Advanced practice: which path should nurses take?
How the advanced clinical practitioner role could affect the future of nursing
The debate about how to meet the rising demand for emergency care goes back a long way.
In 1996, the now-defunct Audit Commission published By Accident or Design?, a report arguing that a shortage of emergency doctors, combined with increasing patient numbers and long waiting times, required a reconfiguration of services and a wider role for nurses.
In the 22 years since this report was published, the debate has rumbled on and nursing practice has expanded to meet the growing need, but not in a consistent or regulated way.
Some say that professional boundaries have become blurred and that, to help services cope, highly skilled practitioners – including nurses and paramedics – are being diverted along career paths away from their first-choice profession.
Others maintain that nurses...
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