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General practice nursing: a specialism in need of a higher profile and more recruits

Concerns have been raised by general practice nurses about a lack of understanding of their expertise, training and independence. How are these issues being addressed?
Image shows a general practice nurse with a patient

Concerns have been raised by general practice nurses about a lack of understanding of their expertise, training and independence. How are these issues being addressed?

  • Practice nurses cite other health professionals’ lack of understanding of their role
  • They are feeling neglected in the public debates about the crisis in primary care
  • Their caseload is becoming more complex, while pay and conditions are uncertain

The results of a survey of general practice nurses (GPNs) published by the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) in 2016 showed a workforce under pressure.

More than one third of the 3,400 respondents were due to retire by 2020 and vacancies were proving hard to fill. Just 43% of GPNs said their nursing team had the right

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