Advanced level nursing in England: organisational challenges and opportunities

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AimTo explore the background, activities and future development needs of advanced practice nurses within a large NHS Trust in England, allowing for a wider review of the current situation within the UK.BackgroundThere are currently no national requirements for advanced practice nursing within the UK, which has led to considerable variability in these roles. Recently, focus has been placed on local governance rather than regulation of advanced practice nursing. However, governance and coordinated workforce planning within the UK is in its infancy.MethodsAn electronic survey was sent to all nurses within one Trust identified as practising at an advanced level; a total of 136 responses were received.ResultsThe survey identified considerable variation in titles, educational preparation and current activities even within similar roles. Some participants identified the need for more support in undertaking professional development activities.ConclusionsThe findings echo the wider picture within the UK, and point to the need to actively work on developing strategies for governance, education, and succession planning for advanced practice nursing.Implications for nursing managementIn the absence of national regulation, UK NHS Trusts should develop their own registers of advanced practice nurses in order to facilitate improved management, governance and workforce planning systems.

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