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Advanced Nursing Practice: Time and Meaning
Susan Jacobs, RCpN, BScN, M.A., PhD candidate Dean, Faculty of Health & Sport Science Eastern Institute of Technology, Hawke’s Bay
Jacobs, S. (2003). Advanced nursing practice: Time and meaning. Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, 19(3), 29-39.
The particular, contemporary meanings ascribed to “advanced nursing practice” in New Zealand have been debated and delineated in the 1990s, culminating in the launch of the Nurse Practitioner™ at a conference sponsored by the Ministry of Health and the Nursing Council of New Zealand in August, 2001. Drawing on archival materials, documents, other texts and voices, this article explores the evolution of connotations and meanings of the word “advanced” as applied to nursing in New Zealand. This exploration of time present, and time past, facilitates a perspective of the future.
Key Words: Advanced nursing practice, meanings over time, nursing history
Connotations of the word “advanced” as applied to nurse, the practice of nursing and the profession of nursing have evolved over time. The particular meanings ascribed to “advanced nursing practice” in New Zealand at the turn of the 21st century were drawn together in the late 1990s. As defined by the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ) in 2001, advanced nursing practice, has a clinical or therapeutic focus. It is the integration of researchbased theory and expert nursing in a clinical practice area, and combines the roles of practitioner, teacher, consultant, and researcher to advance the professional practice of nursing (Canadian Nurses’ Association, 1997). Advanced nursing practice reflects a range of highly Jacobs, S. (2003). Advanced nursing practice: Time and meaning. Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, 19(3), 29-39. developed clinical skills and judgements acquired through a combination of nursing experience and education. Essentially, advanced nursing practice requires the application of advanced nursing knowledge, with practitioners drawing not only from their clinical experience, but also on the experience and research of the profession as a whole (NCNZ, 2001, p. 28). Drawing on the Canadian Nurses’ Association’s definition of advanced nursing practice, this New Zealand statement reflects movements which originated in the United States, and have spread throughout North America, Australia, and the United Kingdom.