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The 'value of practice nurses' needs to be spread

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Heather Henry at the launch of the network Heather Henry at the launch of the network

Collaboration and speaking up about the value of practice nursing was the key theme of a networking event held by the NHS Alliance general practice nurse network.

The main aim of the event was to create networking opportunites for practice nurses in the Manchester area and to create links with GPs, practice managers and other primary healthcare professionals.

Heather Henry, the co-vice chair of the NHS Alliance and one of the founders of the network, said: 'People need to understand the value of the practice nurse. It's becoming urgent now as more nurses are nearing retirement and there aren't enough new student nurses coming in to fill the vacancies. We've heard about national plans for physician associates and community pharmacists but have yet to hear about anything for practice nurses.'

The event was attended by around 50 practice nurses, GPs, practice managers and patients. The nurses also had the opportunity to contribute to a video about the role of practice nurses and what they love about the profession.

Ivan Benett, the clinical director of Central Manchester CCG and a GP, said that practice nurses need to be nurtured to become a speciliast workforce. 'As a GP I would like to see a skilled workforce. Nurses need to have the confidence to take leadership roles. They are a more powerful workforce than they think they are.'

The event began with a number of speakers including a patient, a GP and other nurses. The variety of speakers reflected that nurses should network with all professionals in primary care to encourage more students into practice nursing.

'It has been a great opportunity to get practice nurse voices heard. Practice nursing is a great first career destination and we need to spread that word among student nurses,' said Anne Moger, the primary care nurse advisor for NHS England.

Ms Henry said that she would be keen to host other networking events across the country with the support of CCGs and other practice nurses.

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

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Would be great to spread the word down here in Sussex. Retiring in December and very sad that we have had NO applicants for my job! So many posts to fill in Surrey, Sussex and Kent! Practice Nursing is a great career. Please NHS Alliance run a day down here?
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I totally agree. I have been a practice nurse for 17 yrs. they first need to include practice nursing to the degree curriculum. It's a totally under rated arm of the profession. You can expand your role to whatever you wish with forward thinking and supportive GPs.
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I love practice nursing. I have specialized in diabetes and tissue viability. I didn't have a family life for 2 years, as I did most of my course work in the weekends. It is impossible to specialize in every aspect of Practice Nursing, GP'swill have to give us time off for attending study days and time off to catch up with course work etc. I am not against keeping up to date with all the possible specialisms that we encounter in GP practice. The way forward will be have at least 3 -4 nurses in each practice to offer this specialized services. It is important to have a working, personal life balance and pay review to make a Practice Nurse position attractive!
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I am a practice nurse within the Manchester area, I work under Bury CCG. i was intrigued to read this article & disappointed at the same time. Lots of what were discussed were very poingiant. However, speaking with collegues within the same area, none received an invite to this. How can I make sure that this isn't the case in future discussions?
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