Practice Nurses are an important part of delivering care in General Practice. An increasing shift of care from hospitals to General Practice provides Practice Nurses with a really exciting career choice. In larger practices, you might be one of several Practice Nurses sharing duties and responsibilities. In others, you might be working on your own, taking on many roles. General Practice Nurses may also have direct supervision of Healthcare Assistants at the practice.
Your day-to-day duties may include setting up and running clinics for conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart problems and skin disorders, offering advice on family planning and contraception, taking blood and urine samples and other specimens and swabs, performing routine procedures like ear syringing, applying and removing dressings and treating wounds and offering specialist information and advice on blood pressure, weight control and stopping smoking. You may also carry out infant injections, vaccinations and travel immunisations and give advice to patients on long-term medical and nursing needs.
You will be responsible for people with a range of needs so being highly organised, flexible and able to prioritise effectively will be vital. You will also be highly observant, able to assess patients and take responsibility for determining the best course of action. As you will be the Nurse responsible for the care delivered in the practice, you’ll need to demonstrate critical thinking and decision making, and be able to manage patients.
You could take the first step of your general practice nurse career without going to university straightaway. You could enter as a healthcare assistant or assistant practitioner, if you have relevant experience and qualifications, and develop your skills through additional education and training before starting your degree.
You must be a qualified and registered adult, child, mental health or learning disability Nurse to work in General Practice. You will also either need to undertake further training and education or be willing to after being appointed. Some employers may ask for knowledge or experience in specific areas e.g. health promotion or working with patients with long-term conditions. Many local education providers offer a wide variety of qualifications.
Welcome to Med Shed.
An interactive resource to help you find your career with us in the local NHS.
There’s a lot to see and lots to explore so come back and visit us regularly…