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‘Promote positive messages about the profession’, GPNs told

Those working in general practice nursing should help to promote a positive view of the profession to help attract more people into it, NHS England’s director of nursing for transformation has said.

Speaking at the Best Practice conference at the NEC, Paul Vaughan called on practice nurses to help address the poor image the profession has.

While accepting that there are many problems within nursing that affect the workforce’s morale, he felt there should be more efforts made to promote the job to children and young people especially.

He said: ‘If we keep on putting out negative messages about the profession, why the hell would anyone want to be a nurse? I keep on hearing about how awful it is…and sometimes the experience you have is, but it is the most amazing profession and if we don’t start recommending it, we will never fill the shortfall of 40,000 vacancies because no-one will want to do the job.’

He added that there should be more of an asset-based approach rather than a deficit one, to show what general practice nurses can do.

Mr Vaughan gave the example of the introduction of the frailty nurse in Newcastle and Gateshead as an example of some of the great practice that is going on that can help to provide a positive image of nursing.

He endorsed other calls for more pre-reg placements in general practice as one way to inspire the next generation of nurses, adding that ‘we are seeing some really good examples of that happening.’