Scopes of practice for advanced practice nursing and advanced practice midwifery in Kenya: A gap analysis

Eunice Ndirangu-Mugo (Lead / Corresponding author), Rachel Wangari Kimani, Catherine Onyancha, Benard Daniel Mutwiri, Beatrice May, Isabel Kambo, Edna Tallam, Nicholas Koech, Ann Mukuna, Colette Henderson, Constance Sibongile Shumba

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BACKGROUND: There is increasing global evidence on the impact of advanced nursing and midwifery practitioners, and Kenya's healthcare system has an excellent opportunity to develop scopes of practice and other regulatory frameworks for the integration of these roles.

OBJECTIVE: The primary purpose of this gap analysis was to explore the existing evidence on opportunities and threats toward the integration of the advanced practice nursing (APN) and advanced practice midwifery (APM) roles in Kenya's healthcare system.

METHODS: The study team conducted a structured electronic database search of PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus, EBSCOhost Academic Search Complete, and PsycINFO to retrieve articles and credible websites for reports highlighting the opportunities and threats toward the integration of the APN and APM roles in Kenya's healthcare systems. The retrieved articles were screened for relevance and synthesized for reporting using the traditional literature review approach.

RESULTS: The Kenya Health Policy Framework 2014-2030, growing population needs, and implementation of universal health coverage provide an opportunity to harness and leverage advanced practice roles in nursing and midwifery. There is also momentum to develop advanced practice because of strategic alliances and global evidence showing the contributions and quality of services offered by advanced practice nurses and advanced practice midwives. However, lack of financial support, structural challenges, and lack of national policies, regulations, and legislation continue to obstruct progress.

CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING POLICY: Developing scopes of practice for APN and APM in Kenya will benefit the professions, the country's healthcare delivery system, and the population. Achieving universal health coverage depends on a health workforce trained and practicing at optimal levels in tandem with education and training to deliver quality care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-284
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Nursing Review
Issue number2
Early online date15 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • Advanced practice
  • credentialing
  • nursing
  • nursing education
  • nursing legislation
  • nursing policy
  • nursing regulation
  • nursing roles
  • policy
  • registration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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