The applications process for 2020-2021 has now closed. We are currently shortlisting and will be contacting successful applicants to invite them to interview before Friday 17th July 2020. If you have not been contacted after this date then you should assume that your application has been unsuccessful at this time. Interviews will take place in the week commencing 20th July 2020. Thank you for your interest in Primary Care Nursing.

What is the Primary Care Nurse Training Programme? (Nurse VTS)

This is a new Training & Preceptorship Programme delivered by South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw Primary Care Workforce & Training Hub, which builds on the success of the previous GPN Ready Scheme. It is a post qualification GP Nurse Vocational Training Scheme (VTS), aimed at newly qualified nurses and nurses up to 5 years post-qualification who want to have a career in General Practice. 

The pilot of this programme started in September 2019 and we are currently supporting 18 newly qualified nurses across South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw through their first year of working in General Practice. 

The programme aims to employ approximately 20 nurses per year through a lead employer, with primary care-specific clinical nursing and organisational skills plus pastoral and mentoring support delivered by the clinical team at the SY&B Primary Care Workforce & Training Hub. 

The Workforce and Training Hub organises rotations for the nurses in practices across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw (Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster, Bassetlaw & Barnsley) in collaboration with area CCGs.

Why has the Primary Care Nurse Training Programme been developed?

There are increasing numbers of newly qualified nurses considering General Practice Nursing careers, but they 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 nurse expertise or capacity to offer. The SY&B Primary Care Nurse Training Programme develops nurses for the first year of their career (with ongoing support into their second year,) equipping them with the knowledge, skills and attributes required for modern General Practice. 

What is the structure of the Primary Care Nurse Training Programme?

The Programme is divided into four domains:

  • Clinical Competency
  • Landscape of General Practice
  • Communication and Consultation Skills
  • Professional Behaviours and Reflective Practice

Examples of content:

  • Consultation skills- face to face and telephone
  • Phlebotomy
  • Vaccines and Immunisations
  • Motivational interviewing and health promotion
  • Cervical Cytology
  • Wound Care
  • Ear Irrigation and Instrumentation
  • Basic Contraception and Sexual Health
  • Travel Health
  • Quality & Outcome Frameworks
  • Chronic Disease Management (including Asthma, CH/CK & CVD Management, COPD and Diabetes)
  • Health Inequalities
  • Quality Improvement/ Audit
  • Teamwork 
  • Time management
  • Patient-centred Care
  • Mentorship & Supervision.

Listen to Practice Nurse Heather from the 2019-20 cohort talking about the Primary Care Nurse Training Programme here:

Frequently Asked Questions:

How would I be employed and what would my salary be?

Nurses are employed on a 1-year, fixed term training contract (equivalent to AFC Band 5.) There is no variation on this according to current salary banding/ experience. 

Will I be guaranteed a job at the end of the programme?

On completion of the programme, nurses will have the necessary clinical skills and experience to apply for Practice Nurse jobs in General Practice. Although we cannot guarantee a job at the end of the programme, there will be further support from the SY&B Primary Care Workforce and Training Hub to match nurses to practice roles across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw and ongoing support to progress further into specialist disease area management, prescribing and Advanced Clinical Practice.

Is this a full-time programme? What hours will I be expected to work?

The nurse training programme is full time; trainees are expected to work for 37.5 hours per week over a one-year period. Working hours are split between training and time spent on rotation in GP practices. Initially this will be 1-2 days training per week with remaining hours spent on consolidating learning in practice. Training days will become less frequent as the programme progresses, with more emphasis placed on consolidation of learning in practice.

Working hours are usually core business hours (e.g. 9am-5pm) but there may be flexibility within this according to individual rotation practices (e.g. 8am-4pm) which can be negotiated between nurses and practice teams, as long as core hours for the training programme are met. Nurses must have the flexibility to work unsocial hours if required (as specified in the Job Description.)

Where will I work?

Nurses on the Primary Care Training Programme work on 1-2 rotations in a wide variety of locations across South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw. Rotations are organised in practices that can provide mentorship/ preceptor support and practices are assessed for suitability by the SY&B Primary Care Workforce and Training Hub in association with local partner CCGs. The Training Hub will, wherever possible, seek to accommodate nurses within their preferred areas of South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw.

What does the training programme look like? Are there exams and assignments?

Training takes place over a 1-year period and will consist of regular full-day sessions out of practice (update: to comply with social distancing measures, it may be necessary to deliver some training sessions online.)  In addition, nurse trainees have protected time to reflect on their learning and practice, attend peer learning sessions and take part in action learning sets. The majority of the training is delivered by the experienced Primary Care Workforce & Training Hub clinical team and some is  bought in from HEI/ other providers. The majority of training is nurse-led.

Training provided offers front-loaded clinical skills (e.g ear syringing, venepuncture, smear-taking, baby vaccinations,) so that learners can bring practical skills to their work in practice on rotation while they consolidate the other aspects of their learning. Training also consists of regular peer review and action learning sets to encourage reflective practice. Skills are assessed in practice or by an external trainer (e.g. Cytology) – there are currently no formal exams or assignments.

