Advanced Practice Nursing in Poland


APN Role Exists in Country Today:

Nurse Specialist
Nurse Midwife

Nationally Certified:

Recognize Foreign Licensure:
RN and Midwife Nursing licensure is recognized from EU

Treatment Authority:
Varies according to specialty

Prescribing Authority:

Practice Autonomously:

Ministerstwo Zdrowia (Poland Ministry of Health)


Development of the Advanced Practice Nurse Role in Poland has been greatly driven by the financial benefit that APNs can provide equal care at a lesser cost than that of physicians (Delamaire & Lafortune, 2010).  According to Strózik (2006), Poland has almost 2 nurses per every doctor in the country, and has about 2.3 physicians per 1000 individuals, not significantly lacking.  However, there is also reportedly slower waits to see physicians and consultants (more experienced and knowledgable physicians) and in the emergency rooms than most of the EU (, 2013).

The expanded roles of nurses in specialty positions perform advanced physiologic and psychologic assessment.  The role of APNs as nurse specialists in Poland are not uniform according to specialty, but are based on the healthcare needs within the country for more urgent care and intensive management.  As a result, such expanses of scope of practice include management of some chronic illnesses (i.e. diabetes and end-stage renal disease), perform triage for patient prioritization, or some emergency procedures (i.e. emergency intubation or tracheotomy) (Delamaire & Lafortune, 2010).  APNs in Poland however do not have prescriptive authority (Delamaire & Lafortune, 2010).

According to Delamaire & Lafortune (2010), the chief barriers to advancing nursing practice in Poland is four fold:

  • Medical association opposition
  • Lack of government funding for new roles
  • Legislation
  • Methods of compensation for physicians

Education and Certification

Nurses are trained regularly at the bachelor level based on a 3 year post high school education.  They can opt for an extended track that allows for midwifery practice, totaling a 5 years of post graduate coursework (Rechel, Dubois, & McKee, 2006).  Coursework is directed and approved by the Poland Ministry of Health and a post graduation licensure exam is required to practice (Nichols, Davis, & Richardson, 2011; Strózik, 2006).


Nurses have opportunities to obtain post bachelor graduate education in midwifery, pediatric, psychiatric, and additional opportunities (Strózik, 2006).  While these specializations offer further education and knowledge application, information is lacking on the extent, if any that the scope of practice may be expanded.

Have information to add to this page?

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. (2013).  Healthcare in Poland.  Retrieved from:

Nichols, B.L., Davis, C.R., & Richardson, D.R. (2011).  Appendix J: International models of nursing.  The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.  Institute of Medicine.  Retrieved from:

Strózik, M. (2006). Chapter 7: Poland. The Health Care Workforce in Europe: Learning from experience.  World Health Organization: Copenhagen, Denmark.  Retrieved from: