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New research shows more professionals in advanced practice roles

Experienced nurses and midwives are increasingly taking on complex, autonomous and expert roles commonly referred to as ‘advanced practice’.

This is according to independent research commissioned by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. However, it is unclear whether people who use services and the public understand the advanced practitioner’s role and what it means for them.

The NMC says that this matters because delivery of the level of practice that advanced practitioners are undertaking can carry inherent risks to patients and people using services. However, people may not know what it means when their nurse or midwife describes themselves as an advanced practitioner – and even those who understand can’t necessarily expect the same level of knowledge, skill and experience from different advanced practitioners with similar roles and titles as this responsibility typically lies with employers.

The NMC commissioned The Nuffield Trust to look at the existing literature on regulation of advanced practice, and international approaches to regulating advanced practice. It also considered the advanced practice landscape in all four countries of the UK, in conversation with key senior/relevant stakeholders. The consensus from the interviews and focus groups was that some form of specific regulation was needed for advanced practice in nursing and midwifery.

The research found great variation in how professionals enter and practice in these roles across the UK. This means there’s no single definition of advanced practice, nor any consistent outcomes, or standards of education or proficiency.

For example, current routes to advanced practice status include higher education such as a masters’ degree. However, there’s substantial variation in courses, with some designed to meet different course outcomes than others and therefore including different content.

The Council discussed the findings of this early research at a recent meeting (17 May). The research will  inform further lines of enquiry as the NMC continues its review of the advanced practice landscape, including engaging with the public and people who use services, before presenting Council with options to consider later this year.

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Upcoming Events

The Third Annual Healthcare Innovation and Technology Conference and Exhibition 2024

Royal Society of Medicine, London
27th February 2024

Advancing Ultrasound Probe Decontamination Study Day

Horizon Leeds, 2 Kendall Street #3rd Floor Leeds LS10 1JR
12th March 2024

Webinar: How to be Compliant and Sustainable In Healthcare

ONLINE
19th March 2024 & 21st March 2024 10 am CET time o

POCT Innovators: The Power to Disrupt Series

Cloth Hall Court, Leeds. UK
20 March, 2024

Central Sterilising Club - Annual Scientific Meeting 2024

Crowne Plaza at Gerrard’s Cross
15th April 2024 – 16th April 2024

DECON UK 2024

National Conference Centre, Birmingham
17th April 2024

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

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