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The role of advanced clinical practitioners in clinical research

23 March 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 6


Advanced clinical practitioners (ACPs) contribute immensely to patient care, so there is consequently a need to develop and create a sustainable environment for advanced clinical practice in clinical research. To achieve this it is necessary to evaluate the current challenges to enable stakeholders and policymakers to take the appropriate measures in safeguarding the future of advanced clinical practice in clinical research. The ACP workforce presents an opportunity to enhance access to clinical research. This article looks at the role of ACPs in clinical research and significant developmental milestones. The challenges of ACPs in clinical research are discussed, with an analysis of the needed interventions within the UK context. Strategies aimed at increasing the utilisation of the larger ACP workforce in clinical research are proposed.

The nursing profession has been around since the first humans and has gone through various transitions, shaping how it is practised and perceived. Consequently, nursing practice has undergone fascinating changes, influenced by events such as wars and major disease outbreaks, as well as shortages of other healthcare workers, all of which have facilitated advances in practice (Mackey and Bassendowski, 2017; World Health Organization (WHO), 2017). Through these changes, the profession has seen the extension of the scope of practice and the birth of new specialties. These developments provide a well of inspiration, from which lessons can be drawn in shaping the future of the nursing profession and patient care.

This article explores the role of the advanced clinical practitioner (ACP) in clinical research and highlights the significant developmental milestones and challenges ACPs face in clinical research. Interventions that could be implemented within the UK context to enhance the utilisation of the broader ACP workforce in clinical research are proposed.

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