Advanced Nurse Practitioners

Joan Kane – Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Louise Cummings – Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Advanced Nurse Practitioners are experienced and highly educated registered nurses who manage the complete clinical care of their patients. ANP’s are educated to Masters Level in Advanced Practice and assessed as competent in practice using expert knowledge and skills. They are clinical leaders with the freedom and authority to act and make their own decisions in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of those in their care and are capable of independent practice in a variety of settings. Advanced Practice is characterised by high-level autonomous decision making, including assessing, diagnosing and treating patients with complex multidimensional problems. They have the authority to refer, admit, and discharge within defined clinical areas.

ANP competences

a) Comprehensive history-taking.

b) Clinical assessment

  • carries out comprehensive clinical examination of patients in their entirety, including physical examination of all systems.

c) Differential diagnosis 

  • applies high-level decision-making and assessment skills to formulate appropriate differential diagnoses based on synthesis of clinical findings; this takes account of managing clinical risk in dealing with undifferentiated client groups across the age spectrum.

d) Investigations 

  • has the freedom and authority to request, where indicated and using judgement and clinical reasoning, appropriate diagnostic tests/investigations based on differential diagnoses
  • interprets and analyses previously ordered results of tests/investigations and works collaboratively with other healthcare professionals when needed
  • acts on the results to confirm diagnosis and thereby optimise treatment and management outcomes.

e) Treatment 

  • formulates an action plan for the treatment of the patient, synthesising clinical information based on the patient’s presentation, history, clinical assessment and findings from relevant investigations, using appropriate evidence-based practice
  • is an independent non-medical prescriber
  • implements non-pharmacological interventions/therapies, dependent on the situation and technical requirements of care.

f) Admission, discharge and referral 

  • has the freedom and authority to admit and discharge from identified clinical areas, dependent on patient need at the time of review: this includes the freedom and authority to refer to all appropriate healthcare professional groups and agencies, working collaboratively with them.