Advanced Practice Leadership: A Necessity for a Developing Team

At the core of a strong Advanced Practice Provider (APP) team, you’ll nearly always find a strong APP Leader. Do you have what it takes? 

In a recent Melnic Collaborative Conversation, several Advanced Practice leaders, and acting Advanced Practice leaders, discussed their experiences in their roles. Through the exchange of stories and support, one thing became clear: the importance of a strong APP leader when developing a new APP team

In recent years, the presence of Advanced Practice Providers has greatly increased, and with that, a vacuum of leadership has developed. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, in 2007 there were an estimated 120,000 licensed Nurse Practitioners in the United States. In ten years, that number has more than doubled. As of 2017, it had grown to 234,000, and continues to rise1. As Advanced Practice Providers grow in number, so have the number of specialized Advanced Practice Teams. It is clear that in the development of these teams, one thing is absolutely necessary: A strong APP Leader.

Advanced Practice Leadership Defined

New teams of Advanced Practice Providers can experience many problems.  According to the Advanced Practice Leaders in the Melnic Collaborative Conversation, the most common problems they encounter are underrepresentation in leadership, and managing expectations of the APP Role. It is important to have leadership that understands the role of the Advanced Practice Provider so that the individual provider’s skills can be properly utilized.

The participants in the Melnic Collaborative Conversation detailed the responsibilities of an APP Lead in the development of a new team. These included acting as an advisor for hiring new talent, setting up orientation and training, being an ambassador for the APP “brand”, team development, performance reviews, establishing an APP presence, attending meetings, and generally creating a vision for the new team.  These are all necessary duties and make up nearly a full-time job of their own.

One participant noted that this leadership is especially important for larger teams – groups of six or more. With a group of this size, it is easy for disorganization and confusion to take place. Designating a specific team leader not only frees up other Advanced Practice Providers to focus on clinical responsibilities, but it allows for that person to be the single voice for the program. To consolidate all of these tasks into the job of one person promotes unity and eliminates confusion.

The Benefits of Advanced Practice Leadership

Through the delicate and dynamic process of developing a new Advanced Practice Provider team, the benefits of having a single leader are immeasurable. With a strong leader to organize and advocate for them, an APP team has the freedom to focus on patient care, and the ability to be more effective in their work – benefits that cannot be ignored.

The team at Melnic is here to support you and your nursing career development. If you are looking for a new APP Leadership job, please join our network.

  1. More than 234,000 licensed nurse practitioners in the United States. AANP. Published June 6, 2017. Accessed July 16, 201