Frequently Asked Questions

What does a Practice Nurse do?

A Practice Nurse’s role is wide and varied.  The care provided will depend on the needs of the patient population and the qualifications/skills/competencies of the individual Practice Nurse.  The list below is just a sample of what Practice Nurses do.

IMMUNISATIONS

  • Infant vaccinations, (DPT, HIB, Polio, Meningitis C, MMR).
  • Childhood vaccinations, (MMR, Meningitis C, pre-school booster vaccines for children attending private schools).
  • Travel vaccinations, (Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Yellow Fever).
  • Hepatitis B, Tetanus boosters, Rubella boosters.
  • Flu and Pneumococcal vaccines.

WOMEN’S HEALTH / ANTENATAL & POSTNATAL CARE

  • Cervical Screening.
  • Advice on various methods of contraception and H.R.T.
  • Pre-conceptual advice.
  • Pregnancy testing, antenatal care, postnatal care, breastfeeding advice.
  • Antenatal classes.

CARDIOLOGY

  • Cholesterol testing & dietary advice
  • ECGs.
  • 24 hour blood pressure monitoring.
  • Monitoring patients on anti-coagulant therapy.
  • Smoking cessation.
  • Stress management.
  • Heartwatch Programme

SKIN & WOUND CARE / MINOR SURGERY

  • Treatment of venous leg ulcers and other skin injuries.
  • Suturing of skin lacerations.
  • Post-operative suture removal.
  • Treatment of warts and verruccae / cryotherapy.
  • Nursing management of skin conditions – excema, psoriasis.

DIABETES

  • Nursing management of Diabetes

RESPIRATORY CARE

  • Nursing management of Asthma and COPD.
  • Lung function testing.

HEALTH PROMOTION

  • Smoking Cessation
  • Weight management

GENERAL NURSING DUTIES

  • Health Promotion and Education.
  • Counselling.
  • Telephone triage and advice.
  • General phlebotomy.
  • Ear syringing.
  • Administering prescribed long-term medications/injections, (e.g. Cytamen, Depoprovera, Depixol, Myocrisin)

EXTENDED NURSING ROLES

Some Practice Nurses have undertaken post-graduate education in order to gain the qualifications and skills needed to carry out extended nursing roles, for example:

  • Cryotherapy
  • Insertion of Mirena
  • Insertion of Implanon

INDIRECT NURSING DUTIES

  • Liaise with other health professionals in the community and hospitals.
  • Co-write and regularly review practice protocols.
  • Audit of patient care and practice services.
  • Maintenance and sterilisation of surgical instruments.
  • Maintenance of emergency equipment.
  • Education of practice staff (e.g. CPR, First Aid).

NURSE PRESCRIBING

Some Practice Nurses have completed the post-graduate Nurse Prescribing Programme and are now Registered Nurse Prescribers (RNP).

What qualifications do I need to become a Practice Nurse?

Minimum Requirements:

As with all nurses in Ireland, registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI – formerly An Bord Altranais) is mandatory in order to practise as a Registered Nurse or Registered Midwife.

In order for the GP employer to avail of the Practice Nurse subsidy, the Practice Nurse must be a Registered General Nurse (RGN).

Additional Qualifications:

The range of nursing care and extended roles which may be provided by a Practice Nurse is extensive. Each Practice Nurse, like all other nurses, must practise within his/her own Scope of Practice, (see “Scope of Nursing and Midwifery Practice Framework, 2000”, available from An Bord Altranais and “must take measures to develop and maintain the competence necessary for professional practice” (Code of Conduct, available from An Bord Altranais). Therefore, Practice Nurses have a responsibility to ensure that they are suitably qualified and competent to undertake all aspects of their role. The autonomous nature of practice nursing means that issues pertaining to the Scope of Practice require constant reflection and vigilance on the part of the individual nurse.

