This paper discusses the development of advanced nursing practice in China in the context of global development. The scope of nursing is evolving over time, with increasing demands for the management of complex healthcare situations at individual, community and system levels. These demands are aggravated by the specialization of medical practice, with advanced treatment plans and patients requiring care in focused areas. The qualifications and competencies of the initial entrants into nursing practice are not adequate to deal with these demands. Advanced nursing practice (ANP) developed first in response to service demands, and education programs were introduced to prepare nurses for practicing at a higher level. This paper will first review the historical development of ANP in China, followed by a discussion of the differentiation of competence levels in nursing practice and the classification of specializations. It concludes by exploring how education in combination with experience protected by regulation of practice can support nurses to gradually evolve from registered nurse, specialty nurse to advanced practiced nurse.
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