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.
- 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.
- Cholesterol testing & dietary advice
- 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.
- Nursing management of Diabetes
- Nursing management of Asthma and COPD.
- Lung function testing.
- Smoking Cessation
- Weight management
GENERAL NURSING DUTIES
- Health Promotion and Education.
- 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:
- 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).
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?
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).
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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,
Telephone: 01-280 3967
Fax: 01-280 7076
"Irish Medical Times"
Published by Medical Publications (Ire) Ltd.,
24-26 Ormond Quay, Dublin 7.
Telephone: 01-817 6300
"Irish Medical News"
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
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).
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|
MEDICAL WEBSITES (see also Research Page)
|ICGP||Irish College of General Practitioners|
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|
|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|
|Tell Her||Educational website on cervical cancer|
|AHRQ Health TV||Patient Education videos|
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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Office of Tobacco Control|
|Ash Ireland||Action on Smoking & Health|
|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|
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|
|European Heart Health Charter|
|Breathing-Exercises.com||Optimal breathing exercises & techniques|
|Health Reach||Health Promotion & Weight Management|
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|
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|
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|
|Wound Management Association of Ireland|
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|
CARE OF THE OLDER PERSON
|Sonas aPc||The Sonas Approach - communication therapy|
|Drug Treatment Centre Board|
INFORMATION - SUPPORT - ADVOCACY - RESEARCH
|Alpha One Foundation|
|Irish Cancer Society|
|Diabetes Federation of Ireland|
|Asthma Society of Ireland|
|Neurological Association of Ireland|
|Irish M.E. Trust|
|Brainwave||The Irish Epilepsy Association|
|ILADS||International Lyme & Associated Diseases Society|
|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|
|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|