The banding system within the NHS is to allow nurses of a certain level of experience and training to receive a standardised pay based on their band. The banding system has been in place since 2004 and allows nurses to progress through the bands based on structured training and development.
There has been some discussion over the years on where an advanced nurse practitioner should sit within this banding system as an unregulated role. As they have been around since the late 1980s in the UK, it is right that they be properly recognised for their significant contribution to the provision of care. ANPs have become the backbone of general practice and support patients on a daily basis with a wide range of physical and mental conditions both within general practice and within the community.
The advanced nurse practitioners (ANP) route is becoming increasingly popular for career progression among many nurses looking to extend their practice and expand their clinical, diagnostic and leadership skills. They fit into the banding system just like newly-qualified nurses, nursing specialists and chief nurses or matrons. Their banding reflects the level of their experience and the specialist training required to enact their responsibilities and level of care to a high standard.
Responsibilities of an advanced nurse practitioner
ANPs are highly-trained nurses who have typically undertaken a master’s degree in clinical practice and, according to the RCN, must meet the following standards and levels in their career:
Have an active registration with the NMC
Practice within the four pillars
Have a Job Plan that demonstrates advanced nursing practice and has equity with peers working at this level
Be an independent prescriber
Meet NMC revalidation requirements
Demonstrate autonomous evidence
ANPs have arisen out of a shortage of doctors in the UK and are an exceptional example of the success of a multi-disciplinary workforce. ANPs are able to conduct many of the roles and responsibilities of a GP and can:
Undertake clinical assessment of a patient’s symptoms, both the patient’s communicated history and understanding of their symptoms and upon the ANPs own physical assessment
Diagnose a wide range of physical and mental health issues
Prescribe medications and courses of treatment
Autonomously oversee patient appointments
Discharge patients from hospital
Deliver counselling and health education
The autonomy of this role is taking the pressure off the UK healthcare system in the wake of the pandemic, and ANPs have been pivotal in clearing the backlog of patient appointments that built up over the lockdowns. Their level of expertise and insight means they are able to step in and support GPs at the most critical time and will continue to stand as a pillar of care in the community and compassion in all healthcare settings.
Advanced nurse/Nurse practitioner band
ANPs operate withing Band 7 due to their specialist knowledge across a wide range of clinical scenarios, mainly in primary care. As we have already outlined, ANPs have undertaken a wide range of study at a high level and have extensive experience. They usually demonstrate considerable leadership skills too.
As such they are paid within the same band as high intensity therapists, advanced speech and language therapists, communications managers, etc. Notably, an ANP is between a nursing specialist or senior nurse at Band 6, and a modern matron or chief nurse at Band 8.
Looking for your next ANP job?
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