This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Voluntary standards published for new general practice nurses

Written by: | Published:

New GPN The new standards will enable practice nursing to evolve as a profession, and make its contribution to transforming primary care services

The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) has published new voluntary standards of education and practice for nurses, who are starting a career in general practice nursing.

The QNI said the new standards had been designed to provide ‘a contemporary and structured overview of expected best practice, standards and guidance for nurses at the beginning of the general practice nursing career pathway’.

The standards also aimed to give guidance to ‘education providers developing introductory general practice nursing (GPN) programmes and Specialist Practitioner Qualification (SPQ) programmes’, the QNI said.

The QNI was commissioned by NHS England to develop the standards, as one of the actions arising from the strategic document: ‘Developing confidence, capability and capacity: Ten point action plan for General Practice Nursing’.

Leading experts in general practice nursing including nurses, Higher Education Institution (HEI) programme leads, training hub leads and current GPN students worked together to develop the new standards. The project was managed by Queen’s Nurse, Angie Hack.

The evolving role of the GPN with specialist knowledge and skills is pivotal in contributing to the success of the transformation of primary care services, the QNI said.

However, ‘this brings unique challenges for nurses selecting general practice nursing. Many GPNs are directly employed by general practitioners with variations in roles, responsibilities, terms and conditions, in addition to variances in role preparation and continuing professional development opportunities’, the QNI stated.

Current GPN education is not mandatory. However, it is anticipated that HEIs will adopt these voluntary standards as a best practice guide in developing future ‘Introduction to GPN’ programmes, to promote standardisation in length and content across England.

The standards have been drafted covering four domains of clinical care, leadership and management, facilitation of learning and evidence, research and development.

QNI chief executive Dr Crystal Oldman said: ‘I am delighted that we are able to publish these new voluntary standards to support nurses new to general practice.

‘Nurses are key professionals in delivering vital care to people of all ages in the practice population. They are also being called upon to adapt rapidly to the new conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘These new standards commissioned by NHS England are an important step in ensuring greater consistency of education and practice in this field, supporting the needs and expectations of nurses themselves, other members of the multidisciplinary team, and their patients.’

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.