Advanced Practice Nursing in Switzerland


APN Role Exists in Country Today:

Advanced Practice Nurse
Nurse Anesthetist

Nationally Certified:

Recognize Foreign Licensure:

Treatment Authority:

Prescribing Authority:

Practice Autonomously:

University of Basel


The role of the Advanced Practice Nurse in Switzerland has been developing since 2000 with the first advanced practice nursing program.  While there is no current scope of practice that is identified in the country, Switzerland has been developing the role of APNs that most closely resemble Clinical Nurse Specialists (Sprig, Schwendimann, Spichiger, Cignacco, & De Geest, 2009).  Often individuals who are prepared at the APN level will function not at the clinical level, but rather in leadership, quality, and process improvement levels (Sprig et al., 2009).  Additionally, APNs in Switzerland have been working with more advanced assessment and specialized patient care as well, but is more done so on an organizational-based program (Imhof, Naef, Wallhagen, Schwartz, & Mahrer-Imhof, 2012).  Because the development of APNs in Switzerland has been more driven on creating new healthcare models and improved outcomes rather than a physician shortage, there is little regulation at this time that defines a clear scope of practice (De Geest et al., 2008).

The Nurse Anesthetist role is also in existence in Switzerland (International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists [IFNA], n.d.).  Reportedly there are approximately 1900 Nurse Anesthetists in Switzerland today, more than that of anesthesiologists in the country (INFA, n.d.).  Regulations vary according to region, but in general Nurse Anesthetists administer general anesthesia under the supervision of an anesthesiologist (INFA, n.d.).

Education and Certification

Education for the APN in Switzerland is provided at the masters level after an individual achieves a bachelor degree in nursing (Sprig et al., 2009).  The programs for APNs in Switzerland require an individual to have English proficiency, 2 years of clinical professional experience in nursing, and have a degree in nursing (Sprig et al., 2009).  Additionally, individuals in nursing have also graduated at the doctorate level (PhD) in nursing (Sprig et al., 2009).

Education for a Nurse Anesthetist in Switzerland requires a nurse after obtaining a four-year nursing diploma an additional 400 hours of classroom education and approximately 200 hours of clinical time (INFA, n.d.).


While there are various specializations that APNs may function within Switzerland, those observed in the literature were of HIV/AIDS, gerontology, and general practice (primary health care) (Imhof et al., 2012; Sprig et al., 2004).

Have information to add to this page?

De Geest, S., Moons, P., Callens, B., Gut., C., Lindpainter, L., & Sprig, R. (2008).  Introducting advanced practice nurses/nurse practitioners in health care systems: A framework for reflection and analysis.  Swiss Med Weekly, 138(43-44),621-628.

Imhof, L., Naef, R., Wallhagen, M.I., Schartz, J., & Mahrer-Imhof, R. (2012).  Effects of an advanced practice nurse in-home health consultation program for community-dwelling persons aged 80 and older.  Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 60(12),2223-2231.  doi: 10.1111/jgs.12026

International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists [IFNA] (n.d.). Switzerland Country Page.  Retrieved from:

Sprig, R., Nicca, D., Voggensperger, J., Unger, M., Werder, V. & Niepmann, S. (2004).  The advanced nursing practice team as a model for HIV/AIDS caregiving in Switzerland.  Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.  15(3),47-55.  doi:10.1177/1055329003261960

Sprig, R., Schwendimann, R., Spichiger, E., Cignacco, E., & De Geest, S. (2009).  The leadership role of the Institute of nursing Science, University of Basel in launching advanced practice nursing in the German speaking European countrires.  Universitat Basel.  Retrieved from:


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