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General Practice Nursing

Improving training in GP practice settings and raising the profile of the role is vital to helping to retain and expand the General Practice Nursing workforce.


The general practice nursing workforce must be at the forefront of leading change by delivering better health outcomes in primary care, and by making primary care ‘the place to be’ for ambitious nurses who deliver world class care and support our population to live well. In our mandate, we were asked to help recruit 5,000 additional multi-professional staff in primary care.

The General Practice Nursing Workforce Development Plan, Recognise, Rethink, Reform promoted the importance of general practice nursing, as well as providing details of potential workforce issues and provides appropriate recommendations.   The report set out clear recommendations to improve the recruitment, retention and return of the general practice nursing workforce. Key report recommendations include:

  • raising the profile of general practice nursing, to increase the uptake of the role as a first-destination career;
  • improving training capacity for the general practice nurse workforce by providing access to accredited training to equip them for each level of their role including preceptorship;
  • increasing the number of high quality pre-registration nurse clinical placements in general practice;
  • every nurse considering returning should be offered a specific general practice ‘return to practice’ programme
  • developing GPN educator and leadership roles and develop mentorship programmes to grow the capacity of nurse education in a general practice setting.

HEE acknowledged that there is a collective responsibility to take the recommendations forward, and since this time we have been working with NHS England on General Practice – Developing confidence, capability and capacity: a ten point action plan for General Practice Nursing. The report describes the changes required to improve recruitment and retention, and encourage the return of nurses to general practice.

To support efforts to recruit more general practice nurses, we have produced a short film, available above, showcasing a day in the life of a general practice nurse, including the array of activities and procedures their day may include. The film is especially targeted at pre-registration student nurses and those who might wish to transition into general practice from other areas. If you’d like to find out more about the career on the Health Careers website.

If you’re a newly qualified nurse, or a nurse who hasn’t practiced recently and would like to return, there is an option to suit all nurses wanting to become a general practice nurse. Contact your local office for more information.

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