A first-of-its-kind training programme that will prepare registered nurses including those who are newly qualified for a career in primary care in just nine months is being trialled by the NHS.
The work-based education package is due to be piloted in three sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) areas in the Midlands and East region of England.
“We needed to have a radical rethink of how we recruit, train and retain our primary care nursing workforce” – Tina Swain
The first STP area to implement the programme will be Northamptonshire with the course due to commence at the end of January. There are 10 places available.
Successful candidates will be given a paid role at a practice in the county run by Lakeside Healthcare and the 3Sixty Care Partnership where they will develop practical clinical skills and competencies, while working under supervision.
Nurses will receive a support package including coaching and mentoring from experienced practice staff.
They will also spend one day a week at De Montfort University in Leicester for face-to-face sessions.
Students will finish the course with a qualification covering the core skills needed for practice nursing including cytology, diabetes management, asthma and leadership, as well as hands-on experience in a surgery.
They will then be offered an interview at a practice within the Northamptonshire STP area that has nurse vacancies.
“There is an urgent need to increase the recruitment of nurses into GP practices” – Miriam Coffie
The scheme is considered ideal for newly qualifed nurses, nurses returning to practice after a career break or registered nurses from another field wanting to move into primary care.
One of the aims is to create a new pipeline of nurses to replace the large numbers of existing staff preparing for retirement.
The programme is being funded in partnership between NHS England, Health Education England and Nene and Corby Clinical Commissioning Groups NHS on behalf on the Northamptonshire STP.
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