General Practice Nursing in Ireland

A General Practice Nurse is a registered general nurse who works with a general practitioner (GP). General Practice Nurses are privately employed by the GP. They provide holistic nursing care to patients of the GP surgery.

General Practice Nurses must be on the live general register of NMBI. They are responsible for their own scope of practice. This is guided by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

General Practice Nursing is a growing discipline. In 1999 there were 500 General Practice Nurses in Ireland. Currently, there are over 2,000 nurses employed in general practice.

Extra qualifications and training

A General Practice Nurse may have extra qualifications as a:

  • Registered midwife
  • Registered sick children’s nurse
  • Registered mental health nurse
  • Registered nurse (intellectual disabilities)
  • Registered nurse prescriber

General Practice Nurses may have also done:

  • stand-alone modules in the management of long-term conditions
  • relevant postgraduate programmes

Professional development coordinators

The Professional Development Coordinators for General Practice Nursing (PDCGPN) are employees of the HSE.


  • have responsibility for the strategic development of General Practice Nursing
  • provide guidance and direction for General Practice Nursing
  • work as the link between the HSE and General Practice Nurses
  • facilitate education and continuing professional and role development
  • collaborate with relevant healthcare professionals, educational bodies and other stakeholders

The PDCGPNs acknowledge and respect the private employment contract between a General Practice Nurse and the GP as employer.


The National Group of the Professional Development Coordinators for General Practice Nursing work towards:

  • the integration and recognition of General Practice Nursing as a key role in primary care
  • supporting educational, professional and role development of General Practice Nurses
  • providing evidence based standards of nursing for patients within General Practice


All General Practice Nurses will have access to continuing professional development (CPD). This will support evidence based, people-centred care in General Practice.