General Practice Nurse (GPN)

Thinking of a career as a General Practice Nurse?….

Nurses are a fundamental part of delivering care in General Practice and with an increasing shift of care from hospitals to General Practice there is potential for nurses to have a wide ranging choice of career pathways within this specialism.

General Practice Nursing (GPN) is a rapidly expanding specialty in nursing. The role reflecting the shift in health care delivery from secondary to primary care over the last two decades. Until recently, however, there has not been a clear career path to help nurses make the transition to general practice. This situation is now changing and increasingly a variety of exciting opportunities are beginning to emerge.

Gpn Flow Chartresized

In order to become a General Practice Nurse (GPN) you need to be a fully qualified nurse and registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). You can become a GPN as soon as you qualify or pick up this pathway at any point in your career. You can enter General Practice Nursing from any other nursing specialism, as experience gained in other areas will always benefit the role you have applied for.

More importantly, there is no longer the unwritten rule of ‘you need two year’s experience in hospital before you can work in General Practice’

Watch the two following videos to gain a greater understanding of the General Practice Nurse role

New to General Practice Fellowships.

The Fellowship Programme is a national commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan to support newly qualified GPs and nurses as they begin their careers in General Practice.

This new type of fellowship provides a two-year programme of support which is available to newly qualified GPs and nurses working in general practice, with a focus on working within and across a Primary Care Network (PCN).

The programme offers a continuation of support, learning and development post registration, encouraging newly qualified GPs to take up substantive roles (salaried or partnership). It is open to all GPs and nurses who have completed their training in the past year (since January 2020) who are working across the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB) region.

For more information please go to the Fellowship Introduction Page.

Or contact us by email

And to apply visit


Graduate Certificate for General Practice Nurses at Bucks New University – Funded places

Currently, Bucks New University offer the course ‘Graduate Certificate in General Practice Nursing’ which offers a Level 6 (60 Credit) work-based module designed for nurses new to general practice nursing. This is also part of the Health Education England General Practice Health Care Professional Preceptorship programme.

It aims to empower General Practice Nurses (GPN) to learn the foundational knowledge and skills needed to develop into a confident and competent General Practice Nurse who is an

accountable member of the General Practice team. This will include a range of relevant clinical skills and knowledge in general practice nursing, health promotion and screening and the management and assessment of long term conditions.

Graduate Certificate General Practice Nursing pt 1 | Buckinghamshire New University (

Health Education England- Thames Valley has funding to support nurses new to General Practice to undertake the Graduate Certificate for General Practice Nurses at Bucks New University.

This programme will be delivered as a blended learning course over 9 months starting each February and September. This means that students will attend face to face teaching and learning at Bucks New University, High Wycombe campus and will also be expected to complete online learning over the 9 months.

The nurse will need to be supported and assessed by suitably qualified and experienced colleagues in practice in developing a portfolio of practice.

HEE Thames Valley will provide funding for the course fees only.

General Practice Nurse courses…

Oxford Brookes University and Bucks New University are just two of the Higher Education Institutes (HEI’s) that offer a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses for nurses. The BOB Training Hubs work with local nursing education providers and HEI’s to ensure that courses match the needs of the GPN’s and the PCN’s population health management programmes focusing on career progression and ultimately better care and outcomes for our patients.

General Practice Nurses also take on the leadership roles of ‘Supervisor and Assessor’ to pre- registered nursing students as they start their careers in nursing. This role is vitally important to ensure that there is always workforce generation to replace nurses who retire or decide to change their career pathway.

Useful links

From the broad range of skills and expertise needed within this role, GPN’s can further develop their own career pathways and become more specialised in the specific areas within the role, perhaps even leading to working at the level of Advanced Practitioner in a chosen area.

Areas could include:

  • Minor Illness/Injury
  • Long term conditions-
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease,
  • Cardio Vascular Disease
  • Women’s Health

Click in to the Advanced Practitioner box for more information.

Queen’s Nursing Institute – Supporting Carers online resources

The QNI has developed several online resources to support community nurses and nursing students who work with carers.

The QNI’s interactive toolkit includes learning resources for:

A free-access Interactivity Tool designed for nursing students is also now available for tutors to use in a classroom setting or for students working individually. The tool uses the QNI’s online learning resources and includes questions, video clips, patient scenarios and case studies.


