Nursing in general practice is one of the most challenging roles in the practice team. It is a role which requires experience, skill, knowledge and an overall commitment to delivering quality care for patients whose health problems are often chronic and/or complex.
More general practices in Far North Queensland are recognising the value of practice nurses. Now there is an interactive web-based resource available to assist them in the recruitment and orientation of new nurses.
Locally, the FNQ Division supports the role of practice nurses through education, training, resource delivery and liaison support. Nursing in General Practice is a program which enables many of these events to take place across our region. Federal funds are allocated based on a proposed projected annual budget submitted at the beginning of each financial year. Limited financial support is then made available for practice nurses to engage in a range of activities including education, conference participation, clinical up skilling and credentialing. Requests for sponsorship are assessed individually according to the budget allocation for that activity.
Our practice nurses network meetings also facilitate the invaluable exchange of information and shared experience with colleagues working in the challenging general practice setting. Meetings take place quarterly in Cairns, the Tablelands and Innisfail. In response to practice requests, these meetings have now been opened to include all team members consistent with the concept of “whole team” care and delivery in the Primary Healthcare setting.