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CNO002 Discovering a Nursing Career in General Practice

Discover this one-of-a-kind course that teaches the dynamic role of a GP Nurse plus the 16 most common clinical conditions that are treated.

Discovering a Nursing Career in General Practice is a free, fully online course that has been commissioned and supported by NHS England to fill the knowledge gap that GP Practices are perceived to be experiencing.

Working as a GP Nurse (GPN) is an incredibly different role to any other nursing role within the NHS and it has been observed that the current General Practice Nursing workforce is struggling to understand what is expected of them due to the dynamic nature of the job. Furthermore, the GPN workforce is expected to decrease in the near future because many GP Nurses are reaching retirement age. With that in mind, this course is also designed to help in interviews for primary care roles as the organisation section of the course will teach you the organisation structure of a General Practice, the required values and behaviours of a GP Nurse, and progression in the role. If successful in the interview, the clinical section will help you hit the ground running it teaches how to combat the 16 most common clinical conditions you would treat.

No matter what level you choose to study the course content will be the same, the only factor that separates the course is whether an assessment is required and how many academic credits you will receive. This course is accessible to anyone in the country as it relies on no live teaching, instead you will be taught by a variety of online lessons and quizzes that test the knowledge that you have just learned.

The indicative content is set nationally by NHSe, the course focuses on the following skills and topics:

  • Introduction to primary care services delivery and roles within the setting
  • Communication & consultation skills in primary care
  • Equality, diversity & Inclusion for primary care service delivery
  • Running clinics as a primary care practitioner
  • Immunisations in primary care
  • Overview of long-term condition management
  • Mental health in the community setting
  • Dementia care in the community
  • Overview of sexual health and contraception provision
  • Overview of learning disability management
  • Introduction to travel health
  • Supporting the application process and securing a role in primary care

The programme is displayed as a 15-week course, but it is entirely down to you how long it takes. As you have 24/7 access to the course materials you can study the contents as quickly or carefully as you want.

Entry Requirements

The module will be nationally recognised and made available for Pre-Registration Nurses, Registered Nurses, Trainee Nursing Associates and Nursing Associates who are considering a career in Primary Care/General Practice.  

CNO002 Table

*please note a non-accredited module is also to be offered to widen access

The current application deadline dates have been increased, now the course is available to enrol on from:

  • July 2024
  • September 2024
  • November 2024
  • January 2025
  • March 2025
  • May 2025
  • July 2025

Watch the course video below:

Quote from Karen's Course Film: "Northumbria has a well-established nursing framework, and this has been developed more so recently over practice nursing".

Course FAQs

Yes, this is possible. But unfortunately, your staff would not be eligible to receive the funding that makes the course free-of-charge for the student.

Instead, we would recommend the dedicated career start programme, this is more beneficial for nurses already in post as it follows the GPN fellowship criteria. With this programme they would be able to access the materials from CNO002 within their modules.

The course is the length of 1 academic quarter which is 15 weeks. The course relies on no live teaching and all the content is readily available online once you have enrolled. This means you can choose to complete the course as quickly or carefully as you want. In sum, the course content and any assignment responsibilities have to be completed within 15 weeks of enrolment.


In total, there are 7 organisational lessons and 21 clinical lessons to complete.

The course doesn’t cost you anything as it is fully funded by the NHS to reduce the recruitment and retention issue in the General Practices.

You do not need to complete this course to work in a GP. However, this course has been commissioned to address the current and future issues General Practices could potentially face. It has come to the attention of the NHS that many GP Nurses are not fully aware of what is expected of them in this role, so they are encouraged to take this course to bridge the knowledge gap.

Secondly, many GP Nurses are close to retirement age so we could face a nursing shortage in our already struggling service. Therefore, this course is ideal for current nursing students, or any current registered nurses or nursing associates who wish to transition into a GP Nursing role.

Finally, the course acts as a good refresher and preparation resource for interviews and anyone who has recently started in a GP Nursing role.

This all depends on your current role or level of education. If you are a student nurse or trainee nursing associate, you are only eligible for the non-accredited course. If you are a registered nursing associate, you are eligible for the non-accredited and level 6 course. If you are a registered nurse, you are eligible for all 3 levels of the course.

  1. If you do the non-accredited version, you will receive no academic credits.

  2. If you complete the course content and pass the assessment of the level 6 course, you will receive 20 academic credits at level 6.

  3. If you complete the course content and pass the assessment of the level 7 course, you will receive 20 academic credits at level 7.

All the courses have the same content, the only difference is the Level 6 and Level 7 courses require you to complete an assessment. Level 6’s assignment consists of 2 reports totalling 2500 words. Level 7’s assignment consists of 2 reports totalling 3500 words.

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