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Career Start is a flexible education programme designed to fund and support the development of a new GPN over their first two years in post. In order to benefit from the programme the nurse must be in, or about to commence, a substantive role in a Northamptonshire practice.

The programme caters for all different groups of new GPNs, including experienced nurses moving to general practice from another area of nursing, newly qualified nurses, and nurses who have returned to practice after a break.

Career Start is tailored to the individual nurse’s specific learning needs, with the new GPN, their mentor, and their practice choosing which learning opportunities are best placed to build competence and confidence.

Career Start incurs no cost to the practice.
Each nurse will receive:

Career Start Year 1 in detail:

Choose from one of the options below:

Option 1 – GPN Fundamentals Programme PG Cert/BSc (Fully-funded)

Join the GPN fundamentals programme to gain key essential skills including Venepuncture, Cervical Cytology, Immunisation - Child and Adult, Ear Care, Long Term Conditions, Mental Health, Learning Disabilities, Safeguarding and more. This course is currently offered via DeMontfort University and can be completed at Level 6 or Level 7, further details here: Practice Nursing PG Cert/BSc (

Option 2 – Individual Skills Courses (Funded up to a maximum of £1,000)

Complete a variety of skills courses such as Cervical Cytology, Immunisation - Child and Adult etc. as deemed relevant by yourself and your practice. NPCTH quality assured courses can be found through our website. Other courses can be requested but will require prior approval from us. Northamptonshire Primary Care Training Hub  Course Catalogue

For both options:

Build upon your chosen option with support of your mentor to make/propose a change in practice.

  • Develop an understanding of General Practice working.
  • Collaborate with your practice team to gain an understanding of the needs of the business, and development within the team.
  • Identify an improvement/change that is needed.
  • Experience managing a project and developing leadership skills.
  • Increase your awareness of change management and help to promote organisational change.

Projects do not need to be large-scale or arduous!

Previous project ideas include the introduction of nurses at the practice safeguarding meeting, creating a collaborative approach to annual reviews to reduce number of times patient’s attend, and starting cervical smear drop-in sessions to increase uptake.

Career Start Year 2 in detail:

Build on the success of Year 1 and choose one, or several of the options below:

  • Undertake training in a clinical area of interest e.g. a long-term condition, women’s health.
  • Supervise and assess pre-registration nurses by undertaking SSSA training.
  • Present at the annual GPN conference. Share your proposed change or learning from year 1.
  • Access personal or career coaching via NHSE.
  • Develop leadership and coaching skills via the Midlands Leadership academy courses.
  • Learn more about the wider system through joining ICS and regional GPN meetings alongside the NPCTH team.
  • Any other relevant training you wish to undertake after discussion with NPCTH and your mentor.

(N.B funding provided for any of the above options up to a maximum of £1,000)

Year 2 of the programme is much more open and fluid than the first year. By the second year, you should be more comfortable in general practice and understand how it works. You can build on this knowledge to develop your career in any aspect. It is useful to think of your development both clinically and from a leadership perspective too.

Throughout the two years:

To find out more about Career Start please contact:

Or complete this short form and we will contact you.

Career Start Expression of Interest Form