Background & Rationale

The practice nurse role has developed rapidly since the early 1990s with an ‘increasing shift of routine care from general practitioners to practice nurses in a wide range of services’ reducing both doctor time and cost (Keleher et al 2009 p22). This has demanded additional training for practice nurses. However, education and training has also not always been easily accessible or appropriate for practice nurses to support them in their role.

Oxenbury (2009) reported that 43% of practice nurses within the South West of England are intending to retire within the next ten years. This is considered to be a national trend. Recruitment of practice nurses has becoming increasingly difficult as their advanced practice role has lacked visibility and clarity until recently. The development of a practice nurse career pathway in some Practices has provided an insight in to their roles and encouraged nursing students to consider practice nursing as a career on qualification.

job skillsPolicy agendas have increasingly moved health service provision from secondary to primary care. DH (2008) denotes that the work within general practice will need to increase its provision of care for people with long term conditions in addition to wellbeing and preventative services. NMC (2008) demand that all registered nurses are professional, accountable and able to justify their decisions through appropriate training and education to provide a high standard of practice and care at all times’.

This Foundation Programme aims to support new practice nurses in their workplace through a variety of learning approaches with or without accreditation to meet the dynamic needs of the practice population.