We are proud to announce that our 1-year Primary Care Nurse Training Programme has won the award for Preceptorship of the Year (under 1,500 Nursing staff) in the Nursing Times Workforce Summit Awards.
What is the Primary Care Nurse Training Programme? (Nurse VTS)
The Primary Care Nurse Training & Preceptorship Programme is a 1-year vocational training scheme delivered by South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw Primary Care Workforce & Training Hub. It builds on the success of the previous GPN Ready Scheme. It is a post-qualification GP Nurse preceptorship aimed at newly qualified nurses and new-to-primary-care nurses who want to have a career in General Practice.
The pilot of this programme started in September 2019 and supported 18 newly qualified nurses across South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw through their first year of working in General Practice. The second cohort of 19 nurses started in October 2020. Nurse Manager Emma Thompson was recruited to the SY&B Primary Care Workforce and Training Hub to lead on the programme for October 2021 onwards and we are currently looking to recruit for the 22/23 cohort. Please complete this form to express an interest.
How does the Primary Care Nurse Training Programme work?
Approximately 20 nurses per year are recruited through lead place-based Federation/CCG employers and placed on two 6-month rotations in practices across Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster, Bassetlaw and Barnsley. The preceptorship programme can also be accessed by practices across SY&B who have recently recruited new-to-GP nurses. Primary care-specific clinical nursing and organisational skills plus pastoral and mentoring support is delivered by the clinical team at the SY&B Primary Care Workforce & Training Hub.
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 training 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 focuses on four key 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 remote
- Vaccines and Immunisations
- Motivational interviewing and health promotion
- Basic Life Support
- Cervical Cytology
- Wound Care
- Ear Care
- Basic Contraception and Sexual Health
- Men’s Health
- Travel Health
- Quality & Outcome Frameworks
- Chronic Disease Management (including Asthma, CH/CK & CVD Management, COPD and Diabetes)
- Health Inequalities
- Learning Disabilities
- Mental Health in Primary Care
- Quality Improvement/ Audit
- 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 two 6-month rotations in a wide variety of locations across South Yorkshire. 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. Nurses will be accommodated in their preferred place area.
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.
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.
Who delivers the training?
Primary care-specific clinical nursing and organisational skills plus pastoral and mentoring support is delivered by the clinical team at the SY&B Primary Care Workforce & Training Hub. We have a fantastic team of experienced General Practice nurse educators led by Nurse Manager Emma Thompson and training is almost entirely nurse-led. Some training is bought in from specialist partners (e.g. Rotherham Ear Care, Wakefield NEPSEC.)
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 Federation Nurse 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 Yorkshire & 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 (within the past year) you may be eligible for a place on the training programme. 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 (training grant paid by the Training Hub as a contribution to costs for training days out of practice.) If you and your practice are interested in this then please complete this form.
I am a practice manager who is interested in recruiting a newly qualified nurse. Can they apply for a place on the programme?
We are happy to support practices who wish to employ their own newly qualified/ new-to-primary care nurse and we can offer a place on our training programme at no cost to organisations as long as they meet the following criteria:
- the nurse must be newly qualified/ new-to-primary care and recently employed to post (within the past year)
- the nurse must be able to start the training programme in October 2022***
- the practice must agree to release the nurse for all training sessions on the programme.
***An extra start date may be added according to demand
Please complete this form to express an interest.
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.
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 will ensure that not only will the programme meet any social distancing regulations in place at the time, 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 mainly through face-to-face sessions, but with virtual sessions wherever required by government regulations.
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 May 2022 Cohort Timeline
Please note: In addition to applications from newly qualified nurses, applications are now also welcomed from nurses who are not newly qualified, but will be new to Primary Care. The start date of the Spring VTS programme is now the 16th May 2022
4th – 20th February 2022 – CCG funded posts advertised via NHS beta jobs
20th February 2022 (Midnight) – Closing date for applications
21st February 2022 – Shortlisting for interviews
w/c 28th February 2022 – Interview invitations sent out
w/c 7th March 2022 – Interview week
w/c 14th March 2022 – Job offers made
16th May 2022 – Launch day for Spring VTS programme
SY&B Primary Care Nurse Training Programme October 2022 Cohort Timeline
From Jan 2022 – Expressions of interest taken
Mid June 2022 – Jobs advertised on NHS Jobs/ PCWTH website
2nd July 2022 – Midnight Closing date for applications
July 2022 – Shortlisting for interviews
August 2022 – Face to Face interviews (in Place areas)
Mid August 2022 – Job offers made
End August 2022 – Job offers confirmed
Oct 2022 – Start of 2022-23 Primary Care Nurse Training programme
We also welcome expressions of interest from training practices across SY&B who wish to host a nurse on one of the 6-month rotations. To express an interest please contact us.