Advanced nurse practitioner register delayed

From “Independent Nurse” June 07

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The NMC’s register for advanced nurse practitioners is likely to be put on hold until 2009, a summer school at London Southbank University was told this month RCN nurse practitioner adviser Katrina Maclaine said a DoH and stakeholder working group on regulation for new and emerging health professions has estimated it will make recommendations in December 2008.

‘It’s unlikely that the NMC will therefore be allowed to go ahead and set up a new sub-part of a register until that working group has established how these new groups will be regulated and revalidated,’ Ms Maclaine told Independent Nurse.

‘It’s just one of those unforeseen things that have arisen out of the Shipman report. It’s frustrating but there’s nothing the NMC can really do, and I know they’ve been pushing very hard to get progress on this.

‘What we’re trying to do is to make sure that this working group looks at existing roles such as nurse practitioners first, and focuses on them as a priority.’ However, the issues around revalidation were complex and would take time to sort out, she said.

‘It’s all connected – how people are revalidated decides how people stay on the register. It’s hard to establish a new register unless we are clear about how people are going to be revalidated, particularly for nurse practitioners where the case for increased regulation and revalidation is stronger because of the higher-risk work that they do.’

She said it was also vital that the work on revalidating and regulating nurse practitioners was fed into Modernising Nursing Careers.
‘We need to make sure the Modernising Nursing Careers vision of advanced practice fits with the NMC’s standards and with the regulation processes,’ she added.