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.