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Practice nursing

This page describes the role of practice nurses and the skills required.

Practice nurses

Practice nurses work in a GP surgery as part of a primary healthcare team, which might include doctors, nurses, pharmacists and dietitians. In larger practices, there may be several practice nurses sharing duties and responsibilities but in smaller ones, you’d be working on your own, taking on many roles.

You will be involved in almost every aspect of patient care and treatment, undertaking such tasks as:

  • treating small injuries
  • helping with minor operations done under local anaesthetic
  • health screening
  • family planning
  • running vaccination programmes (e.g. against flu)
  • running programmes to help people to stop smoking.

Skills required

You must be a qualified and registered nurse and will need to undertake further training and education to enable you to become a member of the primary health care team. For information about training as a registered nurse, click here.

You need to be flexible and adaptable; able to work well with healthcare professionals in the practice as well as with patients from a wide variety of backgrounds. You must be well organised, confident and able to work on your own initiative.


There are a variety of training programmes available. Local employers will organise training.

Career prospects

Practice nurses can move on to senior nurse positions, including nurse practitioner level where they will manage their own caseloads.

This article was originally published by NHS Careers