Advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs) can now register their credentials with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).
The RCN advanced nurse practitioner forum discussed the process and requirements with RCN Congress members at a fringe event in Glasgow at the end of June. The RCN is currently running a test cohort for the programme and it will be widely available from Spring 2017.
The RCN has formed an Advanced Practice Credentialing Advisory Group (APCAG) with representatives from UK countries, UK committees and stakeholders. The group advised and helped design a credentialing operating model for consideration by the RCN Council.
Gill Coverdale, the professional lead for education at the RCN, said that the system would be a way for individual nurses to evidence credentials at an advanced level. 'This will be the only register of ANPs in the UK. ANPs will be part of a collegiate faculty of advanced practice and will then be offered tailored support for revalidation and will be working within nationally defined criteria to inform scope of practice.'
Credentialing is a system of formally recognising an individual nurse’s or midwife’s credentials to practice at a particular level. The RCN will be using the credentials of experience, qualifications and competence to recognise those in advanced practice.
Nurses wishing to apply must be educated at master’s level in a subject relevant to their nursing role, and have an active registration with the NMC. However, the College is currently deciding how to manage a transition phase to recognise other advanced practice qualifications.
A self-assessment toolkit will be available for nurses to complete before they apply to ensure they meet the requirements and competencies.
Following successful credentialing, the ANP will join a register of Credentialed Advanced Practitioners with the RCN. The credentials will be reviewed every three years as part of revalidation.
One of the questions from an attendee was whether this would alter the RCN’s view on providing indemnity for practice nurses as they currently do not and some nurses and GP practices are paying thousands per year for advanced nurse practitioners.
During the session Dr Mary Doolan, from the nursing and midwifery board in the Republic of Ireland spoke about how they have a similar scheme and the conditions that are a part of their credentialing system.
Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said: 'This programme will use the RCN’s expertise and unparalleled knowledge of the profession to help nurses develop their careers and give patients and employers confidence in the continuing development of their nursing staff.'
Those interested can visit the website for more information.