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Practice nurse framework aims to back standards

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A framework to support general practice nurses in achieving and maintaining competency across all areas of their role, has been launched

The intention of the GP Nurse Competencies, unveiled this month by the General Practice Foundation of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP), the RCN and the Practice Nurse Forum Steering Committee, is to ensure that a standard level of competency is achieved by all general practice nurses working in primary care teams within 18 months of starting employment.

The framework has been designed to provide a detailed picture of the role of the general practice nurse.

It can be used as an initial self-assessment tool to help individuals recognise their level of competence and identify areas for continued professional development (CPD).

It has also been designed as a tool to review and record CPD, recognise the acquisition of skills and knowledge and provide evidence for assessment of clinical practice. This would allow general practice nurses to benchmark their development.

The guidance backs the General Practice Nursing Standards published by the RCGP last year and the document was peer reviewed by general practice nurses from across the UK and the RCN.

Cambridgeshire advanced nurse practitioner and chair of the RCGP General Practice Foundation Nursing Group Jenny Aston, said: 'Many GPs have little understanding of how unprepared nurses are for working in general practice as so few have any exposure to general practice. No one questions the need for standardised and funded GP training; why should nurse training be any less important now nurses carry out so much of the work in surgeries?

'There needs to be a clear strategy to develop and sustain the general practice nursing workforce.'

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