HIV Clinical Nurse Specialist, South Staffordshire & Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust, UK
Advanced nursing practice is a term frequently used in the UK since the early ‘90s – however, its remit continues to be debated and explored . Some definitions, particularly the older ones, do not include prescribing ; while the Royal College of Nursing raises the question of whether it is a level of nursing practice or a defined role . It has also been argued that the autonomy necessary for the advanced practice nurse is epitomised by independent prescribing skills .
This current nurse prescriber role, following Department of Health (DH) amendments , could be viewed as one of the most controversial skills of the advanced nurse practitioner as it crosses over into the traditional medical role . NHIVNA has supported HIV nurses in exploring the evolution of advanced practice, while also posing the question: is nurse prescribing simply a convenience for doctors as their own caseloads and work demands increase … or does it improve the nursing care that we deliver? . Additional skills should enhance care whilst maintaining the ‘essence of nursing’  – an echo of the Francis Report, which identified a startling lack of basic nursing care . Read more…