Advanced nursing practice: an idea whose time has come.J Clin Nurs. 2008 Jan; 17(2):205-13.JC
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
This paper aims to analyse the concept of advanced nursing practice critically and to demonstrate an appreciation of the development of the role of the advanced nurse practitioner in the Irish context.
The concept of advanced nursing practice has existed in the US since the 1960s and in the UK since the early 1980s. The first signs of the advanced nurse practitioner began to emerge in Ireland in the late 1990s as a result of increasing demands and changes occurring within nursing and health care. Currently, there are 31 advanced nurse practitioners in the country, many of whom practice in the general setting. Strategies are in place to introduce advanced nursing practice into other nursing disciplines in the future.
A literature review was conducted to address the various issues inherent within this concept.
There is a body of evidence indicating that advanced nursing practice has brought about an improvement in patient outcomes. In light of this, the advanced nurse practitioner has a valuable role to play in providing a beneficial contribution and filling a gap in healthcare services.
This paper has demonstrated that nursing continues to be a dynamic and ever-changing phenomenon where the onus is firmly on the advanced nurse practitioner as expert, leader and collaborator, to capture the hearts and minds of nurses and healthcare workers, so as to challenge traditional values and transform clinical practice. Failure to do so may allow medicine or other interested parties to shape the future of nursing or even absorb it.
RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE
Nurses working at an advanced level are striving to develop their expertise, initiate nurse-led services and practice, in collaboration with other professionals in an effort to provide the highest quality care to the patient. Although the idea of the advanced nurse practitioner is relatively new to nursing in Ireland, it is the result of an idea whose time has come and there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.