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HEE launches new career framework to boost primary care nursing

26 May 2022

Career progression for nurses in general practice is the focus of a revised General Practice Nursing Education and Career Framework which aims to support their changing role in primary care.

The framework was developed by Health Education England (HEE) and Skills for Health and was commissioned by NHS England and Improvement. The work was commissioned as part of the GPN Ten Point Plan to develop confidence, capability and capacity for general practice nurses.

The role of general practice nurses has evolved to meet changes in both service demand and clinical care. The career and core capability framework will help to promote and support nurses, employers, and workforce planners to understand the knowledge, skills and attributes that the nursing profession can provide in primary care, which meet the needs of the population.

The Career Framework identifies six career levels within primary care and will support the sustainability and growth of the workforce and provide a clear career structure for staff.

The Core Capabilities Framework sets out the skills, knowledge and behaviours that the Nursing workforce in primary care and general practice will need to apply in order to deliver high quality, personalised, compassionate care.

Professor Mark Radford, Chief Nurse at HEE, said: “Primary care and general practice are always evolving to meet the increasing and more complex needs of local populations. This requires new ways of working and developing primary care teams, so they are supported in their jobs and have opportunities for progression their careers.

“The framework and competencies have been updated to strengthen this essential area of the health and care workforce by building on the existing base of skills and knowledge so primary care nurses are able to practice safely and effectively.”

Hilary Garrett, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for England, said: “This updated framework will help support our general practice nurses, trainee nurse and nurse associates, and health care support workers to enhance their knowledge, skills and capabilities to deliver on the NHS Long Term Plan ambitions and to meet the health needs of the people in the communities they work in. 

“The new framework creates opportunities for the general practice team to invest and grow their own nursing workforce. It aims to support staff in their career progression and help boost the retention of nursing staff in primary care.”

View the Framework and Core Capabilities