There is a need for the role of advanced nursing practice in primary care. The King’s Fund has highlighted the current pressures within the NHS in relation to patient access and the fact that many services are running at overcapacity.1 The Department of Health (DH)2 encourages advanced skills of nurses to meet the growing demands of services and the NHS Plan3 advocates nurses being at the forefront of primary health care.
Within the author’s primary care practice patients were dissatisfied with the amount of time they waited for a routine GP appointment. The practice was facing increasing demands from patients who required or requested urgent appointments and it needed to be able to provide an efficient and effective service for them.
The introduction of an advanced nurse practitioner (ANP) role aimed to increase access to urgent on-the-day appointments and improve patient satisfaction with waiting times. Patients requesting an urgent appointment on the day would be mainly seen by an advanced nurse practitioner rather than a GP.
Defining advanced practice
There have been many definitions of the ANP role and patients have described confusion over the role.4 There is no statutory regulation under the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which means that anyone can call themselves an advanced practitioner.5