Any Practice Nurse who provides antenatal care must be a Registered Midwife, i.e. on the current Midwives Register of An Bord Altranais. There is also a requirement for a Practice Nurse who is a midwife to notify their local HSE office of their intention to practice midwifery in the community. For further information, please refer to the An Bord Altranais document “Practice Standards for Midwives”, 2010.

Where are Practice Nurse jobs advertised?

Practice Nurse jobs may be advertised in the following publications:

“Nursing in General Practice” , (The Journal of the IPNA)

This is a bi-monthly publication, available free to IPNA members.  Also available by subscription.
Published by GreenCross Publishing, 7 Upper Leeson Street, Dublin 4.
Contact Maura Henderson, Publisher, at e-mail: maura@greenx.ie
For back issues, please see www.greencrosspublishing.ie.
“ The World of Irish Nursing ” and “Nursing in the Community ”

Journals of the INMO, sent free of charge to all INMO members.

Published by: MedMedia Ltd.,
25 Adelaide Street,
Dun Laoghaire,
Co Dublin.
Telephone: 01-280 3967
Fax: 01-280 7076
website: www.medmedia.ie
“Irish Medical Times”

Published by Medical Publications (Ire) Ltd.,
24-26 Ormond Quay, Dublin 7.
Telephone: 01-817 6300
Fax: 01-8176345
Website: www.imt.ie
“Irish Medical News”

Website:  www.irishmedicalnews.ie

Irish Independent, Sunday Independent, Irish Times, local newspapers

What is the salary of a Practice Nurse?

The Practice Nurse is employed privately by the General Practitioner. Therefore, as each Practice Nurse’s employment contract is negotiated between the GP and the PN, it is difficult for any organisation or union to set or enforce a defined salary scale. However, the Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation recommends that the minimum salary of the Practice Nurse should be the salary at the maximum point of the staff nurse scale, plus any other allowance which is applicable (such as dual qualification or qualification allowance, etc). The INMO recommends that if the Practice Nurse is an accredited Clinical Nurse Specialist or Advanced Nurse Practitioner, the relevant salary scales for CNS and ANP grades should be applicable.

The INMO also recommend that Practice Nurses should receive the same annual leave entitlements as their colleagues in the public health service, which are in excess of the Statutory Minimum Requirements.

For further information, contact the Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation, Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7.

Telephone: 01-676 0137 Fax: 01-661 0466

Website: www.inmo.ie or e-mail: inmo@inmo.ie

Where can I access relevant information?

Irish Practice Nurses Association

IPNA members can access information via…

  • branch educational meetings,
  • annual educational conference,
  • bi-monthly journal “Nursing in General Practice”,
  • website www.irishpracticenurses.ie.
  • e-mail and text alerts,
  • various publications and guides that are exclusive to IPNA members only.

See Membership and Contact pages of this website for more details.

Professional Development Coordinators for Practice Nursing.

Please see Links page for contact details.

I am a new Practice Nurse - how do I find out about relevant education in my own area?

The IPNA strongly recommends that you make contact as soon as possible with your local Professional Development Coordinator for Practice Nurses (PDC).  There is a PDC for Practice Nurses in all but 4 regions – full contact details are in the Links page of our website.

I am an experienced Practice Nurse - where can I get information on CNS/ANP grades?

For information on Clinical Nurse Specialist and Advanced Nurse Practitioner grades, contact: your local Professional Development Coordinator for Practice Nurses (see Education and Links pages on this website).

