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Advanced practice education and development

02 November 2021
9 min read
Volume 32 · Issue 11


Colette Henderson looks at the importance of education and development for advanced practitioners

UK government policy directives support the development of multidisciplinary advanced practice roles. Advanced practitioners must align their practice and subsequent continuing professional development (CPD) with four pillars of practice: clinical practice; facilitation of learning; leadership and evidence; and research and development. Lifelong learning is a mandatory requirement for healthcare practitioners. This article will focus on the importance of education and development for advanced practitioners and starts by providing some detail of the background development of advanced practice in the UK to justify the focus on ongoing achievement of capability across the four pillars.

Advanced nurse practice originated in the USA and Canada in the 1960s and Barbara Stillwell is credited with both importing the role to the UK in the 1980s and collaborating with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) to establish nurse practitioner degree programmes (Rogers and Gloster, 2020). Internationally, there is a robust network to support advanced practice nurse development, the International Council of Nurses Nurse Practitioner Advanced Practice Nurse Network (ICN NP/APNN). The UK, however, is moving towards multidisciplinary advanced practice (Health Education England (HEE), 2017; Department of Health (DoH), 2019; Welsh Government (WG), 2020; Scottish Government (Scot Gov), 2021). There is an abundance of evidence to support the effectiveness of advanced practice nurse roles (Laurant et al, 2018; Evans et al, 2020; Hooks and Walker, 2020), which is reassuring but also indicates a continual requirement for validation of this role.

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