Can someone please have a look at this for me?

No, please, read it carefully.

Nursing is a profession for which demand is only going to increase. With an ageing population and more people suffering from long-term conditions, caring for patients is set to become as important to the health service as technological advances. With 200,000 nurses due to retire within the next ten years and the threat of cuts hitting frontline staff, something needs to change in how we bring people into the profession.

Nursing is an activity of the head, the heart and the hands. However, the fundamentals of patient care will remain the same when the profession moves to all-graduate entry. What will improve is that all future nurses will be given an education that will equip them to meet the demands of the future.

This move is not about elevating the status of nurses, but about ensuring that there are enough nurses with the right skills to meet the demands of an increasingly complex health service.

Far from restricting entry to the nursing profession, we must ensure that the door continues to be as wide open as possible. Nursing cannot become a career only for people who have taken the traditional academic route, and the past experiences of nursing students who have often had previous careers will remain enormously valuable. More support should also be given to ensure that nobody drops out owing to financial or other pressures.

Patients should feel confident that the nurse of the future will be able to use their additional skills and experience to provide expert clinical care, to help patients to make the right choices and to deliver the fundamentals. Above all, we need a nurse education system which encourages the best entrants to pursue a career in care.

Dr Peter Carter, a former mental health nurse, is chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing

Now go back and read it again.

OK, got it all?

Now, this is supposedly an argument in favour of all graduate entry into nursing.

He\’s saying that because we might have a shortage of nurses in the future we should make entry into nursing more difficult, more costly and more time consuming.

And, err, all graduate entry will mean that we preserve the non-academic route into nursing.

Does anyone else spot the problems with both these arguments?

9 comments on “Can someone please have a look at this for me?

  1. Yes, Timmy, the problem is, as you say that it’s completely fucking arse about tit.

    Freedom is Slavery! Maybe this is the work of our new Minister for Truth Lord Mandelson?

    This reminds me of the time a year or so ago when the unions decided they were terribly concerned about the situation of agency staff. They pushed for equal rights for agency staff, of course it had nothing to do with equal rights it was all about making it more expensive to employ cheap foreign labour, per haps that is what we are seeing here, after all, those foreign nurses aren’t going to have degrees, are they?

  2. “Maybe this is the work of our new Minister for Truth Lord Mandelson?”

    In the sense that anyone can see through it? Yup, sounds about his speed…

  3. This has been very badly reported on the radio and TV news.

    From my reading of it they aren’t saying you need a degree to start the training; the new training takes longer and and qualifies as a degree. However, as this extra training appears to be just more on the job training:
    The extra one or two years of training needed for nurses to obtain a degree will include a focus on gaining experience in community health teams.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8355388.stm

    I think we could really say it is really just an extension of their apprenticeship, which means they get cheaper labour for longer.

    And if this really is about patient welfare why aren’t they insisting that existing nurses who aren’t at degree level get the qualification?

    This is looks more like rent seeking by restritcing and controlling supply.

  4. Well, firstly It’ll mean more teaching posts, so jobs for those who want to move onwards and upwards from actual nursing. Second it’ll mean an expansion in universities- now there’s a growth industry. Third it’ll mean higher status for nurses (at least until people forget that degrees are for a minority who think they’re clever and notice that anyone can get one- and with 50% university education we’re fast approaching the time of that forgetting). With higher barriers to entry and higher status it’ll mean higher salaries for nurses.
    The government can crow about how it’s improving nursing care.
    Of course we’ll be paying twice as much for the same service but we don’t matter (especially since the actual nursing will be done by HCAs).
    The bright spot for us is that nurses will take over the less demanding parts of the Doctor’s work- and Doctors are definitely more expensive than nurses. Expect the BMA to protest- and lobby- vigorously.

  5. It’s about increasing the status of nurses, at the expense of patient care. Again.

    I am all in favour of having clearly defined skill grades within nursing. But we had that years ago, in the form of Ward Sisters, Theatre Sisters, Midwives, District Nurses, Staff Nurses, Auxiliaries. But patient care always had to be done, and wards always had to be clean.

    Now the elderly patients only get actually fed when the bloke comes in to mend the telly, or the vicar calls to visit.

  6. “… and the threat of cuts hitting frontline staff, something needs to change in how we bring people into the profession.”

    In other words, all these new nurses may have a hard time finding a job.

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