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The General Practice Nursing, Workforce Development Plan

Improving training in GP practice settings and raising the profile of the role is vital to helping to retain and expand the General Practice Nursing (GPN) workforce.


The General Practice Nursing Workforce Development Plan, also available to download at the bottom of the page, follows on from the development of the District Nursing and General Practice Nursing Service Education and Career Framework and collating examples of good practice across England.

Together with promoting the importance of general practice nursing the report provides details of potential workforce issues and provides appropriate recommendations.  

The document looks at four key areas:

  • Entry into general practice – raising the profile as a first career choice and increasing the availability of training placements for students
  • Establishing the role of the GP Nurse – ensuring appropriate training and support is available for new GPNs  
  • Enhancing the role with professional development and career progression
  • Expanding the healthcare support workforce with standardised training and career paths.

The report is welcomed and HEE acknowledge that there is a collective responsibility to take it forward. It is a positive call to action with clear recommendations to improve the recruitment, retention and return of the general practice nursing workforce.  

"We welcome this report and the challenges it sets us. Now is the time for joined up thinking, support and collaboration from stakeholders to individual practices, to work through the current challenges". 

Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, Director of Nursing & Deputy Director of Education and Quality, Health Education England

Key report recommendations include:

  • raising the profile of general practice nursing, to increase the uptake of the role as a first-destination career;
  • improving training capacity for the general practice nurse workforce by providing access to accredited training to equip them for each level of their role including preceptorship;
  • increasing the number of high quality pre-registration nurse clinical placements in general practice;
  • every nurse considering returning should be offered a specific general practice ‘return to practice’ programme
  • developing GPN educator and leadership roles and develop mentorship programmes to grow the capacity of nurse education in a general practice setting.

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