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Mind the (skills) gap

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IT is an area with a major gap in skills training IT is an area with a major gap in skills training, many nurses believe

Primary and community nurses care for people across their life span from birth to death. They help to treat and manage a plethora of conditions and so the profession’s training needs are very broad. Anne Pearson, director of programmes at the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI), says that ‘a lot is being done to support nurses’ training’.

‘Most Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will have a nurse lead to support nurses, and Health Education England (HEE) is also providing training,’ she says. And the picture of nurse training in general practice is positive judging by responses to a national survey of GPNs in 2015. The QNI’s national survey ‘General Practice Nursing: A Time Of Opportunity in the 21st Century’ was required to provide the organisation with robust evidence to support its ongoing campaign for excellence in nursing in the community and primary care.

As part of the survey – which had responses from 3,405 nurses – GPNs were asked about whether they felt there were gaps in their nursing knowledge, and the areas of their knowledge and skills which they thought required further development. Only a quarter of respondents did not feel they had any gaps, and many nurses commented on the need for continuous improvement and learning to keep their knowledge and skills up to date.

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