Advancing nursing practice : the emergence of the role of Advanced Practice Nurse in Saudi Arabia
Background: The roots of advanced practice nursing can be traced back to the 1890s, but the Nurse Practitioner (NP) emerged in Western countries during the 1960s in response to the unmet health care 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, sciencebased knowledge, which is complementary within the multidisciplinary team. Today Advanced Practice Nurses (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 Advanced Practice Nursing. Aims: This article aims to disseminate information from a Saudi Advanced Practice Nurse thought leadership meeting, to chronicle the history of Advanced Practice Nursing within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, while identifying strategies for moving forward. Conclusion: It is important to build an APN model based on Saudi health care culture and patient population needs, while recognizing global historical underpinnings. Ensuring that nursing continues to distinguish itself from other health care 2 professions, while securing a seat at the multidisciplinary health care table will be instrumental in advancing the practice of nursing.
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