Complementary therapies as a means of developing the scope of professional nursing practice


  • Alison Cole BN, RGN,

    1. Staff Nurse, Accident & Emergency Department, Tameside Acute NHS Trust, Fountain Street, Ashton Under Lyne, England
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Eamon Shanley RN CPN RNT CPsychol AFBPs S BA(Hons) MSc PhD

    1. Professor of Mental Health Nursing, Edith Cowan University/Graylands Hospital, Perth, Western Australia
    Search for more papers by this author

Eamon Shanley Chair in Mental Health Nursing, School of Nursing, Edith Cowan University, Pearson Street, Churchlands, Perth, Western Australia 6018.


The development of the extended role in nursing has been seen by some as primarily a means for nurses taking on tasks that have traditionally been the work of junior doctors. Others object to this view and ascribe to the ‘new nursing’ perspective of Salvage. She sees the extended role as moving towards increasing autonomy and operating in a professional rather than a bureaucratic occupational model. This view militates against the development of nurses as mini-doctors. This paper discusses the controversy surrounding the development of the extended role, focusing particularly on the use of complementary therapies as a legitimate component of the ‘new nurses’ role.