The role and benefits of ward-based ANPs

Williamson, Susan orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9635-4473, Twelvetree, T, Thompson, J and Beaver, Kinta orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-6552-2323 (2013) The role and benefits of ward-based ANPs. Nursing Times, 108 . pp. 2-4. ISSN 0954-7762

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Background: ANPs are able to carry out patient consultations and physical examinations, arrive at a differential diagnosis and prescribe where appropriate. However, there is little research evidence describing what
ANPs actually do to fulfil their role and their impact on nursing practice and patient care.

Aim: To examine the role of ward-based ANPs and their impact on patient care and nursing practice.

Method: Five ANPs employed on acute medical wards caring for patients within different specialties were observed by a researcher over a one-week period. In-depth interviews were also conducted with the ANPs, a sample of 14 ward nurses and five patients, as well as informal interviews with medical and other staff during the observation periods.

Results: The ANPs were seen as linchpins, role models and pioneers, and were found to enhance communication and practice, and help with the patients’ journey.

Conclusion: Ward-based ANPs developed a pivotal role in achieving the nursing and medical practice necessary for providing holistic patient care. Their role can be defined as more than junior doctor substitutes.

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