General practice nurses (GPNs) should consider how to ‘future proof’ themselves amid the growing role of nursing associates and other health professionals within the sector, an exclusive Nursing in Practice conference has heard.
Director of nursing for primary care at the North West London integrated care system (ICS), Vanessa Andreae, told attendees of the Nursing in Practice London event today that she believed the role of the generalist nurse in general practice may be reduced in the future.
She urged GPNs to think about ‘diversifying’ and make known any specialist skills or interests they have.
‘I think that the days of the general GPN are numbered,’ said Ms Andreae.
‘Within this type of role, we now have nursing associates working and they are doing more and more. I don’t want to depress you all, but things are moving in this direction.’
Through the additional roles reimbursement scheme (ARRS) more allied health professionals, including pharmacists and physiotherapists, are taking on roles in general practice.
She added: ‘You have got to think about diversifying yourself and think about ‘what am I going to do that with future proof myself’.
‘Please think about your role and about your future. If you’ve got a passion, and there is a disease that you have expertise on then put that out there in the primary care network (PCN) and make sure you are known in the PCN.
‘Other people can do clinical work but no one can replicate that knowledge that we’ve got that enables us to do holistic care.’
Ms Andreae also said that GPNs had a ‘real role to play’ in providing a single point of contact for a patient.
‘If you have a patient that says that you are amazing and that they want to see you again, then that is fantastic.
‘It doesn’t mean that you have to be able to do every part of their care but it does mean that you can connect them to the people who can provide that care.’