What is the Primary Care Nurse Training Programme?

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 1-year post qualification GP Nurse Speciality Programme, 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, in collaboration with area CCGs.

Listen to SY&B Primary Care Workforce & Training Hub Chair Ben Jackson talking about the Primary Care Nurse Training Programme here:

Why has the Primary Care Nurse Training Scheme 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 Scheme develops nurses for the first year of their career, 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 Scheme 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
  • Leadership & Management in Primary Care nursing
  • Mentorship & Supervision.


Nurses are employed on a 1-year, fixed term training contract (equivalent to Band 5.) At the end of the Training Programme, they have the necessary clinical skills and experience to be employed as a General Practice nurse anywhere in the system.

Working Hours

Nurse trainees are expected to work for 37.5 hours per week over a one-year period. This will be on a rotational basis in both ‘in hours’ and ‘out of hours’ GP services, to give them experience of all aspects of Primary Care. 


Nurses on the Primary Care Training Programme work on 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. 

Clinical Programme

Training takes place over a 1-year period and will consist of regular full-day sessions out of practice. 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, so that learners can bring practical skills to their work in practice on rotation while they consolidate the other aspects of their learning, plus regular peer review and action learning sets. 


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.

What happens at the end of the 1-year Training Programme?

At the end of the programme, trainee GP nurses have the necessary clinical skills and experience to be employed as a General Practice nurse. 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. 

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. 

Do I need to be a newly-qualified nurse or due to qualify soon to apply for this Training Programme?

The SY&B Primary Care Workforce & Training Hub is ideally looking to recruit mainly newly-qualified nurses to the Primary Care Nurse Training Programme, but a limited number of applications will also be welcomed from nurses in the early years of their careers who have a keen interest in moving into Primary Care. 

What should I do if I want to apply for the Programme?

We are currently taking expressions of interest from nurses for September 2020 start – please contact us and leave your details if you would like to be notified when our posts go live on NHS Jobs. It would be helpful if you could also state the area(s) of SY&B where you would prefer to work (Sheffield/ Rotherham/ Doncaster/ Barnsley or Bassetlaw.)

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:

nurse training programme primary care