The former Wessex region was the first in England to institute an advanced neonatal nurse practitioner (ANNP) course had completed the course. The role has been developed over several years in the North American health care system, where it has been shown that ANNPs have the ability to perform as competently and efficiently as junior doctors. It is a major development both in neonatal care and nursing. Following a review of the literature on ANNPs, this paper details the distribution of ANNPs in the UK, and reports on a survey undertaken by the authors, which examined the function, clinical grading and source of funding of ANNPs, as well as examining the ANNPs' view of their role and challenges they have encountered.