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RCGP sets competency levels for practice nurses

A framework to support practice nurses in achieving and maintaining competency levels across all areas of their generalist role has been published by the Royal College of General Practitioners.

The intention of the document 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 General Practice Nurse Competencies have been developed by the RCGP’s General Practice Foundation, with contributions from the Royal College of Nursing’s practice nurse forum steering committee.

They are intended to complement the RCGP’s General Practice Nursing Standards, which were published last year.

The framework can be used as an initial self-assessment tool to help individuals recognise their current level of competence and identify specific areas for continued professional development or as a tool to review, demonstrate and record CPD.

RCGP President Professor Mike Pringle said: “General practice nurses are essential members of effective primary care teams and these competencies show the way forward.”

Jenny Aston, chair of the RCGP general practice foundation nursing group and former chair of the RCN’s advanced nurse practitioner forum, said: “I am really pleased that we now have the general practice nurse competencies to accompany the nursing standards.

“Both provide very useful guidance for GPs, practice managers, and nurses starting out in general practice,” she said. “They will also provide Local Education and Training Boards, CCGs and education providers with information to support the development of nursing excellence in general practice.”

The current edition of the framework is an update of the 2006 Working in Partnership Programme General Practice Nurse Toolkit, which was archived from the RCN’s website in 2012.

Readers' comments (4)

  • I wish they would also look at competency of employers management skills because they are often the biggest obstacle is giving good patient care. in my experience, management has either been devolved to practice managers who, for some reason, often have either a bullying exclusion tendency, or just do not understand what skill mix means. Otherwise, it has been working with GPs soon to retire whose clinical philosophy is sometimes still out with the arc.

    I want nurses to manage nurses or at least have some influence on how practice nurses are employed, paid, skill mix etc. instead of it being medically driven (or delegated to non-clinical managers)

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  • I would completely agree with above annonymous!
    A very wise observation

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  • I agree with the above two comments.

    the problem is that managers are programmed according to an increasing body of tried and tested management theory conceived for the manufacturing of quality goods at the cheapest price and produced as fast as possible (time is money) which has very little to do with nursing and healthcare. as you know, their training curriculum is focussed on methods for the highest productivity, rapid and favourable results, tightly budgeting resources, cost effectiveness, meeting targets, having visions and missions of all of these and setting their goals, gathering data and writing reports on cost effectiveness and much much more which will attract customers and sales of the goods. this has very little to do with how healthcare professionals need to be managed in order to deliver the best care to their patients. Unfortunately they seem to have got the upper hand and dictate working patterns and resourcing regardless of patient or any other human needs such as those of their staff as this is mainly a paperwork exercise.

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  • the new model should include increased training on the job or within the institution to allow nurses to apply the knowledge to the daily work with clients in community or patients in hospitals. Expanding the scope of RN and LPN roles adding the mix of social work, Nurse Practitioner or MD along with CTS will enhance the outcomes for patients in hospital and when discharged home. Complex situations require planning from admission to hospital to day of discharge to prevent re-hospitalization. May I also suggest communication via electronic method to family practitioner with all changes in meds and treatments while in hospital. The best way for the patientt have a successful outcome.

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