Role Description & Competencies: General Practice Nurse


Practice nurses are crucial to the delivery of the primary care agenda and their role has been developed and enhanced over the years. An increasing shift of care from hospitals to general practice provides nurses with a really exciting career choice.

General practice nurses work in GP surgeries as part of the multi-disciplinary healthcare team. In larger practices, nurses might be members of a nursing team, sharing duties and responsibilities. In others, nurses might be working independently and taking on many roles. Many nurses undertake further training to gain additional qualifications, such as Non Medical Prescribing. Nurses will more than 3 years of experience may opt to undertake a Master’s degree in Advanced Clinical Practice, which qualifies them as Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs.) 

What do nurses do in General Practice?

Qualified Practice Nurses are on the NMC register.

Some of the skills that the Practice Nurse will be able to demonstrate safely are:

  • travel health advice and vaccinations
  • child immunisations and advice
  • family planning and women’s health (including cervical smears)
  • men’s health screening
  • sexual health services
  • smoking cessation and health promotion
  • screening and helping patients to manage long term conditions
  • obtaining blood samples and interpreting blood results
  • minor and complex wound management (including leg ulcers)
  • checking pulses, temperatures and blood pressures
  • liaising with other healthcare professionals
  • running vaccination programmes (e.g against flu)

What is the recommended salary for a Practice Nurse?

In general practice, a Nurse’s salary can be negotiated, although there is a suggested range:

  • newly qualified nurse (up to 2 years postgraduate) – Band 5 AFC equivalent
  • practice nurse (depending on experience) – Band 6 AFC equivalent
  • Advanced Nurse Practitioner (on completion of Masters degree in Advanced Clinical Practice) – Band 7 AFC equivalent 

Is there any additional support available for the recruitment of newly qualified/ new to GP nurses into primary care?

The South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw Primary Care Workforce & Training Hub runs a 1 year Primary Care Nurse Training Vocational Training Scheme (VTS) for newly qualified nurses and nurses new to primary care.

It is designed to produce a pipeline of 15-25 nurses per year into the South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw area and it runs from October each year – click here to find out more:

What are Nurses trained to do?

In the UK, only those who have successfully completed a pre-registration programme that allows them to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council are allowed to legally call themselves a registered nurse. Studies are usually spread over a 3 year period, with a 50:50 split between theory and clinical practice. 

Although there are a small number of universities offering specialist General Practice Nursing degree courses, most nurses do not come out of training with the skill set and attributes required of a GPN. They require significant preceptorship and in-practice supervision to develop, which many practices do not have the capacity to offer. Qualified Nurses who wish to train to work in General Practice in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw can take advantage of the Primary Care Nurse Vocational Training Scheme (Nurse VTS) – click here to find out more:

Download the RCGP/RCN General Practice Nurse Competencies here:

Download the RCGP/RCN General Practice Advanced Nurse Practitioner Competencies here:

Click below to find out more about the role: