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Foundations in General Practice Nursing

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This innovative eight-month course will enable the development of clinical skills, new knowledge and
learning, to prepare practice nurses for their role.

This fully funded unit is an excellent opportunity for any nurse, recently employed in General Practice and working within the Wessex region to develop skills in the management of clients as a General Practice Nurse.

Taught by Clinical Experts the course also includes an exploration of the context of Practice Nursing, the evolution of Primary Care, Clinical Governance, QoF and the role of Clinical Commissioning groups.

You can study this unit at level 6 or 7 which can be the starting point put towards a future qualification. By taking further accredited units from the BU CPD framework you can top up your advanced diploma to degree or build your own Undergraduate or Postgraduate degree. See more course details.

Key information

Next start date:

Portsmouth: 23 September 2020, Bournemouth: 05 January 2021, Winchester: 04 May 2021


St Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth; Lansdowne Campus, Bournemouth; Winchester: Location TBC


Nine months

Entry requirements:

Newly appointed nurses who have joined general practice within the past 18 months. Applicants should have a Dip HE (or equivalent) or have undertaken accredited study at minimum diploma level. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 6.5 (Academic) or above. For more information check out our international entry requirements

Course details

You will learn through attendance at interactive, skills-based presentations and you’ll also build a portfolio of evidence from your practice. You’ll be supported throughout your study by lecturers, your peers and a mentor.

During the unit you will develop the skills you need to function competently as a practice nurse including:

  • Immunisation
  • Cervical cytology
  • Ear care
  • Wound management
  • ECG
  • Venepuncture

Topics covered during the unit include:

  • ECG.
  • Diagnostics / health screening
  • Venepuncture
  • Ear care
  • Immunisation / anaphylaxis
  • Cervical cytology
  • Sexual health / men & women’s health
  • Wound management
  • Infection control
  • Mental health / vulnerable clients / safeguarding
  • Long-term conditions.

The course will be for a duration of 9 months and you will study two consecutive days (Tuesday/Wednesday) every fortnight.

Cervical cytology

A course for registered doctors and nurses without any recognised qualification in cervical screening. Nurses must have been in practice for at least one month before they are eligible to attend. It consists of:

  • Two theory days with input from specialist practitioners in colposcopy and cervical cytology
  • A six month period of supervised clinical practice using a clinical schedule to record the competences achieved

Ear Care course

This practical study day is aimed for registered nurses requiring skill training, updating or consolidation of existing skills in ear care. The aim is to develop safe practice in all aspects of ear care, in particular ear irrigation, which attracts a high level of litigation if not trained properly.

Immunisation course

Aimed at registered nurses who provide immunisations, this two day foundation immunisation course conforms to national immunisation standards

Course dates

Portsmouth dates: 23 Sept 2020, 6,7,20,21 Oct, 10,11,24,25 Nov, 8, 9 Dec 2020, 12, 13, 26 (skills lab), 27 Jan, 9,10,23,24 Feb, 9, 10, 23, 24 March, 20,21 April 2021

Bournemouth dates: 5,26,27 Jan 2021, 9,10,23,24 Feb, 9,10,23,24 March, 20,21 April,11 (skills lab), 12 May, 1,2,15,16 June, 6,7 July, 7,8,28 Sept,12 Oct 2021

Winchester dates: 4, 18, 19 May 2021, 1, 2, 15, 16, 29, 30 June, 13, 14 July, 7,8,21 (Skills lab)  22 Sept, 5,6,19,20 Oct, 2, 3, 16, 17, 30 Nov, 1 Dec 2021

Please contact us to check start dates as some dates may be postponed depending on student numbers.

Admissions Email: 

Phone number: 01202 964444

Entry requirements

Newly appointed nurses who have joined general practice within the past 18 months.

You must hold full registration with the NMC, be working within an NHS Trust, and have access to a practice mentor. Applicants should have a Dip HE (or equivalent) or have undertaken accredited study at minimum diploma level.

How to apply

Please contact our admissions team: 


Phone number: 01202 964444

Career development

We have a range of individual units at Levels 5, 6 and 7 available which you can choose from to develop your skills in a specific area of practice. If you take further units of study you can begin to build your own qualification and gain an academic award for your work, depending on your level of study this may be:

  • BSc/ BSc (Hons) Professional Practice (level 5/6)
    If you have a Diploma or Advanced Diploma you can take this course to top-up to a full degree
  • MA Advanced Practice (level 7)
    If you have an honours degree and are aspiring to be an advanced practitioner, this route enables you to work towards a Master's degree award. Depending on how many level 7 units you complete, you can exit with a Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Practice.

These options provide a flexible route to gaining a bachelor’s or Master’s degree by studying in more manageable ‘bite-sized’ chunks.

Statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats and BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.