 

Those in the role will have a “high level of autonomy and freedom to make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations,” said the draft document, developed by employers and published by training body Skills for Health (attached below).

The new advanced apprenticeship is aimed at any healthcare professional – including nurses – as long as they are registered with one of the statutory healthcare regulators.

In the draft standard published this month, which is out for consultation until 25 July, it is also revealed that the apprentices will “typically” take three years to compete their training in the advanced role.

After the consultation, the apprenticeship standard will be submitted to the Institute for Apprenticeships for approval.

The new framework marks an attempt to draw up a nationally agreed definition for advanced clinical practitioners.

There are currently no national competency standards set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council for advanced nurse practitioners.

Although, earlier this year the Royal College of Nursing launched its own voluntary accreditation scheme for nurses working at an advanced level.

The new apprenticeship requirements reflect the RCN’s – which stipulate nurses must hold a prescribing qualification and have a master’s degree in order to be accredited.

However, when the RCN launched its new scheme it noted many nurses already working at an advanced level did not currently hold a master’s degree. It said it would ensure transitional arrangements were put in place until December 2020.

”This will support nurses and midwives who are working in specialist and advanced roles to develop and extend their practice”

Janice Sigsworth

Healthcare employers, including Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and the University of Birmingham and London South Bank University have been involved in drawing up the new apprenticeship standard.

Professor Janice Sigsworth, director of nursing at Imperial, said: “We are very pleased to be part of the trailblazer group who are developing the new apprenticeship.

“This will support nurses and midwives who are working in specialist and advanced roles to develop and extend their practice to support high quality care for patients.”

The new framework is part of a series of apprenticeship standards being drawn up for healthcare roles – including for nurses, and for nursing associates.

Nurse apprenticeships at a pre-registration level are due to begin in September 2017 in England.

Since April, all large employers have been subject to the government’s new apprenticeship levy.

In 2016, the Department of Health unveiled a target of 100,000 new apprenticeships in the NHS in England by 2020.

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