A framework to help practice nurses keep their skills sharp has been launched by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), with help from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).
The General Practice Nurse Competencies are aligned with the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework 2004 and informed by a wide range of national documents.
This new guidance also matches the General Practice Nursing Standards published by RCGP in 2012.
Jenny Aston, chair of the RCGP General Practice Foundation Nursing Group and former chair of the RCN 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.”
The intention of the document is to ensure that a standard level of competency is achieved by all General Practice Nurses (GPNs) working in primary care teams within 18 months of starting employment.
This current edition of the framework is an update of the 2006 Working in Partnership Programme (WiPP) General Practice Nurse Toolkit, which was archived from the RCN’s website in 2012.
Revisions have been made by experts at the University of Plymouth General Practice Unit and reviewed by leading GPNs from across the UK and the RCN.
The framework provides a detailed picture of the role of the GPN. It 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 (CPD).
• as a tool to review, demonstrate and record CPD, recognise the acquisition of specific skills and knowledge, and provide evidence of assessment of safe clinical practice.
• to provide a benchmark when reviewing, demonstrating and measuring progress.
• to inform and support the commissioning process through the design and delivery of education, training and workforce planning, including job design, recruitment and retention.
"I am proud that the RCGP is associated, through our General Practice Foundation, with this important initiative,” said Professor Mike Pringle, RCGP president.
“General Practice Nurses are essential members of effective primary care teams and these competencies show the way forward."