Taking the experience abroad: Advanced Nursing Practice Education from the UK to Germany
On March 4, 2016, the annual conference of the Association of Advanced Practice Educators (AAPE UK) took place in Salford, near Manchester. This organization represents the interests of, advanced practitioners‘ and includes 180 members from more than 40 universities in the UK. In 2015 AAPE removed ‘nursing’ from its name in order to illustrate the interdisciplinary access to an advanced clinical practice (ACP). The title of this year’s conference was „The Impact of Inter-Professional Advanced Practitioners on Service Design and Health and Social Care“.
In six short lectures different professions – from paramedic to audiologist, physiotherapist, radiographer, dietician and nursing – presented their role in an advanced practice setting. The objective of these presentations was to highlight the role and importance of these professionals in the implementation of ACP.
Particularly the variety of these different roles and their professional background emphasized the common aspects of ACP: to see and utilize development opportunities personally, but mainly for patient care delivery; the development of a (new) service focuses on the patient and his needs; ACP is not about to be a substitute for doctors, but rather about diversity in patient care delivery; role development possibly crosses professional boundaries; and crucial for the successful implementation of ACP-roles is adequate education and training, which includes the ability to carry out a physical examination.
The keynote address by Michael Guthrie (Director of Policy and Standards, Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)) with its title “Advanced Practice and professional regulation” presented the role of HCPC as the responsible regulator for various professions. After the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) HCPC is the second largest the regulator in the UK and represents 335,000 registrants e.g. social worker, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, paramedics radiographers. Additionally to general standards for training, conduct, ethics and further training and education, HCPC also develops occupational-specific competencies for the different professions. Guthrie made it clear that there have been no concrete „Fitness-for-Practice“ issues with ACP. Guthrie drew attention to the situation that only some professions under the HCPC’s regulation are legally allowed to independently or supplementary prescribe medications, among which are e.g. physiotherapists. This affects the annotation of such additional qualification on the register. Guthrie does not see further registration of ACP on the government’s agenda. However, he expects better cooperation between the various regulators in the future.
In another keynote address Prof. Mark Radford (Chief Nursing Officer, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Chair of Regional Advanced Practice Programs (RAPG) West-Midlands, Health Education England) reported on the development of ACP in the region of the West-Midlands. The title of his presentation was “The Future’s bright … the future’s Advanced Clinical Practitioners”. Prof. Radford described the development of a joint ACP-curriculum and competency-framework, which builds on the Welsh and Scottish ACP framework. For him, the implementation of ACP within a trust is only successful with managerial support. Equally important, however, is the importance of education and training for ACP. He emphasized that ACP needs to be connected to a master’s degree and it also requires to be coupled to an appropriate salary structure.
Elke Keinath presented a poster on behalf of the Academic Professional Society (Akademische Fachgesellschaft)-International of the German network Advanced Practice Nursing & Advanced Nursing Practice (DNAPN). The theme of the poster was the acquisition of skills within the British education system and the transferal of these skills and competencies to Germany. The poster „Taking the experience abroad: Advanced Nursing Practice Education from the UK to Germany“ (see appendix) was positively received and stimulated an exchange about the different conditions for ACP in the two countries. Another positive result of re-visiting the AAPE UK conference through members of the DNAPN were the strengthening of existing contacts as well as newly made ones. It was a very stimulating conference.
AFG International 2015: Summary of events
The year 2015 panned out to be a very busy year for the subgroup International. Their members were active in helping to prepare the 3rd congress “To be or not to be” of the German network APN & ANP g.e.V.. Therefore it was the first time that the international delegates received a congress booklet written in English. The members of the subgroup translated numerous abstracts in their spare time to make this happen. Furthermore some members of the subgroup produced a video with “expert interviews” which was shown in the main auditorium at the congress. We are also proud to have contributed some articles for the first edition of the APN Magazine.
During the summer of 2015 some members also supported an ANP Master student from the University of Groningen by giving expert interviews via skype.
The AFG is also busy in getting up to date with IT solutions. With the help of family members the communication tool Trello was tested. For 2016 more training and a full implementation is planned. We are hoping to use this tool to make communication within our international group easier as skype meetings are sometimes quite difficult to execute due to the time difference.
Unfortunately our subgroup shrank in 2015 a little bit due to the private circumstances of some members. However we used the 3rd conference to get in touch with delegates from around the world and we are positive that we will expand again in 2016. An idea for an international expert workshop in 2016 was born when talking to some research experts from the Netherlands. This is a perfect fit for us and our on-going motto for 2016:
Meet experts from around the world!!!!!!