If you’re considering your nursing career path – think primary care nursing. It could be just the place for you.
Primary care nursing is a rewarding career – no two days are the same and there are opportunities to develop knowledge, expertise, and confidence, with support.
A career in primary care offers chances to specialise too in diabetes, respiratory health, tissue viability, screening, and sexual health, to name a few, with or without non-medical prescribing.
Opportunities for continuous professional development also exist with the support of Kent and Medway’s training hubs. The hubs provide new to primary care programmes, education and development support and links to our higher education providers.
Reading our colleagues' inspiring stories about primary care nursing.
Lead General Practice Nurse
Sydenham House Medical Group, Ashford
What is your career journey?
I qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1997 and worked as a staff nurse on a surgical ward. A change of circumstances took me on a different pathway for several years. In 2012, I started working for IC24, moving across to NHS 111.
In 2014, a chance meeting with an old colleague led me into primary care where I started back to nursing in an HCA role.
How did you hear about the return to nursing programme?
I loved being patient-facing again and my colleagues were very encouraging. The course was challenging with a young family but hard work, commitment, and support of my workplace, saw me return to the Nursing and Midwifery Register in April 2016.
How does the programme work?
I completed a six-month course while still working which included reflections, work-based competency book, essays within the requirements/guidance from NMC alongside additional hours in a primary or secondary setting with the hours being dependant on how long I’d been out of nursing.
What support did you receive during the programme?
I had a very supportive work environment working with a nursing team who were very passionate about their roles and had high standards of patient care. I also had support from my course lecturers and my fellow RTP nurses.
What was it like to return?
I felt quite nervous as it had been a while since I’d studied or practiced as a nurse, and I’d lost my confidence. Once I was back uniform and working with a great team, my confidence gradually started returning and I realised I had a lot of skills and experience to offer my patients and colleagues.
Why should people consider returning?
Nursing is a very rewarding career and working in primary care is so varied. I love to support patients through preventative work, screening, managing long-term conditions and general practice nursing. The last few years of the pandemic have encouraged us to be innovative and adapt our traditional ways of working, looking at what best meets the service and the population we support.
I have grown and developed in my role gaining knowledge and experience in all aspects of primary care. I have been in a lead nurse position for more than two years, developing my management skills and ability to manage a team.
I love working in primary care because the role is so varied, from vaccinating babies to supporting patients in their later years, never really knowing who is coming through the door. I would recommend working in primary care. I’m proud to call myself an NHS General Practice Nurse.