The statement says: ‘The RCN believes there are compelling grounds for the regulation and standardisation of advanced levels of nursing practice for patient safety and public protection.'
It makes clear that nurses are increasingly working beyond the scope of their initial registration in a number of sections of the NHS workforce.
Advanced roles should be ‘subject to revalidation at the same time as revalidation for professional registration', the document adds.
Steve Jamieson, head of the RCN nursing department, said the document was a draft and feedback would be invited from nurses at the RCN Advanced Nurse Practitioner conference in Buxton, Derbyshire, last week.
Mr Jamieson said the future of regulation of advanced nursing practice would depend on decisions to be made by the NMC and the Commission for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence. He added that changes may not materialise for ‘12 or even 24 months'.
‘This is clearly a piece of work that will take time. There is lots still to do on regulation and revalidation,' he said.
But he said the statement was ‘a real step forward'. ‘We're heading in the right direction.'
RCN Advanced Nurse Practitioner chair Jenny Aston welcomed the statement: ‘I'm pleased we have something from the RCN to say ‘this is where we stand'.'
She welcomed the recognition from the RCN that regulation of advanced practice was ‘a patient safety issue'.