Links

Useful Contacts

Professional Development Coordinators for Practice Nursing

NURSING WEBSITES (see also Research page)

NMBI Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland
RCN Royal College of Nursing, UK
ICN International Council of Nurses
ICHN Institute of Community Health Nursing
INS Infusion Nurses Society of UK & Ireland
IPNMS Irish Pain Nurses & Midwives Society

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MEDICAL WEBSITES (see also Research Page)

ICGP Irish College of General Practitioners

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PRACTICE NURSING AROUND THE WORLD

UK, RCN RCN Practice Nurses Association
UK, The Wirral The Wirral Practice Nurses Association
Scotland The Scottish Practice Nurses Association
Australia Australian Practice Nurses Association
Western Australia Western Australia Practice Nurses Association
Canada, Ontario Ontario Family Practice Nurses
US, Texas Valley Advanced Practice Nurses Association
US, Ohio Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses
New Zealand New Zealand College of Primary Health Care Nurses
UK & Northern Ireland Community Practitioners & Health Visitors Association
Canada Canadian Family Practice Nurses Association
UK Discussion Forum for Practice Nurses in UK
UK Nurse Prescribers Nurse Prescriber Forum

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PALLIATIVE CARE

Irish Hospice Foundation Not-for-Profit organisation that promotes hospice philosophy and supports hospice care
St Francis Hospice Charity providing palliative care in North Dublin City and County
Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation Charity providing Palliative Care Teams in Mayo & Roscommon
Irish Association for Pallliative Care All-Ireland membership organisation that promotes palliative care through education etc
Forum on End of Life in Ireland

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PATIENT EDUCATION

Tell Her Educational website on cervical cancer
AHRQ Health TV Patient Education videos

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OTHER HEALTH-RELATED AGENCIES/GROUPS

HSE Health Services Executive
Department of Health & Children
Primary Care Strategy Primary Care Strategy in PDF
HSE – Immunisation The HSE Immunisation website
WHO World Health Organisation, Europe Office
HPSC Health Protection Surveillance Centre
IMB Irish Medicines Board
Irish Society for Immediate Care
GPIT ICGP’s National General Practice Information Technology Group
Allergy Counts Respiratory & Allergy Diagnostic Service, Charlemont Clinic
HIQA Health Information and Quality Authority
HSE – Health Info HSE’s Health Promotion and Information website
P.A.I. Phlebotomists Association of Ireland, Ltd
WHO Hand Hygiene WHO – Clean Care is Safer Care campaign
EPA AQIH Air Quality Index for Health Professionals

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INTERCULTURAL HEALTH

Spirasi Irish NGO that works with Victims of Torture
Pavee Point “Primary Healthcare for Travellers” Programme
Cairde Challenging health inequalities among minority groups
Transcultural Nurses Network
HSE Multilingual Aids Emergency Multilingual Aids

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WOMEN’S HEALTH

CervicalCheck
Irish Family Planning Association
Crisis Pregnancy Agency
European Institute of Women’s Health
Bodywhys The Eating Disorders Association of Ireland
National Infertility Support & Information Group
BreastCheck
Association of Lactation Consultants in Ireland
HSE Breastfeeding factsheets
Marie Keating Foundation
Action Breast Cancer
Ciudiu Irish Childbirth Trust
AkiDwa supporting African/migrant women in Ireland. This link brings you straight to their info page on GBV & FGM.
CEMACH Confidential Enquiry into Maternal & Child Health
Irish Breast Care Nurses Association
Laois Support Services Against Domestic Abuse
Natural Family Planning Teachers Association of Ireland
Nurture Support & Counselling for pregnancy and childbirth related mental health illnesses

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SMOKING CESSATION

Office of Tobacco Control
Ash Ireland Action on Smoking & Health

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HEART DISEASE

Irish Heart Foundation
British Heart Foundation
National Heart Forum an alliance of over 60 organisations in the UK
European Heart Network
American Heart Association
SCDyoung Support group for Sudden Cardiac Death in the young.
Croi West of Ireland Cardiology Foundation
European Society of Cardiology
CVD Prevention in Practice Support Tool for HCPs

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PROMOTING HEALTHY LIFESTYLES

HSE Health Promotion Unit
Cul4Kidz The official GAA website for children
Junion Cycle Physical Education Support Service
European Network for Workplace Health Promotion
Get Ireland Active
Little Steps
European Heart Health Charter
Breathing-Exercises.com Optimal breathing exercises & techniques
Health Reach Health Promotion & Weight Management

