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Pharmacy

Nicole Cookson - NES Cross-sector Foundation Training Programme

Nicole recently completed her foundation training across two sectors of practice. Nicole was the first pharmacist to complete foundation training across community and primary care sectors.

 Nicole Cookson

Nicole Cookson, Foundation pharmacist, Sept 2017 – Jan 2020

I started Foundation training (FT) in September 2017 when I was working in community pharmacy and have since moved to a new post in Primary Care. My portfolio for my Foundation training has evidence from both sectors and I feel that I have been given an excellent opportunity to split my training across both boundaries of care. 

Having started in community pharmacy, I found the training challenging as I started my career in a relief pharmacist role. However, the role in community is very diverse and covering pharmacies across the north east of Scotland provided me with excellent experience as a newly qualified pharmacist Taking part in the Foundation Training programme at this stage was beneficial and allowed me to consolidate my learning in practice. I started the training as soon as I qualified, as I was already in the habit of writing up evidence from my pre-registration training.

On moving to primary care, the learning curve was significant. It was a completely new role and I found the Foundation Training programme was a great support in allowing me to reflect on the tasks I was carrying out daily. In the GP practice, I had a senior pharmacist working with me a couple of days a week and I have found this very beneficial. She has supported my Foundation training and having been through the training herself, she has provided excellent advice and tips on how to gather evidence. I also found working in a permanent location made it much easier to arrange meetings with my tutor.

Having moved to primary care about one year into training, it ensured that I had enough evidence from the community sector. Undertaking the training in the two sectors has enabled me to reflect on how much my role had changed and appreciate the roles of Clinical Pharmacists in both sectors. I am thoroughly enjoying my new role in Primary Care and hope to continue my career in this sector. I feel that now I have spent time in both Community pharmacy and Primary care sectors early on in my career, this has provided me with an excellent skill set and I have a greater awareness of where my career may go in the future.