This is an independent report prepared at the National Nursing Research Unit (NNRU), Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, King’s College London.
Considering that future demands on the health service are predicted to increase exponentially, it is crucial that the workforce is supported in order to respond to these successfully. There needs to be investment in continuing professional development that reflects the diverse needs of the nursing workforce and the changing profile of the current and future patient as much as the workforce. This needs to be linked with nurses’ career pathways, enabling them to make the transition from newly registered to advanced practice nurse across different domains appear seamless. If the future is characterised by a move into the community and integrated models of practice, then it is well worth considering scaling and speeding up the pace of production of nurses with advanced practice skills to meet the challenges that lie ahead.