Nursing staff across all bands and roles take the lead – but often without recognising it
Why you should read this article:
To understand some of the main challenges for advanced nurse practitioners in relation to leadership
To recognise the differences between leadership and management
To identify some of the qualities that make an effective leader and whether these can be applied to your role specifically or your organisation generally
To explain how advanced nurse practitioners can contribute to optimal leadership within the NHS
There have been several changes to healthcare services in the UK over recent years, with rising NHS costs and increasing demands on healthcare professionals to deliver high-quality care. Simultaneously, public inquiries have identified suboptimal leadership throughout the NHS, which has been linked to a lack of clear leadership across the healthcare professions. In nursing, the role of the advanced nurse practitioner is regarded as a solution to this leadership challenge. This article examines the background to the development of the advanced nurse practitioner role. It also explores the various factors that may affect nurse leadership and the role of the advanced nurse practitioner, including professional identity, gender, nursing’s strategic influence, clinical outcomes, and recruitment and retention. The article concludes that while advanced nurse practitioners can positively influence clinical outcomes and cost efficiency, they must also be adequately prepared to undertake a leadership role.