Nursing in general practice is a dynamic, rewarding, and vibrant sector of the nursing profession. The nursing speciality offers a range of experiences and provides the opportunity to be part of a small clinical team, meeting the diverse primary care needs of the community. Nursing in general practice is a shift from a hospital-based environment to a small business environment embedded in the local community.
General practice nurses work in collaboration with general practitioners to provide a range of services.
With a focus on the primary healthcare sector, general practice nurses are increasingly exerting a critical role in delivering continuity of care to their patients, improving their health outcomes.
Did you know:
Around 20% of all nurses work in Primary Healthcare
14,786 nurses work in general practice (2019).
CESPHN Practice Nurse orientation
For the Practice
Nurses are highly skilled and knowledgeable health professionals who work collaboratively with GPs and other members of the practice team, to provide safe and quality care.
Recognised benefits nurses can bring to general practice include:
Improved outcomes in chronic disease such as care planning and chronic disease management with GPs, including telehealth.
Identifying and contacting at-risk patients, to ensure ongoing routine care
Reduction in waiting times
Risk identification, screening and triage
Improved integration with the acute sector
Enhanced consumer satisfaction
Staff education and support
Implementing and overseeing quality and infection control measures
For the Practice Nurse
Nursing in General practice is a dynamic and vibrant area of the nursing profession. In general practice you will be a core member of general practice teams, providing significant benefits to the provision of primary health services.
What are the benefits of general practice nursing?
Flexible working arrangements with little or no shift work
Working as a valued member of a small team
Ability to be self directed and utilise many skills
Opportunity to specialise in areas of interest
Build longer and stronger healthcare relationships with patients
Roles and responsibilities of nurses working in general practice
The roles and responsibilities of each general practice nurse will depend on a variety of factors including:
GP preferences and specialty areas
Size of the practice
Physical layout of the practice
Experience and special qualifications of the nurse
Leadership and competence
What skills are needed to become a practice nurse?
There is no particular training a nurse is required to do before starting work in a general practice if registration standards are met.
However, there are a few areas and skills that will make it easier to work in a general practice.
Some of these valuable skills include:
Infection Prevention and Control
Chronic Disease Management Plans
We have developed some webinars to assist you in learning and understanding these key areas of general practice nursing
Our practice support team can provide you with a one-on-one orientation session to help support your practice along with additional resources.
We also help support the education and professional development of Practice Nurses and staff with monthly practice staff events covering a wide range of topics. Visit our events page to register for upcoming events.
To book an orientation, contact the practice support and development officers’ team on:
Australian College of Nursing – ACN is a key national professional nursing organisation open to nurses in all settings and at every stage of their careers. They are also an authorised higher education provider and registered training organisation and the Australian member of the International Council of Nurses.
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