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Nursing to become a Degree only Profession

By Health5 Comments

In the News a few weeks ago (see BBC News – Nursing to become graduate entry) it was announced that Nurses from 2013 will only be able to train at Degree level. I have mixed feelings about this.

I am proud to be a Nurse. I originally trained as a Diploma student purely for financial reasons. In doing the Diploma the NHS paid all of my tuition fees and gave me a small monthly bursary. If this had not been on offer it would have not been financially viable for me to train. My fellow Diploma students were mostly in their late twenties or early thirties and had young families, the tuition fees and the small bursary enabled them to train. These mature students all reported that they wouldn’t have been able to afforded financially to do the Degree course as they would have had to pay all their own tuition fees and received no bursary. My fellow students I saw on the wards and found them to be caring and ultimately became very knowledgeable competent Nurses.

Social Work is a graduate only profession, meaning that all Social Workers trained after a certain point are degree qualified. Making Nursing a degree level profession adds credibility to the profession, increases Nurses knowledge and overall will enhance patient care. Indeed I have recently gone back to University to upgrade my Diploma to a Degree (see Back to University). All Nurses would agree that enhancing patient care is always a positive thing. So there are lots of positives to making Nursing a degree level profession.

My fear is that people don’t always go in to Nursing as their first profession (i.e. straight from school / college) such as my forma colleagues who were mature students who struggle financially. And even some people who are not mature students such as myself couldn’t have afforded to go in to Nursing if it was a Degree only profession. Therefore we potentially could miss out on some people who have the potential to be good Nurses (i.e. have a caring nature, a desire to make a difference, etc.). So my message to the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the NHS, the educational institutions and the government is:
Continue to make Nurse training financially viable for people from all walks of life regardless of: gender, sexuality, race, religion & disability.

Take Care,

Antony

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