Advancing practice: ensuring graduates are fit for purpose
As a programme leader of advanced practice and a committee member of the Association of Advanced Practice Educators UK (AAPE UK), I am passionate about ensuring that graduates are fit for purpose and that appropriate support mechanisms are in place to support them in their roles.
Questions surrounding regulation and governance of advanced practitioners (APs) were discussed at the recent annual AAPE UK conference in Bournemouth, Dorset.
AAPE UK has lobbied for regulation in the past but the Nursing and Midwifery Council did not see why this was necessary. It is essential therefore that AP managers ensure robust governance processes are in place to ensure the safety of the public and the practitioners themselves.
I think it is essential that the findings from our study (published in the March 2015 issue of Nursing Management) are considered in organisations to help drive a more standardised governance process.
Time is needed for continuous professional development (CPD) so that APs can continue to shape their roles and lead service developments as well as supportive appraisal and governance arrangements.
APs can flourish in a variety of service areas and demonstrate real impact when valued as the all-round practitioners they have become. But they are most flexible when they retain the breadth and depth of their knowledge and skills, and this should be taken into account along with other CPD needs of APs working in highly specialised areas.
A supportive framework must be considered to nurture newly qualified APs to enable them to develop to their potential so they can demonstrate, through evidence, their effect on patients and services. And, as they develop and flourish, they can only get better and so, being often loyal to their service areas, maintain workforce stability.
About the author
Annabella Gloster is a lecturer in nursing and programme leader for the master of science degree course in advanced practice, at the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences, University of Salford, Manchester
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