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Written by Gemma Bird, 26/04/2023 
The General Practice Nurse (GPN) Fellowship programme is a programme of support, learning and development for those newly qualified and/or new to practice. The Fellowship is for 24 months and is supported by national funding for system-led implementation, with delivery and oversight from Nottinghamshire Alliance Training Hub. 
 
The overarching intention is to deliver a national scheme supporting all newly qualified and new to practice nurses as they transition from training to an employed member of the Primary Care team. 

Programme delivery 

11/12/2023 update: GPN Fellowship funding is currently closed for applications 
 
The programme follows national guidance on what the fellowship should offer and incorporate, but each system can adapt this to meet local requirements. Here in Notts we offer the GPN fundamentals as part of their first year of the fellowship. The course is run via De Montfort University. It is a 60-credit module and is offered at both level 6 and level 7. 
 
The course uses a mix of written assignments and portfolio work as part of the assessments. The programme includes 17 taught days delivered online with the exception of practical sessions. Taught days are 6 hours in length. It is currently a mix of both virtual and face-to-face learning opportunities. 
 
There is also time available of three hours throughout the programme for students to access support for academic work from the programme team. This includes group tutorials and one-to-one sessions. Each student will be supported by a personal tutor from the teaching team throughout the programme. 
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Some clinical skills and areas covered include: 
 
Cytology 
Adult and childhood immunisations 
Ear Irrigation 
Wound care 
Introduction to contraception 
Introduction to long term condition management 
The 2nd year of the fellowship programme can be adapted to meet the individual Nurses and Practice needs. There will be a variety of training and resources available to the Nurse to access, including Quality Improvement, clinical supervision, and audit training opportunities. These will be delivered locally via the Nottinghamshire Alliance Training Hub, Multi-Professional Support Unit, and the Phoenix Programme. 
 
Opportunities to undertake further CPD training both accredited and non-accredited can be supported via funding opportunities offered by the Training Hub. Further clinical education can be offered in areas such as (although not limited too), long term condition management, spirometry training (ARTP accredited) and minor illness. An educational support meeting can be offered with the Nurse after completion of the De Montfort course to create a professional educational plan to support ongoing development. 
 
The Nurse will also be signposted to national training opportunities via resources such as the Midlands Leadership Academy to support leadership skills and better understanding of PCN and system level working, as well as continuing to support and develop them clinically. 

Library services 

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All Primary Care staff including our Nurse Fellows can access library support services via our Primary Care Evidence Support Librarian, Sarah Thomas. One-to-one and group sessions on things such as literature searching can be offered. 

Professional Nurse Advocate support 

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We are lucky that we have a Professional Nurse Advocate (PNA) Lead for Primary Care in Notts, Megan Leahy. Megan can offer all General Practice Nurses, including those on the fellowship access to one-to-one and group Restorative Clinical Supervision (RCS) sessions, which support the Nurse with opportunities to reflect on practice, build resilience and support with wellbeing on both a professional and personal level. The role of a PNA can also support Nurses with appraisal preparation, revalidation support and ‘career conversations’ to support with ongoing professional development. 
 
To contact Megan please email us at: alliance.hub1@nhs.net 

National coaching support 

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Nurses on the fellowship will also be encouraged to access the national coaching programme for Primary Care staff. The aim of this service is to give individuals access to tailored coaching support that will focus on proactively supporting you by providing opportunities to process experiences, develop coping skills, deal with difficult conversations, and develop strategies for self-management in difficult circumstances. 

Funding 

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The good news is there is no incurring costs for the employing Practice. The GPN fundamentals course is funded via NHS England and the additional contributary costs normally charged to the practice of £600 is covered by Nottinghamshire Alliance Training Hub. 
 
We are also able to claim additional funding to support the Practice while their Nurse is undertaking the fellowship. The funding can be used in a variety of ways depending on how the Practice deems suitable but must be used in support of the Nurses undertaking the DMU course and ongoing support. It can be used to backfill while the Nurse undertakes the university days, or to support and pay for any additional hours your Nurse may need for protected learning time etc. 
 
In total, the Practice can claim £4,500 once the Nurse has commenced onto the DMU course. 

Further information 

If you require any further information on the GPN fellowship or GPN fundamentals course via DMU please contact: 
 
Gemma Bird 
General Practice Nurse Lead 
Nottinghamshire Alliance Training Hub 
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