Nursing career pathways

Nurses are an important part of delivering care in general practice. An increasing shift of care from hospitals to general practice provides nurses with a really exciting career choice. This page provides more information on Nursing career pathways, training requirements, competencies and standards in General Practice Nursing.

The General Practice Nursing workforce development plan ‘Recognise, Rethink, Reform’, published by Health Education England, puts forward a range of recommendations to support and develop the workforce for the future and to help nurses make effective career choices.

General Practice – Developing confidence, capability and capacity, published by NHS England, is a ten point action plan that describes the changes required to improve recruitment and retention, and encourage the return of nurses to general practice.

Health Education England’s Education and Career Framework for general practice and district nursing offers more detailed information on the core skills and education needed for a career in General Practice Nursing.

In the Health Education England film below three practice nurses discuss their jobs and what they love about it as a career.

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSCP), Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, working in collaboration with Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale (HMR) Primary Care Academy and Salford Primary Care Academy have launched a new Foundation Health Care Support Worker (HCSW) programme.

If you have staff who would benefit from this upskilling opportunity and would like to register for this programme or if have a question about the programme please email lgmch.hmrpcaworkforcedevelopment@nhs.net.

This programme is part of GM’s Nursing Career pathway and other opportunities include:

  • HCA level 3 Apprenticeship
  • HCA Enhanced upskill programme
  • Trainee Nurse Associate
  • Nurse Associate Foundation
  • GPN Apprenticeship

Eligibility

Permanent staff currently working within a practice or across a Primary Care Network (PCN).

Educational framework

  • 6hr accredited e-learning programme
  • Core clinical skills
  • health screening awareness
  • Chronic Disease specific: Hypertension and Cardiovascular
  • ECG
  • Blood pressure
  • Urine dipstick etc

The content of each module is delivered via a blended mix of online self-directed study and a series of live taught webinar sessions:

  • Support to complete the Care Certificate
  • Phlebotomy training

Each candidate will receive support for 12 months from a Clinical Skills facilitator. Functional Skills Support although not mandated for this programme is also available.

Additional support

Funding is available to support backfill for the individual to complete the e-learning programme and phlebotomy training.

Practice / PCN commitment?

The employer will support the completion of the Care Certificate. It is also the expectation that candidates will be released to complete the training.

Please note that Greater Manchester Workforce Bank provided through Lantum now includes reception staff and so it will be possible to access staff to support backfill at http://info.lantum.com/greatermanchester_pm.

The Health Education England film below showcases 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.

This course aims to enhance the competence and confidence of registered practitioners new to working with a General Practice surgery, as autonomous professionals.

This program of education will be delivered over a 12-month period via blended learning and will consist of a combination of e-learning, classroom based teaching and independent study. Please note it is a requirement of attending the study sessions that all aspects of the course are completed. Assessment is included within the programme of learning.

Download:

This program of learning aims to provide the learner with the knowledge and skills needed to enable progression from novice to advanced beginner in the assessment and management of the following:

  • CVD Risk Assessment
  • Heart Failure
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Adult Asthma
  • CKD
  • Pre-Diabetes
  • COPD
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Tobacco Dependency

This course is free of charge for all those who work in Stockport General Practices. For those outside of Stockport the cost is £620 per person, this includes the e-learning and workbook.

Please note all nurses attending will need to have a mentor within the practice to support them and sign them off as competent. This needs to be a registered nurse up to date and competent in the areas they will be supporting. Mentors are welcome to attend this programme too. For Stockport practices unable to provide mentorship, or requiring support with this please contact the CCG to access the available support via
stoccg.learningdevelopment@nhs.net.

Bookings for this course should be made via the Virtual College LMS
https://stockportccg.virtual-college.co.uk/Default.aspx. If booking as a mentor please
indicate that in the reason for booking when booking your place. External delegates can book via e-mail to stoccg. learningdevelopment@nhs.net. Enquires can be made via stoccg.learningdevelopment@nhs.net or 07393 798115.

The standards framework for nursing and midwifery education apply to all education institutions and their practice learning partners running programmes approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

The standards give approved education institutions and practice learning partners the flexibility to develop creative approaches to education. They also allow institutions to still be accountable for the local delivery and management of approved programmes in line with the Nursing and Midwifery Council standards.

Download Standards framework for nursing and midwifery education.

The Standards for student supervision and assessment set out the Nursing and Midwifery Council expectations for the learning, support and supervision of students in the practice environment. As well as setting out how students are assessed for theory and practice learning.

The standards give approved education institutions and practice learning partners the flexibility to develop creative approaches to education. They also allow institutions to still be accountable for the local delivery and management of approved programmes in line with the Nursing and Midwifery Council standards.

Download Standards for student supervision and assessment.

The Standards for pre-registration nursing programmes set out the entry requirements, length of programme, methods of assessment and the level of award for programmes approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Student nurses must successfully complete an NMC-approved pre-registration programme in order to meet our standards for registered nurses and be able to join our register.

