Training scheme to boost GP nurse numbers

Friday 19th July 2019

A training scheme to find the next generation of general practice nurses in Scotland has taken on 30 new recruits.

The initiative, which has been running for a year, was set up to encourage more nurses into the role at an earlier stage in their career.

The training programme recruits newly qualified nurses to gain skills in areas such as public health, assessing illness and injury, supporting management of long-term conditions and promoting mental health and wellbeing.

Jennifer Nutkins, a recent GP nurse trainee, said she would encourage others into the ‘exciting job’.

She said: “When we qualified, we didn’t realise that we could go straight into practice nursing, so I do think it’s a great way to go and you can build on it.

“There’s so many levels, you can go all the way up to advance nurse practitioner, consultant nurse, so you are always learning.”

Figures show more than half – 55% – of all nurses are aged 50 years old and over.

A further wave of recruitment is underway for the training scheme, to start in September.

Karen Wilson, director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals at NHS Education for Scotland, said: “It’s essential that we offer opportunities for our nursing workforce to develop the skills to help people to manage their own health, provide care closer to home and to reduce the need for hospital admission. 

“We want to demonstrate that primary care is an ideal early career option and is beneficial to patients.”