Advanced Nursing Practice and Advanced Practice Nursing roles within low and lower-middle-income countries

Andrew Scanlon, Maria Murphy, Janice Smolowitz, Virginia Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Population health initiatives rely on the availability and skills of an appropriate workforce to meet required goals. One global workforce initiative with demonstrated ability to expand health care services and improve access to care is the development of Advanced Nursing Practice and Advanced Practice Nursing roles. Given the sparse published information about these roles in Low and Lower-Middle-Income countries, this study seeks to describe their development and application in these countries. Design: The researchers developed a descriptive cross-sectional multilingual survey for online distribution to nursing experts within the targeted countries. Survey questions addressed demographic information on the population served, Advanced Nursing Practice and Advanced Practice Nursing titles, the time frame and rationale for creating the title, and how the roles relate to the International Council of Nurses' Advanced Practice Nursing guidelines characteristics of education, practice, and regulation. Results: Of the 167 responses received, only 24 participants met the inclusion criteria. This represented five low-income countries and nineteen lower-middle-income countries from four World Bank regions. Seventy-one roles were identified. Roles emerged predominantly over the last 20 years, focusing on care for underserved populations, with an almost even spread across primary and acute care settings. There were differences in education, practice, and regulation amongst the roles. Roles that required a master's education or higher with practice-related characteristics had a broader scope of practice, which is consistent with international guidelines. Conclusion: This paper describes how Advanced Nursing Practice and Advanced Practice Nursing roles from Low and Lower Middle-Income Countries have been implemented to address gaps in service and highlights disparities in education, practice and regulation compared to international guidelines. Maintaining and increasing support from organizations and universities internationally may be required to assist in developing and expanding educational programs for advanced nursing roles in these countries. Clinical Relevance: Understanding how these advanced nursing roles are operationalized in relation to education, practice, and regulation in Low and Lower-Middle-Income countries can provide baseline information that will inform workforce development policies to address healthcare needs in similar jurisdictions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-493
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Advance Nursing Practice
  • Advance Practice Nursing
  • care delivery system
  • health care reform
  • health policy
  • quantitative methodology


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