A Plymouth University course has become the first nursing programme to be accredited by the Royal College of General Practitioners.
The university’s Foundations of General Practice Nursing course is designed for nurses new to primary care settings and is one of only a handful of similar courses available in the UK.
Lack of access to training is a long standing problem for practice nurses. Earlier this month the Care Quality Commission told Nursing Times that GPs were struggling to meet a new “essential standard” on training for their nursing staff.
Plymouth began offering the 17 day course on the core clinical competencies of practice nursing in 2002. It combines evidenced based education, taught by 48 practice nurse educators with elements of work based learning and supervision.
Fiona Cook, a lecturer in general practice nursing at Plymouth, said she hopedrecognition by the RCGP would encourage the development of similar courses so the “provision of high quality, competence-focussed education becomes the norm, rather than the exception, for general practice nurses”.
RCGP chair Clare Gerada said: “The RCGP is committed to the professional development of the whole general practice team.”