Becoming an Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Becoming an Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Aug 31, 2021.

Are you a Nurse who wants to become an Advanced Nurse Practitioner?

Advanced Nurse Practitioners are Registered Nurses who have undertaken extra training and further academic qualifications so they can examine, assess, diagnose, treat, prescribe and make referrals for patients.

The ideal way to expand your scope of practice within a chosen area of Nursing, becoming an Advanced Nurse Practitioner is an extension of the Nursing role.

To find out more about how to become an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP), read our blog.

Study requirements

Course content is designed around the needs of experienced nurse, midwife or allied healthcare practitioners looking to further develop practice and/or prepare for clinical practice roles at a senior level. You’ll also be able to It strengthen your existing knowledge, skills and competencies while also preparing for roles that require greater autonomy, responsibility and more complex clinical decision-making.

To study at this advanced level you will need:

  • UK 2:2 Hons degree or above / equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University in a relevant subject from an approved institution of higher education
  • Current /active registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • A current job contract in a clinical or clinically related area (including the support of a clinical mentor who is able to assess your practice competency and support your learning)
  • At least two years relevant post registration clinical experience (three before commencing V300 non-medical prescribing)
  • At least one satisfactory reference (ideally from your current employer including confirmation of the required practice experience and mentor support)

Working requirements

If you aspire to work at an advanced level in Nursing, you need to meet the required standards. This is because, advanced practice is a level of practice, as opposed to being a type of practice.

To work at this advanced level, the following standards must be met:

  • Active registration with the NMC
  • Meet NMC revalidation requirements
  • Educated to Master’s level –  such as MSc Advanced Clinical Practice
  • Practice within the four pillars of:
    • Advanced clinical practice
    • Facilitation of education and learning
    • Evidence research and development
  • Have a Job Plan that reflects this and has equity with peers working at this level
  • Be an independent prescriber on the NMC register
  • Demonstrate evidence of:
    • Having the authority to act independently and autonomously
    • Being able to assess and manage risk in a skilled and innovative way
    • Being consciously competent
    • Being responsible for decisions and actions
    • Being able to address holistic as well as medical needs
    • Having the ability to give overall care through your ability to see the whole person, fusing medical needs with the ability to provide care

It is also important to note that the MSc qualification required is geared towards clinical examination and making a diagnosis based on this, as well as management planning. Advanced Nurse Practitioners don’t specialise in one particular field, rather, they are by definition, a generalist who can work in any clinical setting from A&E, GP surgeries, orthopaedics, to dermatology.

Tips and steps

So, now you know what you need to become an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, how do you start? Here’s a few tips and steps you can take:

  • Before you even being your Advanced Nurse Practitioner training, find an area of nursing you would want to be an ANP in – work as a Nurse in that area to make sure it’s the right area for your focus
  • If you are working in a Trust, keep a lookout for any posts opening up as they can guide you through what you need to do
  • Studying and working can be balanced, as long as you do it right… if you’re working and want to start your MSc Advanced Practice, just do a module at a time
  • Choose modules directly related to the type of Nurse Practitioner you want to be and the area you’ll be working in
  • Look into your funding options as it may be possible to get funding from your employer
  • Try to gain experience in different settings: recognising and managing a wide range of conditions across specialities and managing different patients will give you the kind of knowledge that can only be gained when you do this
  • Bear in mind that ANPs are most likely to be senior, more experienced Nurses, often at Band 7 or 8, which means that, it’s important to make sure you’re at the right stage, and level of experience, in your Nursing career before you move onto a higher step

We hope our blog helped answer any questions you had on becoming an Advanced Nurse Practitioner and remember, we’re just a phone call away if you need support or guidance finding your next Nursing opportunity in Primary Care.