Advanced Nurse Practitioner


Advanced practice is delivered by experienced nurses. It is a level of practice characterised by a high degree of autonomy and complex decision-making. It is a masters level award that embodies the ability to manage clinical care in partnership with individuals, families, and carers.

These practitioners have high levels of autonomy and advanced knowledge and skills within the four pillars of Advanced Practice (clinical, leadership, education and research.)

They may be responsible for service development and improvement initiatives.

Salary, hours and benefits

Average salary£38,890 – £51,668
Typical hours
Standard hours are usually around 37.5 hours a week.
You could workDepending on your role, you could work day and night shifts, weekends and bank holidays, or office hours.
  • A minimum of 27 days of annual leave per annum,
  • The opportunity to join the NHS Pension Scheme,
  • Access to occupational health services,
  • Professional development opportunities,
  • Opportunities for flexible working.

What you’ll do

As an advanced  practitioner, you will:

  • make professionally autonomous decisions, for which you are accountable,
  • receive patients with undifferentiated and undiagnosed problems,
  • assess healthcare needs, based on highly developed nursing knowledge and skills,
  • refer and treat, including prescribing independently,
  • diagnose,
  • order investigations as required,
  • act upon and interpret results,
  • educate others,
  • have an active role in research.

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults.

Working environment

As an advanced practitioner in learning disabilities and autism, you may be caring for and supporting people in their own home, in the community, in a hospital, or in any health and care setting, working with registered nurses and other health and care professionals as part of a multidisciplinary team.

Characteristics and skills required

As an advanced practitioner you will need enhanced communication and relationship skills, including the ability to:

  • communicate difficult and highly complex sensitive information using a variety of methods,
  • ensure effective communication is maintained between members of the multidisciplinary team,
  • provide empathy and reassurance through understanding the quality of life issues,
  • support the wider team in providing patients with treatment plans,
  • act as a role model and an expert resource for patients and staff throughout the Trust,
  • show strong analytical and judgement skills,
  • demonstrate planning and organisational skills,
  • interpret and analyse data.

Career path and progression

You can progress into an additional role as an approved mental health professional, or AMHP. Approved mental health professionals are mental health professionals who have been approved by a local social services authority to carry out duties under the Mental Health Act. They are responsible for coordinating an assessment of a person who is in distress and deciding whether the person needs an admission into a hospital to keep themselves and/or other people safe.

This role requires an ability to assess complex needs, often in a crisis situation, and an ability to use creative thinking skills to reach a decision that ensures the patient receives care in the least restrictive environment.

Career Framework levelRoleDegree?
5 and 6Registered Nurse – Learning Disability
The registered nurse – learning disability plays a vital role, working with people with learning disabilities across the whole lifespan in both health and social care settings. By working with people and their families, and putting the individual at the centre of everything they do, these nurses lead the way in achieving positive health and social outcomes for people with learning disabilities.
Undergraduate degree
Can be delivered as an apprenticeship programme.
7Advanced Clinical Practitioner
Advanced clinical practice is delivered by experienced nurses and embodies the ability to manage clinical care in partnership with individuals, families, and carers. In the field of learning disability nursing, advanced clinical practitioners might specialise in a particular aspect of health service delivery to people with learning disabilities, such as physical health inequality, behaviour, forensics, or autism.
Master’s degree
8Nurse Consultant
Nurse consultants, also called consultant nurses, are highly experienced nurses who have specialised in a chosen area of practice. All consultant nurse posts are firmly based in clinical and nursing practice and involve nurses working directly with patients, clients, or communities for much of their time.
Master’s degree

How to become a Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Advanced practitioners (APs) are healthcare professionals, educated to master’s level or equivalent, with the skills and knowledge to allow them to expand their scope of practice to better meet the needs of the people they care for.

Many NHS employers work with universities that run advanced practice programmes. Some run online, and some will have a blended approach of both face-to-face and online learning. Many are delivered part time, enabling you to work alongside study.


The masters-level award can be delivered as an apprenticeship. Your employer would support you to undertake this while continuing to work and earn a salary. Most advanced practice apprenticeship programmes will be approximately 36 months in length.

You would need to have significant experience of working as a nurse and be capable of complex decision-making and have the ability to work with high levels of autonomy.

Financial support

If you work in an NHS organisation in London, you are given an uplift in salary, known as London weighting. This is a percentage increase in your salary depending on the location of your employer within the London region.

Current opportunities

Employers may offer advanced practice education and opportunities as part of their workforce development. They may also advertise these posts externally or advertise vacancies for those who have already gained an advanced clinical practice qualification.

Apply for the role either through NHS jobs or through networking with people who are already working in the speciality area you want to work in.

Related careers

Nurse consultant