Advanced Practice Toolkit 

2. Designing an Advanced Practitioner role 

2.3 Recruitment 

TIP: Wherever possible use standardised advanced practice recruitment documents that are mapped to the national guidance. 
TIP: Check that the language in job descriptions, person specifications and adverts does not exclude candidates from non-nursing backgrounds. 
Work in Nottinghamshire found that there continued to be a misperception that Advanced Practice roles were predominantly nursing roles [25], and this perception can be reinforced by the language in job descriptions. In 2021 eighty-seven percent of Advanced Clinical Practitioners in Nottinghamshire were nurses. NHS figures show that there are around twice as many nurses as there are AHPs in the NHS; AHPs may therefore be significantly less likely to become Advanced Practitioners than nurses. We have not done detailed research into why this would be the case, but it is logical to assume that this will reflect the fact that advanced practice has been a concept in nursing since the 1970s, with the first formal courses in the 1990s [10], and that AHPs only developed a clear route into advanced practice after 2017. It is important to make sure that job descriptions do not exclude good candidates. 
Other documents can also discourage AHPs from applying for Advanced Practice roles. In one study [41] 47.9% of Advanced Practice job adverts limited the professional background of applicants in some way. Only 11.2% openly limited applicants to nurses, but many others included narrative that led the reader to believe non-nurses were excluded. This included: 
links to organisational charts referring to “trainee nurse practitioners,” 
specifically listed Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registration or certain nursing qualifications as essential or desirable in the person specification. 
In Nottinghamshire [25] attendees at a focus group felt that nursing language and competencies were still prevalent in recruitment documents and that Advanced Practitioners from nursing backgrounds are often instinctively falling back on their own knowledge and expertise to write these documents, without considering the consequences. Since 2023, there has been a standardised job description and person specification for advanced practice roles throughout the Nottinghamshire ICS. Prior to this, each organisation developed their own, and some may still fall back on their own documents for recruitment if they are not aware of the standardised version. 
The diversity of people’s backgrounds and pathways into becoming an AP can complicate recruitment, necessitating a careful, bespoke and time-consuming approach to “matching” Advanced Practitioners into the right practices [11; 32; 28]. This complexity can also mean that a fully qualified Advanced Practitioner coming into primary care from secondary care may not understand the unique challenges of the general practice environment [11; 32]. 
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