A University of Huddersfield lecturer has become the first UK expert in the field to take over as chair of a large international network dedicated to the development of advanced nurse practitioners.
Dr Melanie Rogers is to lead the Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Nurse Network of the International Council of Nurses.
Dr Rogers, a senior lecturer and advanced nurse practitioner, has been an active member of the NP/APN for the past eight years and chaired one of its sub-groups before being elected its chair.
Speaking on her appointment, she highlighted that the NP/APN was the “largest international network in the world”.
“It’s a very well established group that has connections in most countries where advanced practice is developing and it offers support to countries who are looking to develop the role in terms of education, policy, practice and research,” she said.
“It also takes an active role in all those countries where the role is already well developed,” she added.
At Huddersfield, she is the course leader for the successful MSc Health Studies Advanced Nurse Practitioner and Advanced Clinical Practitioner course, which has been running for nearly 18 years.
The course has trained around 300 practitioners, the majority of whom remain in the Yorkshire region offering autonomous patient care in primary and secondary care settings.
Dr Rodgers’ ICN network role involves monthly online conferences with core steering group members from countries such as Zimbabwe, Finland, Canada, Ireland, the US, Germany and Hong Kong. The group also meets annually in person.
She has already overseen a conference in Hong Kong that drew more than 900 delegates from 26 countries and her four-year term as network chair will also take in a 2018 conference in Rotterdam.
UK expert to lead global advanced nursing network
At the event in Hong Kong, she delivered two papers. One dealt with job satisfaction for nurse practitioners in developed and developing countries – the first study of its type.
She also spoke about the role of spirituality in advanced practice, one of her key areas at Huddersfield University, where she is chair of a spirituality special interest group.
An updated international definition for the role of nurse practitioner is one of the issues currently under discussion, said Dr Rogers.
At present, the ICN describes a nurse practitioner/advanced practice nurse as “a registered nurse who has acquired the expert knowledge base, complex decision-making skills and clinical competencies for expanded practice, the characteristics of which are shaped by the context and/or country in which she or he is credentialed to practice”.
“A master’s degree is recommended for entry level,” the current definition states.
As reported by Nursing Times last week, nurses working in advanced roles are being encouraged to join a credentialing scheme that is being launched by the Royal College of Nursing to provide them with “much-needed” recognition and to boost their career prospects.
Meanwhile, a nursing director told Nursing Times earlier this month that ANP roles to become ‘increasingly important’ in accident and emergency departments.