Report aimed at growing ANP workforce published

Date published: 21 November 2023

A new report has been published which aims to maximise the contribution of Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs) across Health and Social Care.

Department of Health Latest News image white text on a departmental blue background
Department of Health Latest News image white text on a departmental blue background

ANPs have undergone additional training to enable them to work autonomously to assess, diagnose, prescribe care and treatment and discharge patients in their care.

ANPs already play a vital role across many areas within the Health and Social Care (HSC) system, but more nurses and other healthcare professionals are needed with advanced level of practice skills to work across all settings.

The report, commissioned by the Department of Health and produced by the Northern Ireland Practice & Education Council for Nursing & Midwifery (NIPEC), presents recommendations aimed at growing that workforce and building a critical mass of nurses working at advanced practice level across the HSC.

Chief Nursing Officer Maria McIlgorm said: “I firmly believe that this report and its recommendations will have a valuable impact in terms of further developing advanced practice here in Northern Ireland, as nurses take on more complex and expert roles. 

“We already have evidence of the high-quality care this brings for those who use our services. This must be our ultimate goal, and I am committed to growing this workforce and embedding advanced nursing practice across a range of clinical settings.”

The report was formally launched at an ANP Workshop at Lisburn Civic Centre today.

Linda Kelly, NIPEC chief executive, said: “People in Northern Ireland deserve to be cared for by a workforce with the right skills, in the right place who deliver a compassionate and person-centred service we can be proud of.

“To support this, the implementation of the recommendations presented in this report will help build a critical mass of Advanced Nurse Practitioners across our HSC system, aimed at addressing population health needs and optimising health outcomes for people, families and communities: now and in the future.”

You can read the report and its recommendations in full online at  doh-nipec-anp.pdf ( 


Notes to editors: 

  1. Advanced nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have completed extra training and academic qualification to be able to clinically assess, diagnose, refer and treat patients who present with undiagnosed or undifferentiated problems. They can assess symptoms and build a picture of a patient’s condition, treat minor health problems, infections, minor injuries and prescribe medication where necessary.
  2. In 2016, NIPEC was commissioned, by the then Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), to produce a framework with the aim of providing clarity regarding the role of the Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP).
  3. In 2022, CNO Maria McIlgorm asked NIPEC to conduct a further programme of work to inform the strategic direction and future needs of Advanced Nursing Practice in Northern Ireland.
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