Professional development needs of general practice nurses



Publication Details

Halcomb, E., Meadley, E. & Streeter, S. (2009). Professional development needs of general practice nurses. Contemporary Nurse, 32 (1-2), 201-210.


The Australian general practice nurse workforce has grown exponentially in recent years as a consequence of supportive government policy and the increasing burden of chronic and complex disease in the community. This descriptive survey sought to identify the educational and professional development needs of NSW practice nurses. A total of 231 nurses employed within 12 NSW Divisions of General Practice completed the survey. The highest priority education sessions identified by participants were updates in wound care, diabetes, immunisation, as well as legal and professional issues, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, triaging and first aid. Most participants preferred education sessions to be delivered mid-week in the evening. Over half of participants indicated a desire to be involved in professional networking, many of whom would like this to be multidisciplinary and intersectorial. Implications arising from this study encourage revisiting the current models of providing education and exploring flexible modes of course delivery, as well as opportunities for interprofessional education and taking time to regularly assess the perceived learning needs of clinical nurses.