Advanced Nursing Practice: Old Hat, New Design
Advanced practice nurses positively impact the delivery of healthcare and client outcomes. However, in the past these positions have been seen to have variable value and were often vulnerable during budget cuts. Lack of a clear advanced nursing practice (ANP) framework probably contributed to the compromised effectiveness of these roles and evolution of roles with different titles, scopes of practice and reporting structures.
To build the foundation for developing an ANP framework, a task force at The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) conducted a literature review related to ANP roles and completed a review of all clinical nursing roles at TOH. In addition, focus groups with nurses and other health professionals elicited ANP perceptions.
The ANP framework includes a standardized job description that details competencies under five role components: clinical practice; consultation; research; education; and, leadership. Recommendations for assessment, implementation and evaluation of ANP roles are identified.
The process undertaken by our ANP task force proved to be thorough and sound in developing a framework within which to move forward with ANP role implementation throughout TOH. This article, describing the process, may assist other organizations in defining ANP roles to better meet patient needs in changing healthcare environments.
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