Managers’ experience of training the associate practitioner role
Version of Record online: 7 MAY 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Nursing Management
Special Issue: This issue: Patient safety management in the health services Issue editor: Elisabeth Severinsson
Volume 21, Issue 2, pages 242–250, March 2013
How to Cite
THURGATE, C., MACGREGOR, J. and O'KEEFE, H. (2013), Managers’ experience of training the associate practitioner role. Journal of Nursing Management, 21: 242–250. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2012.01357.x
- Issue online: 11 MAR 2013
- Version of Record online: 7 MAY 2012
- Accepted for publication: 9 November 2011
- assistant practitioners;
- clinical role development;
- health-care assistants;
- skill mix
Aim This paper documents findings from a service evaluation of clinical managers’ (n = 5) perceptions of the assistant practitioner (AP) training programme in one National Health Service (NHS) Trust in South East England, UK.
Background The AP has been identified in England as a means for supporting registered nurses and enhancing patient care. The development of the AP role requires managers to consider how the role will be embedded and how they work with education providers.
Methods This service evaluation interviewed five clinical managers who have supported APs in relation to their function for the specialist clinical role.
Results The AP role should be defined by competence, boundaries and the skill mix needed for specific clinical team function. Careful recruitment is vital and mentors need clear outcomes for the AP role. Managers need to be involved in all levels of the programme, from liaison with the Higher Education Institute and Trust decisions on role job descriptions and employment.
Conclusions Recruitment is vital, individuals have to be flexible and responsive to change and should be used in relation to their clinical competence. A competency framework for all health-care workers was the managers’ desire for job descriptions and assessment of practice so that every member of the health-care team was ‘fit for purpose’.
Implications for nursing management Nurse managers need to work with workforce leads when considering introduction of new roles so appropriate skill mix is achieved and the AP role is embedded.