Six GP practices in Solihull are taking student nurses for placements for the first time in the region.
Six student nurses in their second year of training at Birmingham City University are undertaking full-time nine-week placements. The move by Solihull CCG aims to encourage students to pursue a career in primary care and the tackle the national shortage of practice nurses.
Sue Nicholls, the CCG's chief nurse, said: 'It's fantastic to welcome the firs group of student nurses into primary care which has a lot to offer them as a profession. Recruiting nurses is now a challenge for both GP practices and hospitals. We need to inspire student nurses to pursue primary care as a career.
The practices taking part are Hampton-in-Arden surgery, Yew Tree Medical Centre, Grove Surgery, St Margaret's Medical Practice, Tanworth Lane Surgery and Craig Croft Medical Centre. The CCG plans to take another bigger group of students and involve more practices in November.
Kirsty Millard, the CCG's practice nurse development lead and practice nurse at Hampton Surgery, said: 'The placement helps the students get wider experience of different types of nursing. We are hoping to generate interest in practice nursing as a career.'
Sarah Yates one of the student nurses, who undertook the placement, said it gave her opportunities for training in areas that were not available in a hospital. 'In the practice you get to know your patients. It is different from working in a hospital because you see the same patients and build up a rapport so it is easier for them to talk about the problems they are having and, as a nurse, that's nice.'