Will new nursing models herald parity for nurses in primary care?

A new report, published in Primary Health Care, suggests alternatives to improve leadership in primary care – which has been previously labelled as a ‘dead end’ to nursing

The primary care home model could offer nurses the chance to assert ‘charismatic leadership’ roles, a nurse-focused report available in Primary Health Care suggests.

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‘The development of nursing in new models of care’ reports on a special meeting hosted by the National Primary Care Network and National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) to discuss the issues facing nurses working in primary care. It recognises that career progression for nurses in primary care has been poor in the past, making it hard for nurses to change organisational culture and rare for them to become partners.

‘Too frequently decisions are made about nurses without their input’ the report says, but in future nurses could take the lead as fewer GPs are keen to take the role.

Dispelling myths

The report argues that myths need dispelling, with ‘more noise around the joy of primary care and the opportunities it offers.’

It says that primary care had been seen as a ‘dead end’ and lack of pay parity was a barrier to nurses moving over from secondary care.

NAPC President, James Kingsland said the priorities were recognition of nurse leadership and career progression – with a strengthening of the nursing voice in a multidisciplinary service.

He added that there were common issues around career development and training applied across professions and suggested that initiatives around these could be brought together.

Insufficient training was also highlighted as nurses feel pressurised to work beyond their scope of practice, and there is a perceived lack of competency guidelines meaning that detailed national standards are a priority.

Click here to download the report