QNI head calls for improved training in general practice for nursing students

Crystal Oldman was speaking at a practice nurse conference in Lincolnshire

The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) chief executive Crystal Oldman has called for improvements in the training of nursing students who are going into general practice. 

Dr Oldman was speaking at the inaugural Lincolnshire Practice Nurse Conference, organised by Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group.

In a speech to practice nurses from across England, Dr Oldman said there needed to be more support for nursing students who are interested in a primary care career when they are on placements in general practice.

She called for better facilities to simulate GP workplaces in universities. 

She said: ‘Often in universities there are great facilities for the training of nurses who go on to work in hospitals – but not for those who go on to work in GP surgeries. We need more.’

During the one-day conference, practice nurses were encouraged to forge better relationships with universities to allow improved training of nursing students before they go into general practice.

A topic of keen interest for about 100 nurses who gathered in Sleaford was the GP Forward View, published by NHS England in April.

It included a pledge of at least £15 million to develop practice nursing, through an increased number of pre-registration nurse placements, improved retention of practice nurses and return-to-work schemes. 

Dr Oldman said ‘it is a time of opportunity for all of us’.

But she added: ‘As a charity we are also asking questions about the £15 million that has been identified for practice nurses in Forward View. 

‘We want to know what this will look like and what we have to do to get it.’

Nurses at the conference heard about the importance of revalidation and went to masterclass sessions on non-medical prescribing, mental health and sepsis. 

Anne Moger, NHS England practice nurse adviser, also spoke at the event.