Case Study: Professional Nurse Advocate – Jan Gower

Who are you?

I’m Jan Gower and I am the Nurse Lead for the General Practice Nurse Fellowship Scheme at the Training Hub. I also work as a locum ANP in general practice.

What is your educational background?

I graduated as a nurse from Sheffield City Polytechnic in 1987. I have had a varied career but I have spent the last 24 years in general practice, initially as a practice nurse and ending up as an ANP. I have also spent time in commissioning and higher education roles alongside my clinical work. I am also a Queen’s Nurse

Can you describe your experience of the PNA programme?

I undertook the Professional Nurse advocate programme in 2023 as my current role is very much about advocating for the GPN role and supporting newly qualified nurses and nursing associates as well as nurses new to General Practice. I also facilitate restorative clinical supervision within the role. Feedback for the Fellowships is consistently positive, and we have demonstrated that the scheme contributes to recruitment and retention of GPN staff.

The PNA course utilizes the A-Equip model to support and develop an advocacy role for nursing which will develop, progress and enhance the emotional and physical well being of staff which in turn will benefit patients and their families.

What did you achieve with the programme?

The programme consolidated my existing skills and knowledge but allowed me to learn from other nurses working elsewhere in the NHS. The PNA programme was developed as a response to the recovery of staff following the Covid-19 pandemic. It promotes restorative clinical supervision, equips advocates to listen and understand the challenges they face and to support quality improvement.

I have always been a strong advocate of practice nursing and the contribution they make to the primary care agenda and this training has allowed me to support nurses in a new way whilst still utilising my education and leadership skills.

What’s been the best thing about doing the programme?

The best bits are definitely engaging with nurses in general practice, often working in challenging situations, to reflect purposely on their work and mature as reflective, patient centered practitioners.

In a nutshell, why would you recommend the programme to others?

This is a new role – one that the larger Trusts have really established as a core part of their workforce. General Practice is a bit behind the curve – but we are able to make this role work in a way that means GPNs are never working in isolation, have a source of information regarding professional development and have access to restorative clinical supervision. It is really satisfying to have helped a fellow nurse develop in their personal or professional lives.