Thought about a career in General Practice Nursing?

In the past, general practice was seen as something nurses did after starting their career in a hospital. This is no longer the case.

Many newly qualified nurses are now going straight into general practice where they are able to take advantage of increasing opportunities to specialise in particular conditions, and to build a varied career.

As a first destination career, I’d 100% recommend practice nursing

Tom Buckley, General Practice Nurse

The path towards becoming a general practice nurse is the same as any other nurse. 

  1. Get 5 GCSEs, 4-9 grades, including: English, science and maths.
  2. Achieve 2-3 A levels (science is advised) or BTEC Level 3 Diploma.
  3. Choose a field of nursing to study your degree in, for example, mental health or learning disability.
  4. Choose between 2 higher education routes: a nursing degree apprenticeship or studying full-time at university doing a BSc (Hons) nursing degree.
  5. Complete your higher education route to become a registered nurse.
  6. Once you’re a registered nurse you can choose to work in a general practice.

General practice placements

If you’re already studying at university and would like to find a general practice placement you can get advice from your local training hub

You’ll find a supportive network of nursing students who are working towards a career in general practice by visiting the GPN Student Nurse Network.  

Transferring into General Practice Nursing

If you’re already a qualified nurse and you want to move into a General Practice Nursing role, you may need additional training before applying for a role.

Your skills should be reviewed against the District Nursing and General Practice Nursing Education and Career Framework (PDF: 2MB)

GP practices are private businesses, so employment terms will vary. In some cases, practices will provide additional training after you start the job. Practice managers are always a good starting point for information on employment locally.

Moving from health care roles

There are several ways to enter General Practice Nursing, including training while you work as a health care support worker or health care assistant in general practice.

Your employer may offer an apprenticeship which will let you to become a nursing associate. This is an important new role which sits alongside existing healthcare support workers and fully-qualified registered nurses to deliver hands-on care for patients.  

Qualifying as a nursing associate will let you develop new skills and take steps towards becoming a general practice nurse, including the opportunity of higher education courses.

Training as a health care support worker/health care assistant in general practice

Becoming a health care support worker/ health care assistant is often the first step into General Practice Nursing. 

There are no set entry requirements to become a healthcare assistant. Employers expect good literacy and numeracy and may ask for GCSEs (or equivalent) in English and maths. They may ask for a healthcare qualification, such as BTEC or NVQ.