Today marks a significant milestone in Nursing as the first cohort of locally trained Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs) successfully complete the programme.
The Department of Health funded the two year MSc programme in the pathways of Primary Care, Emergency Care and Children’s Nursing from the post registration nursing transformation fund.
An ANP manages the complete clinical care of patients using their advanced knowledge and skills. They offer an innovative nursing solution that adds value to patient outcomes and improves population health outcomes.
Speaking at the event at Ulster University’s Jordanstown Campus, Permanent Secretary for the Department for Health, Richard Pengelly said: “I am delighted to be here at this celebration event to mark the completion of the first cohort of Advanced Nurse Practitioners who have been educated and trained in Northern Ireland. My congratulations to all of the ANP students completing the programme.
“This event is strategically significant as it marks a further milestone on our collective journey of transforming how we deliver health and social care services in Northern Ireland.
“As the very first ANPs to be locally trained, this delivers on the strategic commitment outlined in Delivering Together 2026, to create and establish new and innovative roles such as ANPs with the provision of a local training programme.”
The development of ANP roles strengthens the nursing profession, creating clinical career pathways and supporting retention of the workforce. Importantly, the introduction of ANPs builds leadership capacity within the nursing profession, which is so vital in effecting transformational change.
As the first ANPs qualifying in Northern Ireland, this means our nurses are at the forefront of championing innovative change, and this will encourage others to embrace opportunities that maximise the contribution of nursing to improve the health of our population.
Chief Nursing Officer, Professor Charlotte McArdle said: “I want to commend the School of Nursing at Ulster University for their dedication and commitment in developing and delivering the Advanced Nurse Practitioner programme, the success of which is evidenced in the 19 students completing the programme.”
In conclusion Professor McArdle wished all the new ANPs every success as they take up permanent positions and further their careers. She said: “I am immensely proud of all the ANPs as they continue to lead the way in transforming healthcare delivery that makes a positive impact on the health of our population.”
Professor Sonja McIlfatrick, Head of School of Nursing at Ulster University commented: “We are delighted that this first cohort of advanced nurse practitioners in Northern Ireland are completing their educational programme, equipped with the advanced clinical skills and knowledge to offer complete clinical care to patients and their families. The pioneering education provision, based on an advanced nurse practice framework, was developed in partnership with clinicians, practice colleagues and the Department of Health offering a clinical career pathway for nurses in Northern Ireland. This graduating class of advanced nurse practitioners will contribute to transforming healthcare, focused in the areas of emergency care, primary health care and children.”
Notes to editors:
- The Department through the implementation of Delivering Together 2026 and the Workforce Strategy is committed to growing the ANP workforce and embedding advanced nursing practice across a range of clinical settings.
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