Training and development (general practice nursing)

This page has information on the training and development opportunities in general practice nursing. 

As a registered nurse, you’ll need to be committed to learning and always keep your skills and knowledge up to date.


To maintain your registration to practise with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, you’ll need to go through the process of revalidation.

The process is straightforward and will help you as a nurse or midwife to demonstrate that you practise safely and effectively. You will have to revalidate every three years to renew your registration.

Find out more about revalidation on the NMC microsite

practice nurse immunisation

Development opportunities

With further training and experience, practice nurses can apply for more senior nurse roles, such as senior practice nurse/nurse practitioner and advanced nurse practitioner positions. It is also possible to become a clinical director of a primary care network.

These roles mean having a lot more autonomy and you will be able to manage your own caseloads.

Senior practice nurse/nurse practitioner

You'll be an experienced practice nurse with a focus on working with patients with long term conditions and providing preventative healthcare to the local community. You’ll provide aspects of care previously carried out by GPs.

You’ll usually be trained to a minimum of degree level. Training would cover consultation skills, physical assessment, diagnosis, safe prescribing, research and health promotion. Your role would span aspects of nursing and medicine enabling you to treat the patient appropriately.

Some nurse practitioners/senior practice nurses with specific training and education provide minor illness and/or telephone triage services. You'll work collaboratively with the general practice team to meet the needs of patients, support the delivery of policy and procedures and provide leadership as required.

Advanced nurse practitioner

As well as providing the care that a nurse practitioner is able to offer, advanced nurse practitioners (ANP) will have a prescribing qualification and master's level training. A qualified ANP is also able to:

  • take a full patient history
  • carry out any physical examinations
  • use their knowledge to identify a likely diagnosis
  • request appropriate tests to aid diagnosis (blood tests, x-rays, scans)
  • refer patients to an appropriate specialist (in the practice or hospital)
  • prescribe medicines and non-medical treatments
  • arrange follow up and ongoing management

Some nurses also decide to do into service management (such as the clinical director of a primary care network) or clinical academic research

NHS Leadership Academy 

The NHS Leadership Academy also runs a number of programmes to support nurses into leadership roles including the Mary Seacole programme. They also offer a programme purely for frontline nurses and midwives to help develop their skills and build confidence. 

Find out more about the NHS Leadership Academy and its programmes.

Education and training roles  

Education, training the professional development of the next generation of nurses is vital to delivery of patient care. Nurses can get involved through a number of roles: 

  • preceptors
  • mentors
  • practice educators
  • lecturers

See the links below for further details about these roles.

Want to learn more? 

  • Preceptors offer guidance and support to newly qualified nurses. They will be qualified practitioners and normally have experience in the area of practice as the practitioner requiring support.

  • Mentors or assessors are responsible for a range of activity and learning for student nurses, such as the quality of the learning in a practice setting and the assessment of a student’s competence. 

  • Practice educators lead the teaching and development in the practical setting rather than the theoretical setting which would be led by a lecturer. The practice educator will provide guidance and support to mentors involved with students and will provide a link between the practice setting and the higher education institution.

  • The lecturer is responsible for classroom teaching in higher education institutions. The role is similar to that of the practice educator in the practice environment and both roles have equal standing.

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