RCN sets out timetable for ANP accreditation project

The RCN is taking a phased approach to advanced nurse practitioner accreditation.
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The RCN is ramping up its focus on accrediting advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs) with weekly project meetings, after its recent announcement of a soft launch of the scheme this November.

Nursing Standard understands the project team is meeting weekly to track progress ahead of the full launch, planned for April next year.

The initial approach by the RCN towards developing formal recognition of high-quality, advanced-level nursing practice has so far been tested with 24 UK nurses.

Looking for 100 ANPs

But the project's lead, RCN associate consultant for credentialing Karen Lynas, has said that as part of the extended ‘soft launch’ of the accreditation later this year, they may work with a further 100 ANP nurses or more to test the system.

‘We want to make sure we get a good spread of nurses in different sectors across the profession as well as geographically diverse,' she said.

Nurses who want accreditation are likely to need a master's degree and prescribing ability and would have to 're-credential' every three years to demonstrate continuing practice.

Ms Lynas said that the college was working with universities on a ‘transitional’ part of the project, addressing how they can recognise and assist the experience of current ANPs who don’t have a master’s degree or prescribing qualification.

Inclusivity key

‘We want to make this inclusive for everyone and don’t want anyone to be put off,' Ms Lynas said.

Ms Lynas said the Nursing and Midwifery Council was ‘cautiously supportive’ of the project.

She added that accrediting ANPs was just the start for the RCN, and that the college has been in conversation with key partners to develop the project to include healthcare assistants and specialist nurses.

The eventual goal, she said, would be a system where nurses can be accredited during every point in their career, so they are recognised for their skills.

'One of the reasons we are doing this is so it can be part of a career pathway.

'The RCN has been incredibly ambitious and it’s a really important part of supporting nursing professionalism.

‘We have had lots of interest from nurses who are already ANPs or who want to be.’

Further information

To request to be part of the early inclusion ANP programme contact: