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Survey to help define advanced roles

Study aims to clear up confusion, provide data for nurses and schools. 

Australian nurses will soon have the opportunity to help answer the question, “What exactly is advanced practice nursing (APN)?”

Starting February 19, clinical nurses and midwives can participate in a 15-minute survey that will examine activities nurses and midwives undertake in different positions, titles and grades across Australia.

Professor Glenn Gardner from Queensland University of Technology’s Faculty of Health, School of Nursing, and professor Christine Duffield, from the University of Technology, Sydney, hope defining APN will clear up current industry and patient confusion.

The survey, which rounds up a seven-year program of study on this topic for the team, has the backing of the ANMF and various other industry organisations.

“We are hoping to survey all clinical nurses and midwives in Australia to be able to examine what they do and then classify the positions that are advanced practice,” Gardner said.

“It’s really describing it as a level of practice, rather than a role.”

The team believes the results will provide national bodies with the information to standardise the names for nursing classifications across all states and territories, as well as the tools to better plan the nursing workforce.

It will also give individual nurses and midwives a tool so they can evaluate their own profile, and be able to demonstrate they are practising at an advanced level.

Universities will also benefit, gaining information for developing courses and to inform current or potential students about educational options for an APN career.

“This [confusion] is not just common to Australia, it is an international problem,” Gardner confirmed. “We hope to provide practical information that has an impact on the way we use nursing in the health discipline in the future.”

Nurses will be able to access the survey on the national and state ANMF websites or by visiting survey.qut.edu.au/f/179050/1289/

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