Placements in General Practice for Adult Nursing Students in South Yorkshire

The South Yorkshire Primary Care Workforce and Training Hub is responsible for the co-ordination of placements in General Practice for adult nursing students across South Yorkshire.

We currently have over 70 practices in Doncaster, Rotherham, Barnsley and Sheffield signed up with us to take adult nursing students on placement. This includes, full/part time students and undergraduate/postgraduate. The team are also involved in placing other disciplines such as Physician Associates.

We are always looking to increase our numbers of training practices across the patch. Hosting undergraduate students can bring great benefits to the practice/PCN as well as to the students, who get an introduction to primary care that may hopefully inspire them to see it as a potential career destination. If you are interested in joining us then we’d love to hear from you, please contact us.

Benefits of supporting student placements

• Being involved in training the workforce of the future, and interesting them in general practice as a career
• Helps Nurses stay up to date and increases professional satisfaction
• Develops links with students which can provide recruitment opportunities in the future
• Gives the student an all-round holistic approach to nursing, giving them the opportunity to develop a range of skills
• Students bring energy and motivation to the practice
• Can support practice working such as running their own clinics (if confident and competent)

Information for Practices taking a Student

What is the process to become a Training Practice?

If you agree to support student nurses, a member of the Hub team will arrange a time to visit the practice (face to face or online) to ensure that all of the requirements for being a Training Practice are in place. The University Lead Link Lecturer for your area will also join you and an audit of the practice and will be the point of contact for supporting your Practice Educators.

We will determine whether your nurses need support with their PS/PA qualifications and we will work with you to set up a practice profile on the online PARE placements database. You will be asked to sign an agreement with SHU which acts as a commitment to providing quality placements for student nurses. This agreement also allows the practice to be paid a tariff for hosting placements.

Tariff/payment information

The current tariff, for the 23/24 financial year (from 1st April 2023), is £127.28 per student, per week for supporting student Nurses, based on 38.5 hours per week in practice. Tariff payments for student Nurse placements organised by the SY Primary Care Workforce & Training Hub will now be paid automatically to host training practices. Since the HEE/NHSE April 2023 merger, payments are now made three times per year to align with university data collection and validation periods. Payments are made at the end of each data collection period for the number of weeks that the student has been on placement in that period.. It is no longer necessary to submit invoices for student nurses at the end of each placement.

Payments will show on statements as from Primary Care Doncaster Ltd (our host organisation) with a reference for tracking (see below example for clarification). A confirmation email will be sent to host practices when payment is made.

Payments will be accompanied by a reference number for ease of tracking. This is explained in the example below.

What is the process for organising a placement?

Approximately 12 weeks before a placement start date, the Project Managers will contact their practices with the placement dates and student cohort, and ask if they would have the capacity to support. There is no obligation to accept every placement that is requested. The team will then collate and inform Sheffield Hallam University of the offers across each place in South Yorkshire. Sheffield Hallam University will confirm placement allocations approximately 6-8 weeks before a placement start date, which will then be passed on to the practice contact. Students are informed via their allocation system (PEMS). Approximately 3 weeks before the placement start date, the project management team will contact the student giving them a wealth of information about their placement, including the practice contact. They should then contact their practice directly to arrange working hours etc.


Student induction

All practices should prepare students for their placement on site as they would any new staff member. Students should be briefed on policies (or shown where to find them) and be given a tour around the site/s, with introductions to team members as appropriate. The SY Training Hub will also invite students to a compulsory 1-hour MS Teams session on the first morning of their block placement (09:00-10:00). Students should attend this session before commencing their placement, whether this is logging in at home and travelling to practice afterwards or travelling to practice before and logging on via phone/practice device in a private space. Please note that students undertaking makeup hours or adhoc placements will not be invited to attend this session – this is only for block placements.

The purpose of this session is to sufficiently prepare students for placement in general practice, discuss expectations and dispel any misconceptions they may have.

Information for Practice Supervisors and Practice Assessors

Practice Supervisor (PS)

A Practice Supervisor is a registered healthcare professional, who supports and supervises students, providing feedback on their progress towards, and achievement of, proficiencies and skills.

Practice Assessor (PA)

A Practice Assessor is an NMC registrant who conducts assessments to confirm student achievement of proficiencies and programme outcomes for practice learning. They should not work or supervise the student on a daily basis.


NMC Standards 2019

The E-Learning for Health Practice Educator & Assessor Programme (PEAP) aligns to the NMC standards for student supervision and assessment. NMC registrants should complete units 1-6 in order to meet the requirements to be a Practice Supervisor. Units 7 & 8 should be completed in order to meet Practice Assessor requirements. Each unit takes approximately 1 hour to complete. A Practice Assessor certificate will be awarded after the completion of all 8 units and this can be used for Revalidation purposes. The training can be accessed at eLearning for Health (eLfh) – see link below.


