News

Barriers to practice nursing identified

Practice nurse

Soon-to-be-published results from an Ipsos Mori poll for NHS England have identified the barriers that stop nursing students going into general practice nursing.

According to Karen Storey, lead nurse at Health Education England for the primary and community care workforce, the imminent results of the survey, mainly of nursing students but also of lecturers and practice nurses, show four perceptions of GP nursing:

  • It is for mature and experienced nurses.
  • There is a lack of clarity around the role, even among tutors and staff.
  • Placements in general practice is rare.
  • It is seen as a risky choice for newly qualified nurses.

The risky choice, she explained, at the Best Practice in Nursing conference, in Birmingham, related to the lack of formal arrangements for preceptorship for newly registered nurses, as well as for pay, training and levels of practical support.

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Soon-to-be-published results from an Ipsos Mori poll for NHS England have identified the barriers that stop nursing students going into general practice nursing.

Practice nurse

According to Karen Storey, lead nurse at Health Education England for the primary and community care workforce, the ‘imminent’ results of the survey, mainly of nursing students but also of lecturers and practice nurses, show four perceptions of GP nursing:

  • It is for mature and experienced nurses.
  • There is a lack of clarity around the role, even among tutors and staff.
  • Placements in general practice is rare.
  • It is seen as a ‘risky choice’ for newly qualified nurses.

The ‘risky choice’, she explained, at the Best Practice in Nursing conference, in Birmingham, related to the lack of formal arrangements for preceptorship for newly registered nurses, as well as for pay, training and levels of practical support.

Ms Story highlighted figures from the Queen’s Nursing Institute showing that one third of GP nurses are expected to retire by 2020 and almost one half by 2026.

‘What we haven’t done is think about succession planning and bringing the new generation into the workforce. That represents a big risk.’

She highlighted the £15 million, spelled out in the General Practice Forward View, for supporting and developing general practice nursing but said general practice needs to be more ‘flexible and adaptable’ to encourage members of Generation Z to work in primary care.

Ms Storey said there was a ‘bit of a delay’ in the publication of the primary care nursing strategy underpinning the use of the £15 million because ‘we want to make it a quality document’ and ‘get it right’ The strategy will be accompanied by a toolkit for GP staff, she said, on encouraging students into general practice, being a mentor, leadership and supporting nurses new to the role.

A member of the audience, a student nurse who did not want to be identified, said: ‘The survey results sound true from my perspective. Another barrier to students is attitudes in acute care. The attitudes of nurses in acute care are enough to put you off going into practice nursing.’

In response, Ms Storey said there needs to be more ‘connectivity’ between secondary and primary care. ‘We’re going to look at creating conversations about each other’s role, to strengthen the nursing family.’­­

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