General Practice Nursing course

Oxford Brookes University and Bucks New University offer a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses for nurses. The OTH is working with local nursing education providers and our GP practices to promote opportunities for nursing students to gain experience in practice nursing and to increase the numbers of nurse mentors in our practices.

The OTH is developing new and innovative roles for nurses locally.

Useful links


Advanced level practice

GPNs who are interested in developing their careers to become Advanced Nurse Practitioners can find out more information below.

Advanced practice is a level of practice, rather than a type or specialty of practice. Advanced practitioners are educated at Masters level in advanced practice and are assessed as competent in practice, using expert knowledge and skills. They have the freedom and authority to act, making autonomous decisions in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients.

The RCN has introduced ANP Credentialing which gives formal recognition to nurses working with advanced level expertise and skills.

From January 2021 the RCN will only credential nurses holding a full Masters level degree in Advanced Practice. From January 2017 until December 2020, nurses working at an Advanced Level can still gain the credential following the transitional pathways which demonstrate expertise and Knowledge. At present Advanced Nurse Practitioners should hold the Non-medical prescribing qualification and be NMC registered.


Return to Practice

Has your NMC registration lapsed as a result of a career break, change in circumstance or you have been unable to meet the renewal requirements for revalidation?

Are you thinking of ‘Returning to Practice’?

The NMC (May 2018) states;

The role of the nurse in the 21st century
Registered nurses play a vital role in providing, leading and
coordinating care that is compassionate, evidence-based, and
person-centred. They are accountable for their own actions and
must be able to work autonomously, or as an equal partner with
a range of other professionals, and in interdisciplinary teams.
In order to respond to the impact and demands of professional
nursing practice, they must be emotionally intelligent and resilient
individuals, who are able to manage their own personal health and
wellbeing, and know when and how to access support

Please follow the NMC link here

If you have been a registered nurse previously and wish to return to the profession then you may need to undertake a Return to Practice programme. The programme is essentially a period of updating your skills and knowledge so that you can become re-registered and return to work in nursing.

The courses will take approximately three months to complete, although some people may take longer depending on clinical placement hours required and the length of time out of practice and length of time previously in practice. The courses will also be flexible to fit around existing commitments, such as childcare. Full funding is available for the course subject to availability and meeting the criteria so please enquire.

To find out more about opportunities to return to practice in Thames Valley follow this link


GatewayC: Free online cancer education for primary care

GatewayC is a free online cancer education platform developed for GPs, practice nurses, GPs in training, health care assistants, physician associates and other primary care professionals across NHS England.

GatewayC aims to improve cancer outcomes by facilitating earlier diagnosis and improving patient experience, through:

  • Improved knowledge of symptoms
  • Increased confidence in when and when not to refer a patient on a suspected cancer pathway
  • Improved quality of suspected cancer referrals
  • Improved communication to support patients at each stage of the pathway

GatewayC has been developed by GPs, specialists and people affected by cancer.

Our courses are supported by Cancer Research UK and endorsed by Macmillan Cancer Support. Courses are accredited by the Royal College of General Practitioners, with CPD available in every module. Primary care staff across NHS England can access the courses for free, thanks to funding from Health Education England.

To find out more please visit here


Mental Health Nurse leadership programme 2020

HEE has joined forces with the Florence Nightingale Foundation to offer a career development leadership opportunity to recognise the contribution of Mental Health Nurses.

This leadership programme is funded by HEE and offers 40 (two cohorts of 20) Mental Health Nurses a bespoke leadership development to become Florence Nightingale Nurses and develop as future leaders of healthcare. Applications will be accepted from Nurses working in the field of Mental Health in the NHS or NHS commissioned services across England.

To find out more and to apply, visit the Florence Nightingale Foundation website. Please note, the application deadline is on Friday 14 August 2020.

RCN ELD Strategy

Are you passionate about education and learning? We’re calling all members to have their say in our new series of webinars. It’s a chance for you to engage in discussions around the RCN Group’s learning, education and development strategy. Watch the animation  and register at the link below.


Covid-19 Resources

General Practice Nurses

Information and support for Nurses working within General Practice during Covid-19

Nurses, Midwives, AHPs

Please see below for access to an e-learning programme designed to help the health and care workforce respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.  There are a wide variety of subjects including ‘support for student nurses in general practice’, ‘support for supervisors’, ‘resources for nurses in primary care’.

Click here for e-learning for health modules