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Advanced nursing roles: A systematic review


Krista Jokiniemi, Haltijankatu 15, 70840 Kuopio, Finland. Email:


In this systematic literature review, we analyzed and synthesized the literature on one specialized advance practice nursing role in three countries for the purpose of describing and comparing these roles, as well as discussing whether an international consensus of the advance practice nursing definition is possible. A systematic search on CINAHL and PubMed Medline was conducted in 2011 to search the literature on the nurse consultant in the UK, the clinical nurse specialist in the USA, and the clinical nurse consultant in Australia. The studies (n = 42) were analyzed and combined using qualitative content analysis method. The roles of the nurse consultant, clinical nurse specialist, and clinical nurse consultant were similar. The variation in the roles appears to derive from organizational or individual choices, not the country in question. The study process comprised a synthesized representation of one specialized advance practice nursing role. More work is needed to further define the concept of the advance practice nursing, as well as its implementation on other cultures beyond this review. Based on this review, an international consensus regarding the definition of advance practice nursing and its subroles is possible.