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Practice nurse

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Practice nurses work in GP practices to assess, screen, treat and educate patients, and help doctors give medical care.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £21,000 to £35,250 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37.5 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need:

Some employers may also want you to have up to 2 years’ post-qualifying work experience as a nurse. It may help if you have experience of working in:

  • chronic disease management (like diabetes or asthma)
  • wound dressing
  • childhood immunisation
  • cervical cytology
  • phlebotomy (taking blood)
Some employers may also want you to have completed an NMC approved community specialist practitioner course, specialising in general practice nursing. You may be able to do this while working.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent observational skills
  • communication and listening skills
  • the ability to inspire confidence and trust
  • the ability to work with people of all ages and backgrounds
  • IT skills and the ability to keep accurate and up-to-date patient records

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • setting up and running clinics for conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart problems and skin disorders
  • offering advice on family planning and contraception
  • taking blood and urine samples and other specimens and swabs
  • performing routine procedures like ear syringing, applying and removing dressings and treating wounds
  • offering specialist information and advice on blood pressure, weight control and stopping smoking
  • carrying out infant injections, vaccinations and travel immunisations
  • giving advice to patients on long-term medical and nursing needs
In larger GP surgeries you may specialise in the needs of a particular client group.

4. Salary

Starter: £21,000 to £25,000 (while training)

Experienced: £26,250 to £30,250

Highly Experienced: £35,250

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 37.5 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You may need to work evenings or weekends if you’re running a health promotion clinic.

The role can be physically and emotionally demanding. You may work with clients who are distressed and suffering with long-term illness.

6. Career path and progression

You could specialise in health promotion, chronic disease management, diabetes or asthma care.

With experience and qualifications you could become a nurse practitioner, managing your own caseload of patients.
You could also move into management, teaching or research.

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Last updated: 10 September 2018