How to become an advanced nurse practitioner
If you’ve reached a stage in your nursing career where you want to develop your skills and knowledge, you may be exploring how to become an advanced nurse practitioner (ANP).
This blog gives you information about what’s involved in taking on one of the most senior and highest-paid roles in the nursing profession.
Becoming an ANP begins with an initial nursing qualification and NMC registration. The steps that follow involve gaining years of solid experience and completing a master’s degree. You’ll also need to become competent in ‘advanced practice’, a defined level of practice that includes the ability to independently assess, diagnose, treat, and prescribe to adults and children with complex mental and physical healthcare needs.
What is an advanced nurse practitioner?
An advanced nurse practitioner doesn’t specialise in any particular condition. Instead, the role has been developed ‘to address demand and workforce issues’1 both now and in the future. ANPs are qualified to work in different settings, including A&E units, out-of-hours services, GP practices, health & urgent care centres, and primary care providers.
Advanced Nurse Practitioners are educated at master’s level in clinical practice and have been assessed as competent in practice using their expert clinical knowledge and skills. They have the freedom and authority to act, making autonomous decisions in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients. (Royal College of Nursing – Advanced Practice Standards)
The ANP role is similar to that of a junior doctor and means you’ll need to take on extra study and gain significant relevant clinical experience. ANPs are regarded as clinical leads, with the freedom and authority to act and accept responsibility and accountability for their actions.
What band is an advanced nurse practitioner?
Advanced nurse practitioner roles are typically graded Band 7 with progression to Band 8a upon completing a master’s degree, depending on the role and function.
Requirements needed to become an advanced nurse practitioner
Working as an advanced nurse practitioner means you’ll need to meet a certain set of standards and conditions2,3. These include:
- Having an active registration with the NMC
- Meeting NMC revalidation requirements
- Having a prescribing qualification registered with the NMC (i.e. the Independent Non-Medical Prescriber Qualification (V300))
- Having a master’s level/postgraduate degree (180 Level 7 points) or working towards one
- Evidence of practice within the ‘four pillars’ set out in the NHS Multi-Professional Framework for Advanced Clinical Practice: advanced clinical practice; leadership & management; facilitation of education & learning; and research & development
- A job plan that reflects the four pillars
ANPs need to demonstrate to employers their ability to:
- Work autonomously
- Use advanced clinical expertise
- Demonstrate sound judgement, discretion, and decision-making skills in clinical situations
Crucially, you’re also likely to need significant post-registration experience at Band 7 practitioner level, evidence of leadership skills, and high levels of self-motivation.
Roles and responsibilities of an advanced nurse practitioner
Here’s a typical overview of the role of an ANP:
“An ANP will use specialist knowledge and skills to independently provide healthcare to patients who have a complex and undetermined presentation, and acutely unwell patients.
The ANP will work autonomously, assessing the clinical situation, determining a working diagnosis, commencing initial treatment and appropriate supportive management.”
(Role summary, Acute Oncology ANP, Royal Devon University Healthcare. Posted December 2022)
Specific key clinical responsibilities of an ANP might include3:
- Assessing, diagnosing, planning, implementing, and evaluating treatment/interventions and care for patients presenting with an undifferentiated diagnosis
- Clinically examining and assessing patient needs from a physiological and psychological perspective and planning clinical care accordingly
- Assessing, diagnosing, planning, implementing, and evaluating interventions/treatments for patients with complex needs. Proactively identifying, diagnosing, and managing treatment plans for patients at risk of developing a long-term condition (as appropriate)
- Diagnosing and managing both acute and chronic conditions, integrating both drug-based and non-drug-based treatment methods into a management plan
- Prescribing and reviewing medication for therapeutic effectiveness, appropriate to patient needs and following evidence-based practice and national and practice protocols, and within the scope of practice
- Working with patients to support compliance with and adherence to prescribed treatments. Providing information and advice on prescribed or over-the-counter medication, medication regimens, side effects, and interactions
- Prioritising health problems and knowing what to do next to help a patient when there is a complex or emergency situation, including giving the appropriate emergency care
- Helping patients respond positively to health promotion initiatives aimed at improving their lifestyles
In addition, an ANP may also have further responsibilities related to:
- Quality of service
- Risk management
- Information management
- Learning and development
- Equality and diversity
Job opportunities with Thornbury Nursing
We always have job opportunities for advanced nurse practitioners at Thornbury and offer exceptional rates of pay to all our staff.
To make the next move, you’ll need to register with the team.
Other work opportunities for qualified nurses are available, and these are refreshed daily.
- CQC. https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/gps/gp-mythbusters/gp-mythbuster-66-advanced-nurse-practitioners-anps-primary-care
- Multi-Professional Framework for Advanced Clinical Practice. NHS.
- Royal College of Nursing, Standards for Advanced Level Nursing Practice. June 2018.
- NHS. https://beta.jobs.nhs.uk/candidate/jobadvert/A3232-23-7313.
Register with Thornbury
We are looking for exceptional nurses and midwives to join our team. Register with Thornbury to access high rates of pay, paid mileage and support with revalidation.
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