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?