What does Practice Nursing Offer?

Practice nurses have a privileged role of providing high quality care to a wide range of patients from young to old. Primary care nursing allows you to build therapeutic relationships with patients and provide good patient centred care working in a supportive environment whilst acting as an autonomous clinician. You not only treat and care for long term conditions, minor illness and injuries but play a pivotal role in the prevention of diseases and health education and can make a real difference to people’s life. As primary care evolves and transforms so do the practice nursing roles, roles and skills which historically were the responsibilities of general practitioners are shifting towards toward nurses meaning they are becoming more accomplished in different roles.

As a practice nurse you will work within a multi-professional team delivering care to the local community. Job responsibilities will vary from practice to practice and depending on the individual. Here are some of roles and responsibilities but not exhaustive;

  • minor and complex wound management
  • childhood immunisations
  • travel health advice and vaccinations
  • child immunisations and advice
  • family planning and contraception
  • cervical cytology
  • electrocardiograms (ECGs)
  • Phlebotomy
  • ear care and irrigation
  • men’s health screening
  • sexual health services
  • smoking cessation
  • managing long term conditions
  • minor illness and ailments

In order to become a practice nurse you must be a qualified nurse with a BSc (Hons) in Adult Nursing and be registered with the Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC). You will need to have clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). It is entirely feasible to enter General Practice Nursing directly from your nursing training, although some practices may require more post registration experience but this will vary from practice to practice.

“Practice nursing is an exciting and varied career which offers many opportunities”

Dina Goy

Practice Nurse
Bretton Medical Practice

After qualifying in 2014 with a BSc Honours in Adult Nursing my first post graduate job was within primary care as a community nurse. After only two years I was given the opportunity to work as a practice nurse in my local area. There is often a misconception that practice nursing is not a first career destination and that you require acute or secondary care experience, however this is not the case.

During the first year as a practice nurse I was able to commence all the relevant training required for my post such as cervical cytology, phlebotomy, ear irrigation, wound care modules and childhood immunisations. Furthermore, I was fully funded to complete my Fundamentals of Practice Nursing course at level 7 providing a formal qualification to consolidate my learning and enhance my knowledge.

During my second year as a practice nurse I was given the opportunity to do more post-graduation learning and gained a Diploma in Minor Illness which has allowed me to provide same day clinics for patients within my clinical setting. At present I am undergoing a module in Asthma at level 6 which will allow me to safely manage the care of patients with asthma in my practice.

Practice nursing is an exciting and varied career which offers many opportunities to progress in different areas such as diabetes, respiratory disease, heart disease and minor illness. The learning is endless, and the supportive environment provided in practice nursing helps cultivates nurses who are experienced, knowledgeable and ambitious.


Practice Nursing opens up many career pathways and opportunities with more training and experience. Further roles include Advanced Practice Nurse, Nurse Practitioner and Advanced Nurse Practitioner. These roles are more autonomous and require post-graduate training such as Non-Medical Prescribing, Advanced Clinical Assessment Skills and Minor Illness.