I welcome the news that NHS Grampian have announced that applications for a new fast track Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) course, the first in Scotland, will open this week.
The bespoke course, which will be delivered by Robert Gordon University and the newly established Advanced Care Academy, will offer 20 places to nurses, with around half of the posts in the first intake being planned for Dr Gray’s.
This is a positive move by NHS Grampian in bolstering their multidisciplinary workforce across the region, but more importantly at Dr Gray’s hospital, Elgin, where staff shortages in various Departments has been a very real issue. To see that at least half of the first intake of 20 ANP’s will go to Dr Gray’s will make a huge difference.
However, we need to be clear that while Advanced Nurse Practitioners have a vital role to play, they are not a replacement for Doctors and we need to see greater recruitment and training of them as well.
If this drive provides more sustainability to local services I would hope that other health boards look at this initiative.