Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

PLoS One






e0280726 (1-9)



In 2020, the World Health Organization called for the expansion and greater recognition of all nursing roles, including advanced practice nurses (APNs), to better meet patient care needs. As defined by the International Council of Nurses (ICN), the two most common APN roles include nurse practitioners (NPs) and clinical nurse specialists (CNSs). They help ensure care to communities as well as patients and families with acute, chronic or complex conditions. Moreover, APNs support providers to deliver high quality care and improve access to services. Currently, there is much variability in the use of advanced practice nursing roles globally. A clearer understanding of the roles that are in place across the globe, and how they are being used will support greater role harmonization, and inform global priorities for advanced practice nursing education, research, and policy reform.


To identify current gaps in advanced practice nursing research globally.

Materials and methods

This review of systematic reviews will provide a description of the current state of the research, including gaps, on advanced practice nursing globally. We will include reviews that examine APNs, NPs or CNSs using recognized role definitions. We will search the CINAHL, EMBASE, Global Health, HealthStar, PubMed, Medline, Cochrane Library Database of Systematic Reviews and Controlled Trials Register, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, Joanna Briggs Institute, and Web of Science electronic databases for reviews published from January 2011 onwards, with no restrictions on jurisdiction or language. We will search the grey literature and hand search the reference lists of all relevant reviews to identify additional studies. We will extract country, patient, provider, health system, educational, and policy/scope of practice data. We will assess the quality of each included review using the CASP criteria, and summarize their findings. This review of systematic reviews protocol was developed following the PRISMA-P recommendations.

PROSPERO registration number



© 2023 Kilpatrick et al.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Data Availability

Article states: All data is included in the paper and/or Supporting information.

Original Publication Citation

Kilpatrick, K., Savard, I., Audet, L. A., Kra-Friedman, A., Atallah, R., Jabbour, M., Zhou, W., Wheeler, K., Ladd, E., Gray, D. C., Henderson, C., Spies, L. A., McGrath, H., & Rogers, M. (2023). A global perspective of advanced practice nursing research: A review of systematic reviews protocol. PLoS One, 18(1), 1-9, Article e0280726.


0000-0002-0946-3939 (Gray)

Gray-2023-PRISMA-PChecklist.pdf (206 kB)
PRISMA-P 2015 checklist.

Gray-2023-S1Checklist.pdf (156 kB)
Preliminary search strategies (PubMed) for the published literature.

Gray-2023-Appendix2.pdf (132 kB)
Preliminary search strategies for the grey literature.