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We need to appreciate the nuances and make connections to outcomes

11 March 2021
Volume 30 · Issue 5


Robin Hyde considers some of the anxieties around advanced practice and reflects on how to allay these

It is no exaggeration to say that the last year has stretched health services globally. Nurses, together with their colleagues, have valiantly faced demands while continuing to contribute to innovation in care. For many, advanced clinical practice remains a critical priority. In the context of nursing, this is not a novel concept; origins may be traced back to the post-war era of the 1940s with the rise of specialisms, followed laer by the pioneering work of the likes of Henry Silver, Loretta Ford, and Barbara Stillwell (Fulton, 2014; Evans et al, 2020). In the UK, the advanced clinical practitioner (ACP) role is recognised as crucial for transformation of the NHS workforce (Scottish Government, 2017; NHS England and NHS Improvement, 2019). Whereas once the concept may have faced criticism and doubt, now there is renewed support and a drive for consistency with improved definitions and guidance (Health Education England, 2017; Scottish Government, 2017). Policy defines advanced practice as a ‘level of practice’, featuring a high component of complex autonomy and decision making, synonymously underpinned by a master's qualification, encompassing the four pillars of Clinical Practice, Leadership and Management, Education and Research, (Health Education England, 2017; Scottish Government, 2017).

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