The first student nurse has begun a placement with a general practice, under a new scheme set up by commissioners in Surrey.
Surrey Heath Clinical Commissioning Group said the scheme was a way of marking the role of the practice nurse for this year’s International Nurses’ Day on 12 May.
The CCG said it was now “actively supporting the specialty” by enabling student nurse placements at local surgeries for the first time.
Lesley Healey, practice nurse at Station Road Surgery in Frimley, has been joined for an eight-week placement by first-year University of Surrey nursing student Shannon Petrie.
Ms Healey said: “It’s a really good idea because it gives students a different view – I don’t think people realise how much we do and how much variety there is.”
First practice nurse placements start in Surrey
Ms Petrie will receive hands-on experience with patients including general observations, blood pressure checks, ECGs and injections.
She said: “I didn’t realise how much gets done in the practice as a nurse – at university they just talk about wards. It’s good and I’m really enjoying it.”
The placements have been organised by the CCG’s primary care workforce tutor, Karen Snelson, whose role is to support existing practice nurses and encourage more people to choose it as a career choice.
She said: “Experienced practice nurses have a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to share.
“Until now student nurses have not had the opportunity to learn about this exciting and rewarding role, but I hope that after placements in our surgeries many of them will now consider a future career in general practice,” she said.
A spokeswoman for the CCG told Nursing Times that practices involved would receive a placement tariff, as was common practice for all placement providers.
She said the scheme was supported by Health Education England (Kent, Surrey, Sussex) and was available aim to either first, second or third year students from Surrey University.
“We want to generate interest in practice nursing as a career choice, to develop the workforce,” she said.