Use the power of the network

I love networks. They connect you with interesting and talented people who help you achieve the things you want to make happen. Twitter is fabulous for building networks and I love connecting with people worldwide who share my passion for general practice nursing (GPN). 

It never ceases to amaze me that if you just ask people they will help. That’s how we built our programme for the recent Midlands and East regional GPN conference in Luton.


A network brings like-minded people together to form a social movement. In GPN a social movement is happening:  the ‘Twittersphere’ is buzzing with the exciting developments in GPN. Get connected, because support for you is happening now.

Less than a year ago a network of GPN experts formed a working group led by GP Pete Lane to develop the General Practice Nursing Workforce Development Plan. The report Recognise, Reform, Rethink published by Health Education England (HEE) explores the challenges facing the GPN workforce and puts forward recommendations to support and develop the workforce for the future and to help nurses make effective career choices.

Improvement steps

The report offers guidance and steps to improve GPN recruitment and retention, and encourage nurses to return to the profession. It aims to engage stakeholders including those involved in sustainability and transformation plans and HEE training hubs to play a critical role in implementation.

The document covers:

  • Entry into general practice – raising the profile as a first career choice and increasing the availability of training placements for students.
  • Establishing the role of the general practice nurse  – ensuring appropriate training and support is available for new GPNs.
  • Enhancing the role with professional development and career progression.
  • Expanding the healthcare support workforce with standardised training and career paths.

Recommendations are made to key organisations and to nurses to bring about improvements to GPN, and implement the changes needed to overcome workforce challenges. Grasp this opportunity. Small changes can become bigger with the power of a network.

Karen Storey is lead nurse in primary care for Health Education England, West Midlands.