General Practice Nurse (GPN)

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General Practice Nurse (GPN)

General Practice Nurses, also known as GPNs, work in GP surgeries or health centres to assess, screen, treat and educate patients, and help doctors give medical care.

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Level: Band 5

GPNs enter at Band 5 and can progress upwards with experience and the support of their GP practice.

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Qualifications & skills to access role

Option 1 – BSc Nursing: GPN, like other nurses need a registered nursing degree to enter the profession. To enter the BSc you will need A’Levels or equivalent. You could also access the BSc through an Access to Nursing Course, for which you will only require GCSE Maths, English and Science.  More information on BSc Nursing here.

Option 2 – BSc Apprenticeship: If offered by your preferred employer, you can undertake a Nursing Degree Apprenticeship (Level 6).

Option 3 – MSc Nursing: for people with an existing non nursing degree.
Note – 18 month top up courses supported by the employer are in development for people with a existing degree.

Option 4 – if you are an existing registered nurse, you can become a GPN through undertaking the General Practice Nurse Vocational Training Scheme.

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Useful experience

Experience of a caring or health support role for a relative or friend or volunteer is valuable.  Ahead of progressing on to a nursing degree, taking on a paid role as a Nursing Associate (Band 4) is a great way of developing experience, making your studies on the degree course much easier. Usually you would start as a Trainee Nursing Associate (Band 3), which involves working whilst studying one day a week, before you become qualified in the Band 4 role.

You can also enter the workforce as a Healthcare Assistant (Bands 2/3/4) with minimal qualifications and experience and then transition to a Trainee Nursing Associate.

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You can progress to a Senior General Practice Nurse (Band 7) with experience and at the discretion of your GP practice. Further specialist roles are available once you become qualified at this level.

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Where I can work

GP Practice, Health Centre  More information on where nurses can work

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Associated roles

GPNs can easily switch to other nursing roles due to the breadth of experience they will have developed working in the GP practice environment – examples of other nursing roles are: hospital, district, care homes and mental health nurses.

Once further experienced as a GPN, many other roles exist through specialisms and non-clinical roles.