Download Standards for pre-registration nursing programmes.

The Standards of proficiency for registered nurses represent the skills, knowledge and attributes all nurses must demonstrate according to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Download Standards of proficiency for registered nurses.

Nursing associate is a new role within the nursing team, nursing associates work with healthcare support workers and registered nurses to deliver care for patients and the public.

Nursing associates work across all four fields of nursing: adult, children’s, mental health, and learning disability.

Your skills and responsibilities will vary, depending on the care setting you work in. You’ll need to demonstrate the values and behaviours of the NHS constitution and a knowledge of physical health, mental health and illness prevention.

Your duties are likely in include:

  • Undertaking clinical tasks including venepuncture and ECGs
  • Support individuals and their families and carers when faced with unwelcome news and life-changing diagnoses.
  • Performing and recording clinical observations such as blood pressure, temperature, respiration and pulse
  • Discussing and sharing information with registered nurses on a patients’ condition, behaviour, activity and responses
  • Ensuring the privacy, dignity and safety of individuals is maintained at all times
  • Recognising issues relating to safeguarding vulnerable children and adults

Entry requirements

  • GCSEs grade 9 to 4 (A to C) in maths and English, or functional skills level 2 in maths and English as a minimum
  • You also will need to demonstrate your ability to study to level 5 foundation degree level and commit to completing the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship programme
  • Some places are available through direct application to universities. Applicants accepted onto courses this way will need to fund their own training.

Training and development

You will undertake academic learning on day a week and work based learning the rest of the week. You’ll be employed in a specific healthcare setting such as an acute, community or mental health hospital or a GP practice but also gain experience of other healthcare settings.

You will develop an understanding of all elements of the nursing process and of caring for individuals with particular conditions such as dementia, mental ill health and learning disabilities/difficulties.

Where the role can lead

The nursing associate role is employed across health and care services. Qualified nursing associates can also go on to train as a registered nurse by putting their training towards a shortened nursing degree or completing a  degree-level nurse apprenticeship

The regulation of nursing associates

The part of the nursing register for nursing associates open in January 2019, this has allowed the NMC to being accepting people to begin accepting people onto the register to enable them to practice as a nursing associate in England. It also allows the NMC to investigate concerns about a registered nursing associate’s conduct or practice, where this is considered impaired and take action to improve care and keep the public safe if needed.

To do this, the NMC sets the following standards:

Nurse associates are broadly regulated in the same way that nurses are, which includes registration, revalidation and fitness to practice.

Additional information regarding the nurse associate framework can be found here: https://www.nmc.org.uk/globalassets/sitedocuments/standards-of-proficiency/nursing-associates/nursing-associates-proficiency-standards.pdf

The nursing associate apprenticeship standard is available to employers and the apprenticeship levy can be used for training fees.

The infographic below produced by NHS Employers highlights the different routes to becoming a Nursing Associate. Download the Routes to becoming a Nursing infographic.

Routes to becoming a Nursing Associate

The Standards for pre-registration nursing associate programmes set out the specific requirements that apply to all pre-registration nursing associate education programmes approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Download Standards for pre-registration nursing associate programmes.

The Standards of proficiency for registered nursing associates set out the knowledge and skills that a nursing associate needs to meet according to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Download Standards of proficiency for registered nursing associates.

The Return to Practice course for General Practice Nurses is offered at a number of universities and incorporates the existing return to practice course that is required by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for Re-registration and an Introduction to the role of a GP Nurse.

The Health Careers website provides a course finder that you can use to find Return to Practice course for General Practice Nurses in the North West or across the UK as a whole.

The course will be open to all previously registered nurses with relevant experience in all fields of nursing, and previously registered Practice Nurses can apply for this bespoke course too.

The return to practice programme is a combination of classroom and placement-based learning. The hours you spend on placement will vary and be negotiated with you, depending how long you have been off the NMC register.

NHS Health Education England will pay for your course and placement fees. You’ll also be given £500 for childcare, travel and book costs. You’ll also have support from a mentor and practice facilitator from your university.

In the video below Bridget explains her story returning to work as a Practice Nurse.

Find out more about returning to general practice nursing on the Health Careers website.

A nurse, midwife or nursing associate must undertake a minimum number of practice hours to remain on, or rejoin, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register.

The Return to practice standards set out the options available for nurses, midwifes or nursing associates that are unable to meet the practice hours requirements.

Download Return to practice standards.

The Standards for return to practice programmes set out the specific requirements that apply to all return to practice education programmes approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Download Standards for return to practice programmes.

The Standards for prescribing programmes set out the requirements, for prescribing programmes approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Download Standards for prescribing programmes.

Find out more about becoming a prescriber for information on the entry requirements of prescribing programmes under the NMC standards.