• Overcoming the challenges of role transition for trainee advanced clinical practitioners

      Murphy, Kay; Mortimore, Gerri; Royal Derby Hospital; University of Derby (Mark Allen Group, 2020-06-18)
      Advanced clinical practitioners (ACPs) are being recruited in England to improve care continuity and safety, meet complex needs and ease workforce pressures. These roles are open to experienced, registered health professionals from a variety of backgrounds. This significant career change typically involves a transitional training programme. This article explores the challenges presented by this transition and how they can be overcome. Attaining the postgraduate qualification can be daunting for those who have been outside academic education, especially the initial degree module. The generalist ACP role can be confused with that of clinical nurse specialist, and an ambiguous role identity can cause problems for management, expectations and morale. Trainee ACPs gain wide experience from ward rotations, although they can specialise in some areas. Thus, trainees experience de-skilling as they go from being an expert in one role to a novice in another, as well as potentially developing imposter syndrome. Trainees may be anxious about being expected to fulfil the competencies of a qualified ACP, and their trainee status should be evident in their uniform. Those entering advanced practice can face interpersonal hostility and institutional resistance. Any bullying should be addressed directly, and potential misconceptions should be clarified. There is no overarching national regulatory body for ACPs, and relevant guidelines can diverge. While a clinical supervision assesses a trainee's performance, a separate mentor should support their learning and develop their competence and confidence, especially in the first year. Mentorships should be defined and structured. Trainees can be supported by experienced qualified ACPs. Flexible individual induction plans, with information spaced throughout the year, can help overcome these challenges, and these should make the most of the trainee's achievements in their previous role.