Bird, J. and Kirshbaum, Marilyn (2005) Towards a framework of advanced nursing practice for the clinical research nurse in cancer care. Clinical Effectiveness in Nursing, 9 (3-4). pp. 161-171. ISSN 13619004

Background: The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the regulatory body in the UK, is in the process of opening a new part of the register for Advanced Nurse Practitioners. This presents a potential opportunity for clinical research nurses within cancer care.

Objectives: To explore the role of the clinical research nurse in cancer care whilst considering whether the role can be performed at a level that could be considered advanced practice. Consequently, a developmental model to enable the clinical research nurse to work towards an advanced level of practice is explored.

Method: A literature review of the clinical research role in cancer care and analysis of published frameworks of advancing practice in nursing.

Discussion: Advanced practice is not defined by the role but by the level of skill to which it is performed. There is scope within the role of the clinical research nurse to practice at a level beyond initial registration. A framework for development towards advanced practice within the cancer clinical research nurse role is suggested.

Conclusion: Advanced practice within clinical research nursing is possible and provides a further level of career development that may facilitate movement between research and clinical practice. This could aid awareness, recruitment and retention of research staff within cancer care and other specialities.

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