General Practice Nursing
Nurses have an increasingly important part of delivering care in general practice. In recent years there has been an increasing shift of care from secondary care delivery (in a hospital setting) to primary care (within a general practice setting). This shift provides an exciting environment for nurses, with increasing opportunities to develop and highly achieve within their careers.
Why become a general practice nurse?
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. (Health Education England)
There are opportunities to perform direct patient care including:
- electrocardiograms (ECGs)
- Minor and complex wound management including leg ulcers
- Travel health advice and vaccinations
- Child immunisations and advice
- Family planning & women’s health including cervical smears
- Smoking cessation and weight management
- Long term condition management
- Health Assessments
General practice nurses can also have the responsibility to supervise healthcare assistants at their practice. General Practice is also a common placement for student nurses. In addition, general practice nurses have a huge role to showcase to students the advantages of taking a role in primary care. Working in general practices means working with other professionals within a multidisciplinary team including GPs, Musculoskeletal (MSK) specialists, Pharmacists and Paramedic Practitioners.
(Paramedic Practitioners are paramedics who have additional training and skills to deliver wider patient assessments and management. These practitioners work closely with GPs and nurses and are able to diagnose a wide range of conditions and treat many minor injuries and illnesses. They can also refer patients to specialists in the community such as community nurses or social care professionals, and they can also refer patients to hospital specialists.)
There are many routes into General Practice Nursing. If you don’t wish to go to university you may consider working as a healthcare assistant and completing an apprenticeship to become a registered nurse.