The role of the clinical nurse specialist/advanced nurse practitioner in rheumatology practice: Past, present and future
Rheumatology is a relatively young field in medicine that developed during the 20th century to become well-recognized specialty. Moreover, it is a specialty which can boast an almost parallel specialist nursing development, with nurses undertaking expanded and advanced practice roles in caring for patients with chronic rheumatic conditions. Evidence of specialist rheumatology nursing practice, albeit scant, is documented as far back as the 1960s. Since the 1980s, the nursing professions in the UK and US have recognized rheumatology as a subspecialty . Despite differences between and within countries, this development continues apace internationally [2-5].