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FACILITATING INDEPENDENT LIVING

National Disability Authority State agency for disability issues
AssistIreland.ie Info for independent living from the Citizens Information Board
Enable Ireland charity providing a range of services to those with disabilities
Gateway Assistance Technology for young people with disabilities
Comfort Keepers Caring for the older person in their own home
Home Instead Home Care for Seniors
Bluebird Care Private Care in Your Own Home
Care for the Elderly providing care & support in your own home
MyHomeCare Home Care Services
Private Home Care Caring for people of all ages and needs at home

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FAMILY RELATED WEBSITES

Rollercoaster Pregnancy and Parenting website
Parentline Confidential helpline for parents
Family Links UK charity promoting emotional literacy, nurturing and relationship skills in families, schools and communities.
Childline ISPCC’s telephone & online support for children
Teenline Telephone support for teenagers
On the SPOT Speech & Occupational Therapy for children with special needs
Ag Eisteacht Provide training to practitioners who work with families in difficulty
Irish Premature Babies
Treoir Information for unmarried parents
Whats Up Mum Guide to pregnancy, birth & parenthood
SafeIreland.ie Domestic Violence – The Role of the Practice Nurse

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FOOD and NUTRITION

INDI Irish Nutrition & Dietetic Institute
Food Safety Authority Food Safety Authority
Sustain The Alliance for Better Food & Farming
CASH Consensus Action for Salt and Health
Bord Bia The Irish Food Board
Bord Iascaigh Mhara The Irish Sea Fisheries Board
Mid West Dietetic Clinic Private Dietetic Service
Weigh2Live SafeFood & INDI promoting healthy weight
SafeFood promoting food safety
Change for Life free online weight loss programme – Abbott
Childrens Food Campaign Promoting awareness of the marketing of unhealthy food to children
Food Dudes Health Eating Programme for Children

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WOUND MANAGEMENT

Wound Management Association of Ireland

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PROMOTING GOOD MENTAL HEALTH

HeadsUp For young people aged 15-24yrs
SpunOut Empowering Young People to take control of their world
Let Someone Know HSE website to help young people maintain good mental health
Headstrong The National Centre for Youth Mental Health
Jigsaw Free support service for young people in Galway
The Irish Institute of Mental Health Nursing Promoting excellence in mental health nursing
S.O.S. Suicide or Survive
A-Z of Irish Mental Health Services
Nurture Support & Counselling for pregnancy and childbirth related mental health illnesses

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CARE OF THE OLDER PERSON

Sonas aPc The Sonas Approach – communication therapy

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ADDICTIONS

Drug Treatment Centre Board

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INFORMATION – SUPPORT – ADVOCACY – RESEARCH

Alpha One Foundation
Irish Cancer Society
Diabetes Federation of Ireland
Asthma Society of Ireland
Neurological Association of Ireland
IrishHealth.com
Irish M.E. Trust
Brainwave The Irish Epilepsy Association
ILADS International Lyme & Associated Diseases Society
Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma Symptoms – info & facts
Rape Crisis Network Ireland
Safe Ireland creating safety for women & children
Get Men Talking Get Men Talking about Cancer
RCNI blog & fact sheets
RCNI blog Blog & fact sheets
Brain and Spinal Cord Injury (US) Brain and Spinal Cord Injury (US)
Mental Health Ireland Supporting Positive Mental Health
Tick Talk Ireland Tick Talk Ireland’s website
Tick Talk Ireland Tick Talk Ireland’s blog
Lymphoedema Ireland Support for people living with lymphoedema
FirstLight Supporting Suddenly Bereaved Parents and Families

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LEARNING DISABILITIES

Psychological Society of Ireland Learning Disabilities Special Interest Group webpage
Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities UK Better Health, Better Metrics [in Primary Care] webpage

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