Implementation strategy for advanced practice nursing in primary health care in Latin America and the Caribbean.
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SYNOPSIS Advanced practice nursing (APN) is a term used to describe a variety of possible nursing roles operating at an advanced level of practice. Historically, APN roles haves evolved informally, out of the need to improve access to health care services for at-risk and disadvantaged populations and for those living in underserved rural and remote communities. To address health needs, especially ones related to primary health care, nurses acquired additional skills through practice experience, and over time they developed an expanded scope of practice. More recently, APN roles have been developed more formally through the establishment of graduate education programs to meet agreed-upon competencies and standards for practice. The introduction of APN roles is expected to advance primary health care throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, where few such roles exist. The purpose of the paper is to outline an implementation strategy to guide and support the introduction of primary health care APN roles in Latin America and the Caribbean. The strategy includes the adaptation of an existing framework, utilization of recent research evidence, and application of knowledge from experts on APN and primary health care. The strategy consists of nine steps. Each step includes a national perspective that focuses on direct country involvement in health workforce planning and development and on implementation. In addition, each step incorporates an international perspective on encouraging countries that have established APN programs and positions to collaborate in health workforce development with nations without advanced practice nursing.
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