Advanced Practice Nursing in Ireland


APN Role Exists in Country Today:

Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioners (RANPs)

Nationally Certified:

Recognize Foreign Licensure:
Yes (with acceptance of an employment placement offer)

Treatment Authority:

Prescribing Authority:

Practice Autonomously:

An Bord Altranais Nursing Board
Irish Association of Advanced Nurse and Midwife Practitioners


The role of the Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner (RANP) in Ireland encompasses an application of specialty-focused knowledge and skills to improve quality of care.  This role includes (Delamaire & Lafortune, 2010):

  1. assessment, planning, delivery and evaluation of care,
  2. participation in and dissemination of nursing research and audit,
  3. working closely with medical and paramedical colleagues, including making alterations in prescribed clinical options along agreed protocol guidelines,
  4. providing consultancy in education and clinical practice to nursing colleagues and wider interdisciplinary team,
  5. prescribing medication and ionizing radiation (with additional education, training and education) [Prescriptive authority was initially passed through legislation in 2007 (HAI Europe, 2012).]

Further, there are four driving concepts that guide RANPs (Lehwaldt, Perosevic, Kingston, Lodge, & Kearns, 2014)

Autonomy in Clinical Practice
Within a collaboratively agreed scope of practice, RANPs are accountable and responsible for advanced decision making in the management of patient care.  They provide expert clinical diagnosis and treatment according to their agreed scope of practice (Lehwaldt et al., 2014).

Expert Practice
They provide both practical and theoretical expertise on nursing practice and the role of advanced nursing practice.  This is provided through a minimum of a Masters degree education with an area of specialization (Lehwaldt et al., 2014).

Professional and Clinical Leadership
As leaders within their profession, each RANP provides leadership and management skills appropriate to seek out and improve patient care and management in new and innovative ways.  This may be at the local, community, or national level (Lehwaldt et al., 2014).

Including both initiation and implementation, each RANP provides a level of expertise to implement evidence based practice within their workplace.  This also includes expertise in providing methods of monitoring and evaluation (Lehwaldt et al., 2014).

Education and Certification

The advanced nurse practitioner in Ireland requires a minimum of a master level education (Delamaire & Lafontaine, 2010; Sheer & Wong, 2008).  There are current programs to meet this educational need in Ireland today (Storeur & Leonard, 2010).


At this time there are Advanced Nurse Practitioner and Advanced Midwife Practitioner roles.  Currently there are various Advanced Nurse Practitioners working in the following areas (Lehwaldt, Perosevic, Kingston, Lodge, & Kearns, 2014):

  • Acute Adult Care
  • Psychiatric Care
  • Children’s Care
  • Public Health Care
  • Midwifery
  • Intellectual Disability Care

Advanced Nurse Practitioners were also evaluated in the Emergency Department (Thompson & Meskell, 2012).

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An Bord Altranais Nursing Board (n.d.)  Advanced nurse practitioners and advanced midwife practitioners.  Retrieved from:

Delamaire, M. & Lafortune, G. (2010). Nurses in advanced roles: A description and evaluation of experiences in 12 developed countries.  OECD Health Working Papers, 54, OECD Publishing.

HAI Europe (2012). The next chapter in promotion of healthcare professionals: Nurse prescribers [fact sheet]. Retrieved from:

Lehwaldt, D., Perosevic, M., Kingston, M., Lodge, E., & Kearns, G. (2014).  Featured Countries: Ireland.  INP/APN Network Bulletin, 21(2). Retrieved from:

Sheer, B. & Wong, F.K. (2008).  The development of advanced nursing practice globally.  Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 40(3),204-211.

Stordeur, S. & Leonard, C. (2010).  Challenges in physician supply planning: The case of Belgium.  Human Resources for Health, 8(28),1-11.  doi:10.1186/1478-4491-8-28

Thompson, W. & Meskell, P. (2012).  Evaluation of an advanced nurse practitioner (emergency care).  Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 8(3), 200-205.  Retrieved from:

[First Published: 15 August 2013; Updated: 29 June 2014]