Cardiff nurse first to become emergency medicine ACP in Wales

The college has announced that Ponnie Jayakumar, wo works at the largest emergency unit in Wales has been given its ACP accreditation after successfully making a submission.

“My key piece of advice is to make sure that you allocate enough time to building your portfolio”

Ponnie Jayakumar

The college launched its Emergency Care ACP curriculum in May 2015, with the first nurses gaining accreditation in June 2016.

It aims to provide standardisation for the level and range of competence of practitioners, as higher education institutions do not include specialty specific competences or nationally defined curricula.

Beginning her nursing career in India in 1992, Ms Jayakumar has worked at the emergency unit at the University Hospital of Wales since 2003.

She started as a staff nurse, before becoming a sister in 2008 and qualified as an advanced nurse practitioner in 2013.

With 24 years of emergency medical experience under her belt, Ms Jayakumar began building her ACP portfolio in August 2015, undertaking courses, attending conferences and producing presentations to support her work.

In order to be awarded accreditation, nurses must be able to demonstrate skills covering four pillars of advanced clinical practice in their portfolio submission.

These four pillars are clinical practice, leadership and management, education and development and research and audit.

Ms Jayakumar said: “After working in emergency medicine for 24 years, I was confident I could successfully fulfil the clinical practice pillar.

“In my role I spent 30 hours a week in the clinical setting, with an additional 7.5 hours in supporting professional activity (SPA).

“I utilised this protected SPA time to develop myself clinically, whether it be education, research, leadership, management or working to obtain competency.”

Ms Jayakumar said studying for the credential took a lot of hard work, time and commitment.

She added: “My successful credentialing campaign would not have been possible without the outstanding support of the consultants, SPRs, lead nurses and other ANPs who helped me get through the process.

“My key piece of advice is to make sure that you allocate enough time to building your portfolio, ensuring that you spend dedicated time working on your craft.”

“Her determination and commitment to be the first ACP in Wales, accredited by the RCEM, is fantastic”

Rebecca Aylward

Rebecca Aylward, director of nursing for the medicine clinical board at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said: “We champion our staff developing their skills and expertise and want to nurture and support staff to reach their goals.

“Ponnie is a great advocate for this development and her determination and commitment to be the first ACP in Wales, accredited by the RCEM, is fantastic.

“Ponnie has shown great leadership skills and has developed into a clinician who can improve clinical continuity, provide more patient-focused care, enhance multi-professional teams and help to provide safe, accessible and high-quality care for patients.”

Under the RCEM scheme, ACPs are educated to master’s level and can be from a range of professional backgrounds including nursing, pharmacy, paramedics, occupational therapy, healthcare science and midwifery.

By developing clinical leadership skills, the college’s curriculum allows ACPs to go into senior decision-making roles through a different route.

The RCEM initiative mirrors a similar credentialing scheme for advanced practice launched by the Royal College of Nursing in 2017. It represented the first opportunity for advanced nurse practitioners to be recognised for their practice through a national scheme.

The nursing regulator currently does not set standards for advanced nurse practitioners. Recent research revealed some NHS trusts are giving advanced job titles to unregulated support staff, sparking calls for advanced nurses to be regulated.