Advanced Practice Nursing in Samoa


APN Role Exists in Country Today:

Nurse Specialist

Nationally Certified:
Uncertain (Nationally Registered)

Recognize Foreign Licensure:

Treatment Authority:

Prescribing Authority:

Practice Autonomously:

Samoa Ministry of Health


The role of Advanced Practice Nurses (APN) in Samoa is identified by the Nurse Specialist role (Joel, 2013).  Registered nurses in Samoa can be cross-trained as midwives as well (Samoan Ministry of Health, 2006a).  At this time, there is insufficient information on the scope of this role, but the response of the advancement of nursing practice in Samoa appears to be related to a shortage of healthcare professionals in the current health system.  To date, the register of healthcare providers in Samoa is available online with more than 200 professionals in their system providing care of the 188,000 people in the country (World Bank, 2012).  Of these, in 2006 there were reported only 14 general practitioners in the country (Samoan Ministry of Health, 2006a).

According to the Samoan Ministry of Health (2006b), a specific shortage in mental health professionals is desired to be met with an increasing number of Mental Health Nursing Specialists by 2018.  Additionally, as the population has been increasing, there is encouragement to increase the number of skilled nurses trained as midwives by 2018 as well (Samoan Ministry of Health, 2006).

Education and Certification

An individual is required to have a year of postgraduate education to become a Nurse Specialist in Samoa (Joel, 2013).  Basic nursing education is provided at the bachelor level at the National University of Samoa.  Of note for education in Samoa is also the Oceania University of Medicine, which has a medical program that greatly encourages nurses to become physicians.  While this school has been under scrutiny due to corruption since 2011 and the future of the school is uncertain, such educational opportunities greatly influence the availability of health care professionals in the country (Hazelman-Siona, 2013).  Registration is necessary to practice in any healthcare role by the Ministry of Health in Samoa.


Nursing Specialists in Samoa work in mental health nursing (Samoan Ministry of Health, 2006b).  Other specializations may well exist, but there is insufficient available information on the specialties practiced in Samoa.

Have information to add to this page?

International Council of Nurses/Advanced Practice Nursing Network (2013).  Contact information sheet: Western Pacific, Fiji.  Retrieved from:

Hazelman-Siona, N. (2013, May 8).  O.U.M.’s future still undecided.  Samoa Observer.  Retrieved from:

Joel, L.A. (2013).  Advanced Nursing: Essentials of Role Development [3rd ed.; Electronic Book]. F.A. Davis.  Retrieved from:

Samoan Ministry of Health (2006a). Health Sector Plan 2008-2018.  Retrieved from:

Samoan Ministry of Health (2006b).  Samoa mental health policy.  Retrieved from:

World Bank (2012).  Population, total.  Retrieved from:


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