Back to Journals » Journal of Healthcare Leadership » Volume 2

Succession planning for advanced nursing practice; contingency or continuity? The Scottish experience

Authors Currie K

Published 20 April 2010 Volume 2010:2 Pages 17—24


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Kay Currie

Department of Adult Nursing and Health, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Aim: Succession planning involves identifying key posts within an organization and supporting the ongoing development of individuals ready to move into these roles, thus ensuring continuity of the service. This paper presents an analysis of the succession planning process and illustrates the ways in which key principles may by applied in the case of advanced nursing practice.

Background: An array of national policy documents has sought to provide guiding frameworks for effective role development within the National Health Service in Scotland. The growing importance of advanced practice in the contemporary care context might support the assumption that succession planning for these roles would be an integral part of organizational strategy.

Key issues: The introduction of advanced practice roles in Scotland has been fragmented and seems largely contingent upon a variety of financial, managerial, and workforce drivers with limited evidence of organizational planning to support role development. Consideration of the elements of the succession planning process, as described in the literature, may improve the sustainability of future initiatives. A variety of flexible educational solutions are available to support staff development for advanced practice, however, the appropriateness of these must be determined in context.

Conclusions: The formulation of organizational strategies and operational policies for succession planning is needed to maintain the continuity of advanced practice roles. Research to develop and test implementation models for effective succession planning for advanced practice is required.
Keywords: succession planning, advanced practice, nursing management

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]