General Practice Nursing has been around since the 1960s in some shape or form. In the early days, nurses were employed to work in treatment rooms and given directions by GPs. They undertook tasks such as dressing wounds, taking observations, obtaining specimens and testing urine, often alongside reception work (Cartwright and Scott 1961).
Fast forward to 2019 and GPNs are doing far more, they are autonomous professionals, able to diagnose, treat and refer where required. We have seen the introduction of Advanced Nurse Practitioner roles along with development of Health Care Assistant (HCA) roles and the introduction of the new role of Nursing Associate.
GPNs have a vital role in driving innovation to meet the changing needs of people in their communities. Investment in support and development of GPNs is central to the provision of high quality care for the population of Doncaster.
And that’s why we have created a new strategy, dedicated to support and develop our primary care nursing family in Doncaster.
The vision set out in the strategy is clear and was pulled together using the words of Doncaster General Practice Nurses (GPNs) and the wider primary care nursing family such as HCAs and Nursing Associates:
- We will develop confident, skilled General Practice Nurses that provide a high quality, integrated and sustainable service.
- We will empower and inspire General Practice Nurses to drive and lead quality and improvements, to build on their existing skill set and achieve their potential.
A series of dedicated aims are also set out:
Raise the profile of GP Nursing and promote General Practice
- Extend leadership and educator roles
- Increase the number of pre-registration placements in General Practice
- Establish induction and preceptorship programmes
- Improve access to return to practice programmes and support nurses who need to return to the NMC register
- Embed and deliver a radical upgrade in prevention and health promotion
- Support access to educational programmes
- Increase access to clinical academic careers and advanced clinical practice programmes, including nurses working in advanced practice roles in general practice
- Develop healthcare support worker (HCSW), apprenticeship and nursing associate career pathways
- Improve retention.
Over the coming months, a dedicated action and delivery plan will be published demonstrating how the strategy will be put into action.
Watch this short video below which captures some of the key highlights of what it is like to be part of the primary care nursing family in Doncaster and how the GPN development strategy will seek to recruit, retain and help us to continue to recognise how vitally important our primary care nursing family is.
International Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020
It is also a key time to launch the new GPN development strategy as 2020 is Florence Nightingale’s bicentennial year, designated by World Health Organisation as the first ever global Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
Nurses and midwives make up the largest numbers of the NHS workforce. They are highly skilled, multi-faceted professionals from a host of backgrounds that represent our diverse communities. 2020 is our time to reflect on these skills, the commitment and expert clinical care they bring, and the impact they make on the lives of so many.
It is also an opportunity to say thank you to the professions; to showcase their diverse talents and expertise; and to promote nursing and midwifery as careers with a great deal to offer.
Further information, stories and resources are available on the NHS England and NHS Improvement website.