eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
SINCE 1952
Proceeding cover
of the estonian academy of sciences
ISSN 1736-7530 (Electronic)
ISSN 1736-6046 (Print)
Impact Factor (2022): 0.9
Research article
The evolving roles of the Advanced Practice Nurse in postgraduate studies; pp. 220–229

Kristi Rannus, Dickon Weir-Hughes

Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) are key to improving access to timely care at the local level and to ensuring quality, innovation, and developments in healthcare in Europe and worldwide. As we begin the process of implementing APNs in the Estonian healthcare system, it is necessary to understand what roles are attributed to APNs within the nursing profession in order to distinguish them from the roles of other healthcare professionals in the country. Therefore, qualitative longitudinal research was conducted to describe and understand how APN students identify their higher-level roles in their specialities and positions. 183 narrative essays written by the APN students in the second semester of their master’s studies in Health Sciences at Tallinn Health Care College were analysed using inductive content analysis. Eight roles of APNs were revealed as observed by the students themselves: the continuously evolving direct care provider, the experience counsellor, the improving practitioner, the team player, the fighter and the advocate, the developer and the promoter, the leader, and the advancer on the move. From this we can conclude that APN students are already experienced and focused on clinical practice and evidence-based activities as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) while they have acquired and apply all the other core competencies of an Advanced Practise Nurse. The period of the COVID-19 pandemic and developing advanced practice has significantly increased the APN students’ ability to work in and lead teams, and their courage to protect the rights of patients and nurses.


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