Practice nurses work in GP surgeries to assess, screen, treat and educate patients, and help doctors give medical care.
Salary range: £25,000 to £42,500
How to become a practice nurse
You can get into this job through:
- applying directly
You must be a qualified and registered adult, child, mental health or learning disability nurse to work in general practice.
You may have an advantage when applying for jobs if you’ve got experience in:
- chronic disease management, like diabetes or asthma
- childhood immunisation
- cervical cytology
- phlebotomy – taking blood
Some employers may also ask that you’ve completed a Specialist Practitioner – General Practice Nursing course, approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Council.
- you’ll need to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council
You can find out more about becoming a practice nurse from Health Careers.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- knowledge of psychology
- knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
- knowledge of English language
- sensitivity and understanding
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- to be flexible and open to change
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
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
You could work at a GP practice.
Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.
You may need to wear a uniform.
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.