Advanced Nurse Practitioner
Advanced Nurse Practitioners are nurses working at a level beyond their initial registration, using existing knowledge and skills to inform and further develop their practice. Nurses working at an advanced level use complex reasoning, critical thinking, reflection and analysis to inform their assessments, clinical judgements and decisions. They are able to apply knowledge and skills to a broad range of clinically and professionally challenging and complex situations.
Area of practice
Inpatient (clinic, ward-based, theatre, acute assessment units).
Overview of tasks and activities
- Assess individuals, families and populations holistically using a range of different assessment methods (i.e. physical examination, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests or advanced health needs assessment)
- Have a health promotion and prevention orientation, and comprehensively assess patients for risk factors and early signs of illness
- Draw on a diverse range of knowledge in their decision making to determine evidence-based therapeutic interventions, this usually includes prescribing medication and monitoring the effectiveness of interventions
- Plan and manage complete episodes of care (in partnership with others), and delegate and refer as appropriate
- Use their professional judgement in managing complex and unpredictable care events and capture the learning from these experiences to improve patient care and service delivery
- Draw on an appropriate range of multi-agency and inter-professional resources in their practice
- Make accurate records of all patient encounters in accordance with practice records protocols and coding protocols, ensuring standards are set and team members meet the standard
Liaison between patients and doctors
- Ensure the health needs of all patients presenting to the team are met in a clinically appropriate way and by the team member best qualified to meet their needs
Supervision and management
If an ANP believes they cannot demonstrate the required standard in any aspect of their practice, they are responsible for refusing to undertake the action or seeking supervision from an appropriate source.
- ANPs practise autonomously and are self-directed
- The ANP provides the first point of contact for patients and can pro-actively address issues that could negatively impact the patients’ pathway and length of stay, however, the patient is under the overall care of a medical consultant
Eligibility for training
The exact entry requirements for the MSc in advanced clinical practice, and type of master’s degree, will vary. An example from the University of Southampton programme:
- A first degree (2:2 Hons or above)
- Current professional registration with relevant body (ie Nursing and Midwifery Council)
- Current job contract in a clinical or clinically related area, and a clinical mentor able to assess their practice
- At least two years’ relevant post-registration clinical experience, three years are required before commencing the non-medical prescribing module
- A reference from current employer confirming practice and mentor support
- Master’s degree in advanced clinical practice
- This take 2–3 years’ part-time, during which generic training is followed by specialist training in the nurse’s chosen field of practice
- The master’s qualification is the minimum required for the ANP role and is followed by a period to develop the advanced clinical skills required
Registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Band 7 - 8a.