Advanced Practice Nursing in Italy


APN Role Exists in Country Today:

Infermiere Specialista
(Nurse Specialist)

Nationally Certified:

Recognize Foreign Licensure:

Treatment Authority:
To Be Determined (TBD)

Prescribing Authority:

Practice Autonomously:

Federazione Nazionale Collegi Infermeri (IPASVI)


The Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) role is currently under development in Italy, and has been so for several years (Barbero, F., Personal Communication, March 2, 2015; Robinson & Griffiths, 2007).  Legislation in 2006 (Legge 43/2006) created national regulation establishing the title of a Nurse Specialist and the educational requirements for this role, but the implementation of the role has yet to be seen (Barbero, F., Personal Communication, March 2, 2015; IPASVI, 2014).  As a result, there is no legal separation between the scope of practice of a registered nurse and nurse Specialist (Barbero, F., Personal Communication, March 2, 2015).  Current legislation has focused on furthering the APN role and hopes to differentiate this role most recently reside on Legge 190/2014, a new law recognizing the role in an APN capacity (Barbero, F., Personal Communication, March 2, 2015; IPASVI, 2014).  While significant legislature has taken place to provide a strong foundation of the role of the Nurse Specialist, the complicated sentiments of resistance to advance the role of the nurse is because of a combination of financial compensation, surplus of physicians, and resistance to relinquish power (OECD, 2012; Rossi, 2015).  As this role has recently progressed, hopefully the near future will help determine to what extent the APN role will exist.

As the current role of the Nurse Specialist is indistinguishable from the role of the regular nurse, it is important to consider the current role of nursing in Italy.  Currently, every nurse is able to “perform any kind of technique and task according to his experience and curricula” (Barbero, F., Personal Communication, March 2, 2015); this excludes prescription and medical diagnosis.  As a result, examples  of this role liberality is that some nurses are able to perform ET intubation, manual defibrillation, and implant PICC lines, all invasive procedures often limited to the scope of practice by physicians in many countries (Barbero, F., Personal Communication, March 2, 2015).

Education and Certification

Currently, the role of a Nurse Specialist requires a masters degree, achieved by completing 60 ECTS (Barbero, F., Personal Communication, March 2, 2015).

The nursing education system further offers master degrees in nursing for educators and individuals in director positions in healthcare (Robinson & Griffiths, 2007).  Additionally, some doctoral degrees are also being pursued, taught and supervised by the medical schools in the country (Robinson & Griffiths, 2007).   There is currently no certification or registration for Advanced Practice Nursing in the country.


Registered nurses can seek additional training in specialization.  The categories offered today are (Barbero, F., Personal Communication, March 2, 2015):

  • Critical Care
  • Family Nursing
  • Mental Health
  • Geriatric Nursing
  • Pediatric Nursing

Have information to add to this page?

IPASVI. (2014). Gennaio 2015: arrivano gli infermieri “specialisti.” Retrieved from:

OECD (2012). Health At a Glance: Europe 2012 (2nd ed.).  OECD Publishing.  doi: 10.1787/9789264183896-en

Robinson, S. & Griffiths, P. (2007).  Nursing education and regulation: International profiles and perspectives [online publication].  Retrieved from:

Rossi, R.C. (2015, January 9).  Competenze di medici e infermieri, l’«errore» della legge di Stabilità.  Retrieved from:

[Updated: Mar 3, 2015]


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