We are celebrating our talented and highly skilled General Practice Nurses (GPN) in Gloucestershire this International Nurses Day.

International Nurses Day is celebrated on May 12 every year to coincide with the birthday of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, so it is fitting to pay tribute to our practice nurses who play such an important role in the delivery of local healthcare services.

Lisa Stoddart, Lead Practice Nurse at Aspen Medical Practice in Gloucester considers her role a rewarding and dynamic career choice.

She said: “There are many benefits to working in primary care and I definitely consider it an exciting career. There are so many opportunities within practices to do different things.

“Practice nurses can develop their knowledge and skills and can become a prescriber within a few years or develop a specialty. It enables you to be more autonomous.

“There’s a lot more scope for development.”

Marie Crofts, Chief Nursing Officer at NHS Gloucestershire said:

“International Nurses Day provides an opportunity for all of us working in health and social care, as well as the public, to pause and think about the work done by our amazing, highly skilled and very competent nurses.

“This year it is fantastic to be able to hear more from some of our practice nurses who work so hard and often miss out on the spotlight, despite being such a vital part of providing care in general practice.

“It’s also a good chance to inform the public about the exciting career opportunities available in general practice nursing which allow nurses to focus on a number of different areas and develop a wide range of skills.

“Our case studies illustrate that it is a very rewarding career choice.”

GPNs work in surgeries as part of the primary healthcare team with doctors and other healthcare professionals such as pharmacists and dietitians.

Any qualified and registered adult, child, mental health or learning disability nurse can work in a GPN role.

Some people choose to take the first step towards becoming a GPN by working as a healthcare assistant or assistant practitioners, further developing their skills through education and training before starting a degree.

Sarah Rogers, Primary Care Training Hub Lead Nurse describes practice nurses as the ‘superconnectors’ in general practice.

“General Practice Nurses really do play a vital role within primary care services,” she said.

“As well as being hugely talented, they act as the superconnectors in general practice.

“Innovative and able to lead, they provide gold standard personalised care supporting people with a wide range of health needs.

“It is high time that GPNs got the recognition they deserve in roles where they are able to drive forward change for their patient populations.”