This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Realising potential in practice nursing

Written by: | Published:

Practice nurses are often 'invisible' Practice nurses are often 'invisible'

I was privileged to attend a nursing awards ceremony recently. I was honoured to be in the company of nurses who were being recognised for the extraordinary work they do.

All of the shortlisted nurses had used innovative approaches to make a difference to their patients’ lives in a variety of settings. They care for patients, families and carers at all stages of their lives. It signified for me the enormous contribution and potential of our nursing workforce in the UK to impact on the health of our citizens.

I was particularly delighted that the overall winner was a nurse from general practice. Nurses working in general practice are often invisible in the work that they do – and yet every person registered with a GP in the UK will have access to the skills of the general practice nurse working in the primary care team.

The QNI’s report on general practice nursing showed the breadth of skills of the nurse and the many positive ways in which they touch people’s lives with their work.

The potential of nurses working in general practice has yet to be fully recognised in a consistent way. My GP colleagues regularly tell me that they would like more highly skilled nurses, not more GPs, in their surgeries.

We can respond to this if we increase the exposure of student nurses to primary care and create the opportunities for the funded development of general practice nurses. The QNI report on good practice in supporting excellent placements for student nurses in primary care, commissioned by Health Education England, is awaiting publication. This will share the barriers and the enablers of student nurse placements in primary care and provide examples of excellent outcomes.

The QNI and QNI Scotland work on general practice nurse voluntary standards for education and practice, will support all universities offering the specialist practice award, with a UK consensus on the role of the specialist practitioner and the expectations of the skills required to lead and manage a team of nurses in primary care. It is expected to be released in 2017.

These standards will add to the QNI/QNIS voluntary standards for district nurse education and practice which have been widely adopted. This work demonstrates and confirms the credibility of the partnership in acting as a recognised authority in setting standards for our profession. In 2017 we will focus on a similar development for community children’s nursing.

Crystal Oldman, chief executive, Queen’s Nursing Institute

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.