Advanced practice nurses or, as they are often known, advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs), are becoming increasingly important within our national healthcare system. With an aging population, increases in long-term health conditions and the long-term effects of Covid-19 on the wider health system putting pressure on many areas of general practice, primary and acute care, ANPs are able to offer a level of care that is invaluable to us all.
Is an advanced nurse practitioner a doctor?
The role of the ANP has been around for some time but has quickly advanced over the last ten years as the scope of practice for nurses has generally increased. An ANP is a very clinically trained, senior registered nurse who is able to perform many of the clinical assessments that a doctor can. This means they can see patients with undifferentiated, unspecialised needs and undiagnosed conditions, just like a GP.
An ANP has the autonomy to clinically assess a multitude of symptoms and make complex diagnoses and prescriptive decisions. They have become a huge help to the NHS as they can take the pressure off GP numbers and support surgeries, hospitals and general practice facilities as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
If you’re looking to take the next step in your career and are considering becoming an advanced nurse practitioner, then we have five great reasons why you should take the plunge and go for it!
5 reasons to consider becoming an ANP
1. You can work in a variety of care settings
ANPs generally work in general practice which means they have the opportunity to work in the community and in healthcare settings. From surgeries, private facilities and even making house calls, an ANP will get to administer care, assess symptoms and prescribe in a wide range of settings that call for clinical problem solving and thinking on your feet. Every day is exciting and presents fresh intellectual challenges.
2. Great CPD opportunities
CPD, or continuous professional development, allows you to constantly learn and improve on your skills and training. All healthcare professionals are committed to continually learning in their roles, it’s the name of the game when you’re dealing with a wide variety of symptoms, conditions and care needs!
Being an ANP means you have a lot of autonomy in your clinical assessment and prescribing which means ample opportunity to learn more about how to administer care most effectively!
3. Adding significant value to the care system
In the wake of Covid-19, the NHS and private healthcare facilities are still working through a backlog of patient appointments. This means GPs are stretched very thin trying to facilitate as many patients as possible. As an ANP you’re able to step in and support GPs in clearing the appointment backlog and improving the service offered by the UK’s healthcare system.
4. Good career progression
The role of the ANP is expanding and evolving still, and many are looking into career progression opportunities that allow them to teach other nurses, standardise ANP practice and provide further training and support to multi-disciplinary teams.
Being an ANP is an opportunity to help build out the role itself, your opinion and actions matter in this role for the future of the position.
5. Helping people when they need it most
By being able to provide additional patient appointments and relieve the pressure on the healthcare system in that sense, you are adding so much value to a person’s experience and care. You significantly reduce any suffering, stress or anxiety that is caused by lengthy waiting times to be seen for an appointment and get people closer to full health that much quicker.
If you’d like to discuss upcoming opportunities in primary care for ANPs, please get in touch! Our friendly team of consultants would be happy to help. Alternatively, if you’re looking for your next role or advice on how to source assignments, Medical Staffing can help you find the best opportunities that suit your career goals.