The SY Training Hub aims to increase the numbers of new practice supervisors and assessors across the region and has limited incentive funding to support with training. To be eligible for this (currently £250 per nurse, paid via the practice) nurses must complete the eLfh Practice Educator & Assessor Programme units 1-8 and send evidence of completion to the Training Hub. To enquire about the availability of incentive funding for training and to register for a place please contact Abbie Foster


As a Supervisor/Assessor, you are advised to watch a PS/PA Update from your local University on completion of your training, to ensure that you are fully prepared for the individual requirements of their course. An online SHU Update is available on the Practice Educator Resources section. This counts towards Revalidation and a certificate is available from the Training Hub to evidence. The recording of the latest update and slides are in the ‘Helpful Resources’ section.

Supervising a student

Following instruction from NMC, Practice Assessors should not work directly with the students e.g. they should not supervise them during their time on placement. This is to reduce any bias in signing off their competencies. This can be difficult for practices who only have a small Nursing team. However, you do not need to have trained Practice Assessors on site. The SY Training Hub can find you a Long-Arm Assessor if needed and this can be done with the student via MS Teams. Students can also be supervised by any registered professional for a ‘one off’ experience – these are known as ‘Associate Supervisors’. Associate Supervisors do not need access to MYEPAD (Midlands, Yorkshire and East of England Practice Assessment Document), they can simply record testimonies and email to the student to upload to their PebblePad.

Students can also spend time with all members of the practice team, e.g. GPs, HCAs, ACPs, AHPs etc. We highly encourage students to spend time with different professionals, to include Reception and Practice Management teams to gain an understanding of all aspects of primary care. We also suggest that students spend time in other environments, such as pharmacies, District Nursing teams etc if the opportunity arises.

Students can work with HCAs and Nursing Associates for Venepuncture, Phlebotomy and Health Checks, Blood Pressure monitoring etc – Nurses can countersign documentation to meet their competencies. GPs can also sign off some competencies e.g. Chest auscultations.

Whilst on placement, students can also contribute to the working of the practice. For example, students can conduct time-consuming work that takes Nurses away from patient care, such as audits. They can also conduct Student-led clinics e.g. if competent in manual blood pressure checks, they can run clinics without direct supervision. They would just need their Practice Supervisor to be on hand nearby. This would work for 3rd year Management (final placement) students. This would also have financial benefits for the practice as well as the placement tariff.

MYEPAD (Midlands, Yorkshire & East Practice Assessment Document) / PebblePad

Students are assessed on placement on their practice performance and are required to gather evidence to support their progression and completion of the proficiencies over the placement period. They will do this by using Practice Assessment Documentation.

If you do not have a MYEPAD account/not sure if you have one, and require one, please contact your Placements Lead for your area who will be able to organise this for you. We will need your NHS email address and the date you undertook your Practice Supervisor/Assessor/Transition training (plus the certificate). Please be advised that accounts can take up to 5 days to set up.

Helpful Resources

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Practice Educator

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Practice Educator

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Practice Educator

Feedback from previous students

"Whilst on this placement I knew I wanted to take my nursing career into primary care"

“Becoming a GP nurse was never on my radar until my second year of university. I have always had keen interest in reducing health inequality, health promotion and prevention, and keeping people out of hospital living longer healthier lives. With this in mind, I requested my third-year placement at a GP surgery which is where I really fell in love with role. I had heard many things about primary care nursing such as, its ‘where nurses go to wind down their career before retirement’ that you ‘need to build your skills on a ward first’ and ‘you will deskill working in primary care’ all of which I found could not be further from the truth.

I was placed at a fantastic (and busy) surgery receiving a very warm welcome and felt instantly like part of the team. I had a brilliant mentor and great team to work alongside. As a third-year student I felt I had a lot of experience to bring, however, the role is very different to a hospital setting and I had a lot to learn. I was involved in a broad variety of different things from chronic disease, baby clinics, women’s health, audits, minor ops, home visits and travel advice to name a few. I completed all of my proficiencies with no issues, and I was given so many opportunities to learn and gain new skills and the role involved so much more than what I initially thought.

Whilst on this placement I knew I wanted to take my nursing career into primary care and was over the moon when I completed my placement and was lucky enough to be offered a job at the surgery who are currently putting me through the VTS course to gain all the skills that I need to be a practice nurse. I have my dream job and a very exciting career in primary care ahead of me. I am so grateful for my GP placement, as I would never have found my true calling as practice nurse and have this amazing career path without this opportunity.”