What support can I expect to have on the Training Programme?

Mentoring and support is provided both by the clinical team on rotations and by the Primary Care Workforce & Training Hub clinical team. It is also provided through key CCG & Federation leads in Place areas across SY&B and through peer support from the cohort of trainee GP nurses.

Do I need to have experience in General Practice to apply for this Training Programme?

You need no previous experience of General Practice to apply, but you should be able to demonstrate an interest and an understanding of working in Primary Care. 

I am a new-to-Primary-Care nurse and I have just been employed at a GP surgery in South Yorks & Bassetlaw. Can I apply for a place on the training programme?

The Training Hub also wish to support practices who recruit newly qualified nurses/ nurses new to primary care. If you have very recently been employed by a GP surgery within the SY&B area, you may be eligible for a place on the training programme (for October 2020 start.) You need not go through the application process, as your salary is paid by your practice employer. Your practice will be required to release you for all training days in the 12-month programme (backfill available for training days out of practice.) If you and your practice are interested in this then please contact colette.mcdermott@nhs.net for further information. 

I am a registered nurse working in an acute/ community setting. Can I apply for a place on the training programme?

As pay for the Nurse Training Programme is capped at AFC Band 5 equivalent (with no variation according to current banding/ experience) then it may not be financially viable for nurses with 5+ years of experience to apply. The majority of our applications are therefore from nurses who are newly qualified or less than 5 years post-qualification. However we recognise that some nurses are willing to take a temporary reduction in salary for the opportunity to re-train as a General Practice Nurse, so we welcome applications from all registered nurses who have a passion for working in primary care in SY&B.

I am a 3rd year Nursing student on an extended paid placement as part of the COVID19 response. Can I apply for a place on the training programme?

At the time of writing (early June 2020) we are still awaiting an official announcement on how the extended placement will affect nurse qualification and registration dates. We are working closely with local universities to monitor the situation, but we anticipate that most 3rd year nurses who were originally due to qualify in Sept 2020 will have completed placement hours, qualified and registered in time to start the Primary Care nurse training programme in October 2020. 

How will the COVID19 pandemic impact on the Primary Care Nurse Training programme and Practice nursing in general?

The COVID19 pandemic will undoubtedly have a huge long-term impact on the healthcare needs of the population, particularly around areas such as Long Term Conditions management, vaccinations/ immunisations and Mental Health. The legacy of the pandemic will undoubtedly also impact on the way that care is delivered in General Practice. 

The Nurse Educator team at the Training Hub are currently finalising the content of the Nurse Training Programme for October 2020 start, ensuring that not only will it meet current social distancing regulations, but also that it will contain content which is relevant to current (& predicted future) working practices in Primary Care. We anticipate that training will be delivered via a blended platform of both virtual and face-to-face sessions. 

How can I make my application stand out?

We are always being asked how potential applicants can make their applications stand out and what we are looking for during the selection process. We are looking for nurses with a good understanding of what working in General Practice is all about, so research the role and look for the characteristics that you think a GPN would need…why would you be good in this role? If you have previous experience in Primary Care then mention this in your application, but even if you don’t then look at the experience that you do have and think about how this relates to the Primary Care environment. Make sure that you also know about current issues and developments in Primary Care and what changes are affecting practice nurses. Above all, you need to demonstrate a clear passion for the job; what drives you to want to be a GPN?

Finally- please do proofread your application and make sure that it is grammatically correct; GPNs need to be great communicators and nothing will let your application down more than a poorly constructed personal statement!

What is the timeline for the application process?

The flowchart below has details of the application process for our next cohort:

SY&B Primary Care Nurse Training Programme 2020-21 Cohort Timeline

From Jan 2020- Expressions of interest taken

1st June 2020- Jobs advertised on NHS Jobs/ PCWTH website

26th June 2020- Closing date for applications

June-July 2020- Shortlisting for interviews

W/C 20th July 2020Face to Face interviews (in Place areas) & job offers made/ confirmed

Oct 2020start of 2020-21 Primary Care Nurse Training programme

How can I apply for the Primary Care Nurse Training Programme?

The applications process for 2020-2021 has now closed. We are currently shortlisting and will be contacting successful applicants to invite them to interview before Friday 17th July 2020. If you have not been contacted after this date then you should assume that your application has been unsuccessful at this time. Interviews will take place in the week commencing 20th July 2020

We do still have a limited number of places on the Primary Care Nurse Training Programme (October 2020 start) for General Practice organisations who have recently appointed a newly qualified/ new-to-GP Nurse. If you would like to find out more, please contact Colette McDermott, Nurse Manager of the SY&B Primary Care Workforce & Training Hub at: colette.mcdermott@nhs.net 

If you would like to express an interest in the Primary Care Nurse Training Programme for October 2021 start, please do contact us.