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Dutch Professional Nurse Practitioner Organisation (V&VN VS)

V&VN VS is the professional organisation of Nurse Practitioners (Verpleegkundig Specialisten) in the Netherlands.  It is part of the Dutch professional nurses organisation V&VN. The aim of V&VN VS is to be spokesperson for Nurse Practitioners, and to further the development of the profession and its place within the Dutch healthcare system.

V&VN VS aims at:

  • the development of professional information for Nurse Practitioners;
  • stimulating professional reflection;
  • the creation, promotion and realisation of quality criteria;
  • being spokesperson for Dutch Nurse Practitioners within professional boards;
  • facilitating professional interaction between Nurse Practitioners through meetings and inspections;
  • (co) organising professional education such as the annual NP convention (www.jaarcongresvenvnvs.nl)

About the Nurse Practitioner in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, the first Nurse Practitioners (Verpleegkundig Specialisten) graduated in 2000. Currently, after a two or three year Master level study at a University of Applied Sciences, graduates receive a Master of Science degree.

The primary aim of Nurse Practitioner education in the Netherlands was to provide quality nurses with the opportunity to develop their skills in patient care, as opposed to changing careers from patient care to management, nurse education and science.

In 2002, the Council for Public Health and Health Care (Raad voor de Volksgezondheid en Zorg) increased this perspective. It saw the Nurse Practitioner role as:

  1. a way of providing more career options for nurses;
  2. a possible solution to physician shortage;
  3. as a way of saving costs.

In 2009, five nurse practitioner specialties were officially recognised by the government: preventive care, acute care, chronic care, intensive care and mental care. The Nurse Practitioner title, that previously had been used in Dutch as well, was changed to Verpleegkundig Specialist, which shows analogy with the term used for medical specialists (Medisch Specialist); verpleegkundige is the Dutch word for nurse.

In 2012, the capacities of the Nurse Practitioner were codified by law through the adoption of a government decree. Through this decree, (registered) Nurse Practitioners are allowed to independently perform medical tasks, such as prescribing prescription-only medication, giving injections and catheterize (and order medical tasks, with the exception of prescribing medication).
It is expected that in future 3,000-5,000 Nurse Practitioners will work in the Dutch healthcare system. Over the last years, the government-controlled number of Master Advanced Nursing Practice students has been allowed to rise each year.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us at: [email protected] for general information or [email protected] to get in touch with our policy advisor.

Read more about the Nurse Practitioner in the Netherlands in our factsheet and in the Nurse Practitioner Professional Competency Framework. The factsheet is available in German too!