There has been ongoing confusion about the meaning of advanced nursing practice (ANP) and the nature of ANP roles in Canada and elsewhere. A broad range of roles and titles have been adopted throughout Canada in an attempt to delineate specialized and/or advanced roles within nursing. One key objective in a recent three-phase study of ANP in British Columbia was to clarify the role and understanding of advanced nursing practice and related roles within the larger healthcare system. Our intent in this paper is to describe the understandings of ANP that emerged in Phase I of this recent study and to compare registered nurses' understandings of ANP to the characteristics and competencies identified by the Canadian Nurses Association (2002) framework. (Note: The term "nurse," as used in this paper, refers to "registered nurse.") We conclude by identifying future directions for development of advanced practice roles.
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