Advanced Nursing Practitioners (ANP) are nurses who have undertaken a master’s level in clinical practice. ANPs have authority in patient diagnosis and are trusted to independently assess, diagnose, manage, and care for patients with complex clinical issues.
ANPs have an important role to play in supporting and enhancing primary care service provision. They have been shown to improve patients’ satisfaction, alleviate pressure on GPs, and provide high quality care where it is needed.
The role of a ANP differs significantly in comparison to a general nurse - you’ll be working in a more senior position and, therefore, expected to perform more advanced duties. Responsibilities of an Advanced Nurse Practitioner can include:
Diagnosing health conditions
Researching patient conditions
Referring patients to specialists
Maintaining records of patient medical history
Prescribing and administering medication
The route to becoming an Advanced Nurse Practitioner requires extensive education and training. The steps include:
Becoming a registered nurse: all nurses will join the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in order to be able to practice nursing in the UK.
Getting experience: once you are fully qualified and registered, you will then be able to work as a nurse within various settings. You may then choose to pursue a specialism and gain the skills and expertise you need for the next steps.
Embarking on a master’s programme: to qualify as a nurse practitioner, you are required to complete a master’s degree. These courses often take 1-2 years to complete and are essential for building up your knowledge.
Getting your license and certification: to receive your license, you must complete your master’s degree, a two-year clinical experience placement and sit a national certification exam.
All fully qualified advanced nurse practitioners can prescribe medication for any condition within their competency. They can see patients with undiagnosed, undifferentiated medical conditions and make treatment decisions, including referring patients for any necessary follow-up consultations or referrals – both in primary and secondary care.