This student nurse had their final student placement in a GP practice in Sheffield and is now employed by the same practice on a permanent basis. They are currently on our Nurse VTS programme (October 2023) 

"I think that there are a lot of misconceptions about student nurse placements in primary care"

“I think that there are a lot of misconceptions about student nurse placements in primary care. However, I feel that primary care placements should be so valued as they are unlike any other placement, allowing students to work 1 on 1 with many different healthcare professionals. My placement in primary care was amazing. By far the one of the most valuable experiences I had as a student nurse. It is completely different to placement in secondary care, so I feel that it is very important for student nurses to experience both. I think that a lot of people have the misconception that within general practice students just observe and get bored, that could not be further from the truth I found that I gained more and was able to practice more skills in primary care than anywhere else. There are a lot of skills that you don’t get to complete or experience in secondary care that you do in primary care, it’s much more hands on than people think. Primary care is an amazing part of the healthcare system, and it is so interesting as a student to see how primary care works as you get to see patients right from being babies till the end of their lives. The relationships between healthcare professionals and patients in primary care are like no other and it is amazing to see. From my experience of working in primary care I found that it is like being part of a family with lots of different healthcare professionals coming together and supporting each other. As a student I was made to feel part of the team, which was so lovely and I felt so supported, my knowledge and confidence really grew. I have honestly never felt so supported in my time as a student nurse than when I was on placement in primary care, I could not be a bigger advocate for students to be placed in primary care. I found that within primary care every member of staff is approachable, and many members of staff love to teach so not only do you get knowledge and skills from your nurse mentor but also from everyone else in the team including doctors, physicians associates, physiotherapists etc. As practice nursing is so generalised you get to learn so much about so many different aspects of healthcare it is not just one specialised area so the knowledge is vast and feels unlimited.


Having a placement in primary care helped me more than I can put into words with my journey to becoming a GPN. The placement gave me experience that you cannot get anywhere else and this helped to further my passion for primary care. When interviewing for a GPN career it is essential that you know the role of a GPN well and to show that you understand how primary care works. There is no better way to get this understanding than having a placement in primary care. In my interview I referenced my time in primary care as a student a vast amount showing how much I had learnt and gained from that placement. Prior to having the placement in primary care I would not have had half of the knowledge and understanding that I did from having the placement and so I feel that without this placement I may not be where I am today.


As a student nurse I also took part in the introduction to general practice module that was offered at university. This happened to run along my placement in general practice and therefore worked really well to consolidate my learning. Many of the educators on this module are nurse educators at the south Yorkshire training hub and they are an amazing group of educators that are very friendly and amazing at giving students an insight into primary care. As these nurse educators work for the south Yorkshire primary care training hub they were fantastic at giving students tips and knowledge of how to get into primary care upon qualification. I feel very grateful that I had the chance to get to know these nurse educators as a student and now as a newly qualified nurse on the VTS programme have them teaching me and supporting me in my career as a future GPN. I feel that this has made my transition from student to newly qualified a lot less nerve wracking as I know the team that I am being supported by and know how amazing they are.


I feel that student nurses benefit their host practices massively as I found that healthcare professionals really enjoy having students within primary care. I feel that students benefit practices by bringing staff together, within primary care a lot of professionals spend a lot of time on their own with patients, students get to experience how multiple members of staff work and notice differences between professionals which may have not been noticed before and start discussions with healthcare professionals on how these different methods can work well for different patients and different types of appointments. Once students have an understanding of how things work they can be a great help within practices being an extra person that can help in emergency situations and helping comfort patients etc. These experiences are very useful for students as well as the practice. I also feel that teaching students can help healthcare professionals as it helps to keep healthcare professionals knowledgeable and teaching others is shown to benefit the teachers also in consolidating their knowledge and keep their practice up to date.”

This nurse had their their final placement in a GP practice in Doncaster and are now employed by Primary Care Doncaster on our current Nurse VTS programme (October 2023)

“I believe strongly that my general practice placement saved me as a student nurse"

“I believe strongly that my general practice placement saved me as a student nurse in a rough patch the support was unreal which guided me towards the VTS course. Having this placement showed me a complete different side to nursing which I can now see myself doing for the rest of my career.”

This nurse had their their final placement in a GP practice in Rotherham and are now employed by Primary Care Doncaster on our current Nurse VTS programme (October 2023)


General Placements Lead/Sheffield Placements Abbie Foster

Doncaster Placements Lead Jo Mirza

Rotherham & Barnsley Placements Lead Amy Collins

Sheffield Hallam University Link Lecturers