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Advancing Nursing Practice: The Emergence of the Role of Advanced Practice Nurse in Saudi Arabia

Hibbert, Denise and Aboshaiqah, Ahmad E and Sienko, Kathy A and Forestell, Debra and Harb, Adel W and Yousuf, Shadia A and Kelley, Patricia W and Brennan, Patricia F and Serrant, Laura and Leary, Alison (2017) Advancing Nursing Practice: The Emergence of the Role of Advanced Practice Nurse in Saudi Arabia. Annals of Saudi Medicine, 37 (1). pp. 72-78. ISSN 0975-4466


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BACKGROUND: The roots of advanced practice nursing (APN) can be traced back to the 1890s, but the nurse practitioner (NP) emerged in Western countries during the 1960s in response to the unmet healthcare needs of populations in rural areas. These early NPs utilized the medical model of care to assess, diagnose and treat. Nursing has since grown as a profession, with its own unique and distinguishable, holistic, science-based knowledge, which is complementary within the multidisciplinary team. Today, APNs demonstrate nursing expertise in clinical practice, education, research and leadership, and are no longer perceived as "physician replacements" or assistants. Saudi Arabia has yet to define, legislate or regulate APN.AIMS: This article aims to disseminate information from a Saudi APN thought leadership meeting, to chron.icle the history of APN within Saudi Arabia, while identifying strategies for moving forward.CONCLUSION: It is important to build an APN model based on Saudi healthcare culture and patient popu.lation needs, while recognizing global historical underpinnings. Ensuring that nursing continues to distinguish itself from other healthcare professions, while securing a seat at the multidisciplinary healthcare table will be instrumental in advancing the practice of nursing.

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